23-year-old wants to ease workload of teachers
Updated: 2015-05-04 11:21
By Liu Wei(chinadaily.com.cn)
Editor's Note: A start-up frenzy has gripped China since Premier Li Keqiang encouraged people to innovate and start their own businesses last March. The country's "post-90s generation" of entrepreneurs — a term describing those born in the 1990s — has come of age. They are bold digital natives brought up in the founding era of Internet giants like Tencent and Alibaba, and unafraid of failure. Products of the Internet, and rapid economic growth and globalization, these young entrepreneurs have their own stories to tell.
Wu Xingyu. [Photo by Song Wei/chinadaily.com.cn]
A few months after Wu Xingyu was congratulated by teachers for graduating from the university, the 23-year-old has been making his dream of relieving tens of thousands of teachers in China from drowning in marking papers a reality.
Yitiku, an online software system based on Wu's idea, eases the workload of teachers by doing many of the functions that they did, such as selecting the test questions, forming an exam paper, evaluating, and preparing exercises for the students.
The features of Yitiku may sound quite simple, but this idea won his company millions of dollars in the A round of financing from China's Internet giant Tencent in January. The unexpectedly successful fund raising story became a popular conversation starter among the people in the education business.
"I can say it's quite an achievement for me and our company. As far as I know, I'm the first entrepreneur born after 1990s that Tencent has invested in, and we are the first online education company they have invested in," Wu Xingyu, founder and CEO of YISIYIXUE Education Technology Co, Ltd, the developer of Yitiku, told China Daily.
Different from other online education companies that treat students as clients, Yitiku has chosen teachers as their focus. "We make the work of teachers easy. Usually it takes two to three hours for them to prepare a new exam paper. Now it's just three clicks," said Wu. He is quite satisfied with the major features of the software.
Sitting in his 10-square-meter office in Zhongguancun, a hub of innovation in Beijing, Wu looks confident and chatty when talking about his business. His fast-speed answers give people an impression that he has years of experience in the online education sector. The fact is that he has been putting most of attention in directing courses at an elite art college in the country until about a year ago.
But the passion of becoming an entrepreneur has been in Wu's mind since he was an art student.
Studying in Beijing Film Academy, Wu often joined his classmates to make short films or photographs for companies and started earning money. The business worked well and some of them started thinking about founding a company in their sophomore year.
As good as the idea was, it didn't carry out at the last minute due to different voices inside the group. But the idea of founding his own company grew on Wu. And he also learned his lesson from the unsuccessful experience.
"Too many people hardly agree on one thing. And I prefer working with people who are not my age, older with more experience," Wu said.