Join Top Scholars at Silk Road Conference on July 30

By Jocelyn Richards, July 18, 2016

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Seeking a fresh perspective? Want to connect with like-minded individuals and top international scholars right here in Guangzhou? Join Ignite Academy’s next conference and reception on Saturday, July 30, entitled: ‘Innovation, Past & Present: Weaving a New Silk Road,’ at Aloft Guangzhou Tianhe.

The event, which begins at 3pm, will feature a panel of Chinese venture capitalists, foreign entrepreneurs and experts from the world’s top universities, who will engage in an interdisciplinary conversation about innovation and leadership in China. An audience Q&A will conclude the discussion, followed by a champagne networking reception from 5-6pm and buffet dinner from 6-9pm.


Dialogue will focus on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched in 2015, which aims to connect the Eurasian continent through investments, infrastructure-building and people-to-people links. Today, with the convenience of e-commerce, cross-border exchange is no longer confined to exotic textiles and home appliances, but also extends to intellectual capital. This exchange of intellectual capital will help power innovation on the 21st century Silk Road.

To register for the conference, simply scan the QR code below, which links directly to Ignite Academy’s official WeChat (igniteacademy). Cost of admission is RMB200 and includes entry to the conference, champagne networking reception and buffet dinner. If you have any questions and need English service, contact event organizer Nancy Xie (WeChat ID: xieyinan13).


For a detailed background of each participating panelist, please refer to the speaker bios below:

He Ju

He Ju is the founder and chairman of Angels Canton, an angel investment fund in Guangzhou. He has worked on developing GPS tracking systems since 2001, and founded Guangdong Hua Ye Long Tu, Inc. in 2005. 

His company became the primary data supplier and partner for Google Maps in the China region. In 2011, He left Hua Ye to become an angel investor and subsequently founded Angels Canton in 2012.

Rachel Leng

Leng graduated with an MA in regional studies, East Asia from Harvard University, and a BA with double distinction and highest honors in public policy studies, Asian studies and economics from Duke University.

At Harvard, she was the recipient of a Harvard GSAS Merit Fellowship and was named a 2015 graduation commencement marshal. She was also a 2014-2015 intellectual/cultural fellow at Dudley House, editor-in-chief at the Harvard Asia Quarterly and president of the Harvard East Asia Society (HEAS).

Leng’s Harvard MA dissertation received an honorable mention for the 2015 Joseph Fletcher Memorial Award. At Duke, she wrote two senior honors theses, which won the Robert P. Durden and Aptman prizes for excellence in research. For her work, Leng was an honoree of Yale University's China Hands ‘25-Under-25 Rising Stars in China-U.S. Relations’ in 2013, and has been invited to prestigious delegations such as Harvard's IMUSE and Stanford's FACES conferences.

Leng is currently a research associate at the Asian Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul. She is also a former Miss Singapore 2013 titleholder.

Kheng Swe Lim

Kheng Swe Lim is a PhD candidate at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University, UK. Previously, he worked as a research analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He also holds a bachelor's in foreign service from Georgetown and a master's in regional studies East Asia from Harvard. He mainly specializes in Sino-Southeast Asian political and economic relations.

Sam Lipoff

Lipoff is a doctoral student at Harvard Business School in the Technology and Operations Management unit. His research focuses on product design and innovation, particularly in East Asia. Sam has studied at Harvard University, Cambridge University and MIT. He has taught undergraduates at Harvard and MIT, MBA students at Harvard Business School and executives in China. 

Lipoff has received Fulbright, NSF and DHS Fellowships, has been a co-founder of two venture-backed technology startups, provided technical advice to private equity and venture capital firms on scientific subjects and served as an expert witness on consumer electronics for patent litigation. 

He has published several papers in chemistry, physics, and electrical engineering, and holds US Utility Patent #7,110,118. Sam serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Future Problem Solving Program and the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations.

Nicolas Santo

Santo is the co-founder of Champions International Camps (CIC) Asia, a franchise of Italian football training camps run by former football champions. Prior to CIC, he was the first foreign professional to work directly under the Chinese government as the manager of the Foshan Bureau of Commerce international team. The Financial Times described him as “the face of a new generation of foreigners helping to build a better China.” Nicolas was a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School's East Asian Legal Studies Department, where he focused his studies on China-Latin American economic relations. He holds a law degree from the Universidad de Montevideo School of Law and an LL.M in Chinese law from Tsinghua University.

Sat Jul 30, 3-6pm; RMB200 (includes entry to conference, champagne networking reception and buffet dinner). Pay via WeChat (xieyinan13 for English service, igniteacademy for Chinese). 2/F, Aloft Guangzhou Tianhe, 365 Tianhe Bei Lu, Tianhe District 天河区天河北路365号,广州天河雅乐轩酒店2楼 (3802 8888)

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