Staying ahead of the pack
Considered the world's top female tech VC, Jenny Lee '01 turns fledgling ideas into game-changers
To say Jenny Lee has a knack for identifying
great business opportunities is an
As a managing partner at GGV Capital, Lee has
made a name for herself finding, developing
and growing companies out of China's everexpanding
How much of a name? The Shanghai-based Lee was the first woman ever to crack the Forbes Midas List for top tech venture capital investors worldwide.
Since joining the Menlo Park, California-based
VC firm in 2005, Lee has built a track record of
finding opportunities within China's consumer internet and digital media sectors. Some of
her most successful deals include investing in
social media platform YY, which went public
on the Nasdaq back in 2012, and smartphone
manufacturer Xiaomi, which is now the fourth
largest smartphone company in the world.
But ask Lee how she finds the "next big thing,"
and her answer is surprising. "It's all about the
problems," she says. "We're in the business of
finding talented entrepreneurs working on new
ideas and new business models."
A self-professed "geek" who worked on
fighter planes and drones prior to Kellogg, Lee
attributes her success to the MBA education
she received in Evanston. It gave her both the
strategic-thinking skills needed to identify
emerging trends and the team-building abilities
required to help direct young entrepreneurs as
they move from fledgling idea to product launch.
"We have to spend time with the entrepreneurs,
helping them think through strategic decisions,
why we finance, bringing in the right people,
when to enter a new market," Lee says. "The
managerial, strategic thinking that we can bring
to that — I think Kellogg excels at that."
So far, the results speak for themselves.