Business & Technology

Cindy Mi

She helps English speakers and eager Chinese pupils find each other.

Co-founder and CEO, VIPKID

English is part of China’s mandatory public school curricula, and many majors and jobs require English proficiency. But many Chinese students, especially those in rural areas, have no access to native speakers. Founded in 2013, Mi’s education technology company, VIPKID, helps solve that problem by connecting Chinese students — 150,000 and counting — with English teachers in North America via video-conferencing. All children, says Mi, “deserve a platform that allows them to see the world or to envision the future that they would want to have.”

That mission is personal for Mi. Angela Bao of Sinovation Ventures, an early investor in VIPKID, told


that Mi never attended college, but the “scrappy millennial” has a “cosmopolitan vision” that makes her an “exemplar of the new generation of Chinese entrepreneurs.” That vision is proving lucrative; its latest fundraising round was announced at $100 million, and the company has garnered an investment from retired NBA star-cum-venture capitalist Kobe Bryant.

(Photo credit: VIPKID)

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