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George Yan: From Microsoft China to Clobotics

Season 1

Episode 27

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Interviewed by Hans Tung and Zara Zhang.

GGV Capital’s Hans Tung and Zara Zhang interview George Yan (严治庆), the founder and CEO of Clobotics, (扩博智能). Founded in 2016, Clobotics is a computer vision startup that seeks to make traditional industries more intelligent. It is headquartered in Shanghai and Seattle with offices in Beijing, Dalian, and Singapore. It currently serves two industries: traditional retail and wind energy. Clobotics owns over 40 patents and has raised $21 million in VC funding. GGV was an early investor in Clobotics in 2017, and our managing partner Jenny Lee is on the board.

Prior to founding Clobotics, George spent 16 years at Microsoft in the US and in China. As the vice president and general manager of marketing and operations for Microsoft Greater China, he contributed to the double-digit growth for the region’s $3 billion business. He was also responsible for the inception of Microsoft Cloud business in China, and led a massive team in landing Microsoft Azure and Office365 in China within less than 10 months, making Microsoft the first world-wide cloud service provider to land its service in mainland China. Before Microsoft, George worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey in the US. He holds a master’s degree in financial engineering from Columbia.

George discussed how to find the “right timing” to leave big tech companies to become entrepreneurs, the lessons he drew from helping Microsoft land in China, and what it’s like to run a startup that is global from Day One.

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