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SIGS Graduate Story | Li Dingyi: A Passion for Entrepreneurship
Li Dingyi is a recent graduate from the Institute for Hospital Management, Tsinghua University (IHM). An avid traveler who enjoys sharing his experience with others, Li and a few students founded an online travel service platform that connects independent tourists with tour guides. The project received funding from the i-Space Entrepreneurship Fund and won second prize in the Guangdong Internet + Tourism Entrepreneurship Contest.
Turning passion into business
In his first year at Tsinghua SIGS, Li partnered with a few classmates and founded Shenzhen Youyayou Network Technology Co., Ltd. "We all enjoy travelling, and wanted to build an interactive platform to facilitate communication between independent tourists and tour guides.”
Self-driving tours and independent travel have gained increasing popularity among young people due to its flexibility, but some may find difficulty making choices on food, accommodation, and transportation. The travel platform set up by Li and his partners connects tourists with tour guides that can help personalize their travel plans.
Li (first on left) and the team testing out their online travel platform in Xi'an, China
“The most exciting part of starting a business is when our team freely communicates and ideas collide. We learn from and complement one another. That is the charm of entrepreneurship," Li said.
An eye-opening trip to Israel
During his time at SIGS, Li participated in different activities to broaden his horizons. Previously, he was a participant in Tsinghua IHM's joint program with the Harvard School of Public Health and went on an exchange program to the United States. He believes that these experiences help him develop a multidimensional way of thinking, grasp new opportunties and help with personal growth.
Li was also selected for a study tour to Israel for innovation and entrepreneurship. The delegation visited high-tech companies such as Google, venture capital institutions, factories and research institutes. "The trip to Israel was eye-opening. There may be some strict traditions and customs in Israel, but their policies are able to encourage great innovation. An innovative culture is important, but systems and public policy also play a big role,” Li shared.
Li at the Google headquarters in Israel
Li (second row, fourth from right) and the basketball team
Although Li’s travel service platform will be coming to an end with the graduation of its founders, they are pursuing their dreams in different careers.
"At Tsinghua SIGS, I have gained a deep understanding of the university's motto of 'Self-Discipline and Social Commitment', as well as Shenzhen's spirit of diligence and inclusiveness.” Li believes that as long as one stays open-minded, understanding and diligent, they will eventually find their path and shine in their respective positions.
Photos provided by interviewee
Edited by Karen Lee