Past Event

The Fifth Columbia Entrepreneurship Panel

March 24, 2018
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Columbia Global Centers | Beijing

Entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ability are important factors for a vibrant market and business sustainability. To learn about and nurture entrepreneurial spirit can help entrepreneurs achieve their full creative and innovative potential in business. Moreover,  it is critically valuable for entrepreneurs to cultivate and expand an entrepreneurial mindset to recognize opportunities and embrace challenges, to effectively and efficiently manage a business facing the increasingly fierce competition, risks and uncertainty in an ever-changing market in the twenty-first century. 

On March 24, Columbia Global Centers | Beijing will hold the fifth Columbia Entrepreneurship Panel, inviting four Columbia College graduates who are also entrepreneurs to discuss how their college education in Columbia has cultivated their habits of mind and affected their career paths, as well as their understanding of spirit of innovation and how to develop entrepreneurial thinking. The panelists include: Gavin Newton-Tanzer (CC '11), co-founder and president of Sunrise International; David Tan (CC '98), co-founder of Roboterra; Sam Waldo (CC '10), co-founder and CEO of Mantra; David Zhu (CC '12), founder & CEO of WonderCV. Alex Chen (CC '16) will be the moderator of this panel. 

The Columbia Entrepreneurship Panel Series is launched by Columbia Global Centers | Beijing and has been successfully hosted in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen featuring 22 alumni entrepreneurs, investors, and venture capitalists. This thematic program invites Columbia alumni who have become successful entrepreneurs to contribute their knowledge and insights on innovation, entrepreneurship, technology, commerce, and economics. It aims to build a dynamic circle facilitating interaction and opportunities among Columbia alumni and students for resource sharing and to help them achieve their career goals.

The Panel Series is currently looking for Columbia alumni who would like to contribute to their insights and experiences. If you have recommendation regarding the panelist candidates, please contact us.


Gavin Newton-Tanzer

Gavin Newton-Tanzer (CC '11) is co-founder and president of Sunrise International. Sunrise offers the very best in experiential education and media to tens of thousands of youth and professionals, as well as provide full cross border digital, event, and marketing support for hundreds of organizations seeking to better engage the Chinese market. For more information, please visit:

During college, Gavin founded the non-profit organization Global China Connection to bring together the next generation of US-China leaders, presenting in hundreds of schools across China and the US, and managing international youth programs including for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 Shanghai Expo. Gavin received his B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University, and has been a visiting fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. An accomplished jazz pianist, Gavin is an avid reader and passionate about foreign languages.

David Tan

David Tan (CC '98) is currently co-founder of Roboterra (萝卜太辣), a leading education robotics startups in China’s fast growing STEM education market. Roboterra’s unique hardware, software and content solution is currently in use by over a thousand K-12 schools China wide and a growing number of after-school organizers (培训机构). Prior to Roboterra, David worked nearly 10 years in the China internet space, including holding executive roles at Alibaba and for various startups including 敦煌网, 帮我买 and 微信路况.

Gavin Newton-Tanzer

Sam Waldo (CC '10), or 魏文杰, is from Houston, Texas. He graduated from Columbia University in New York and has lived in China since 2010. Sam spent two years a volunteer teacher in a small village in rural Yunnan province. Since then, he has helped establish and grow the nonprofit Education in Sight to provide free vision care to students in the Chinese countryside. To date they have donated over 20,000 pairs of glasses to children in Yunnan. Most recently, Sam is the co-founder of Mantra, an e-commerce sunglasses brand based in Beijing that gives prescription glasses to one needy student for every pair sold. Mantra wants to change the way people shop in China, and its mission is “Look Good, Do Good”.

David Zhu

David Zhu (CC '12) is the Founder & CEO of WonderCV, an online career center that aims to bridge the gap between college education and career development. Since its launch 5 months ago, WonderCV has attracted over 100,000 users across 41 countries and provided 1-on-1 career services to over 1,000 candidates with a 97% placement rate.

David started his career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, and later joined Affinity Equity Partners (formerly UBS Capital Asia), a $3.9 billion PE fund. David is also a founding partner at Younker Capital, where he led the investment in

David is a founding trustee of Global China Connection, a non-profit organization connecting 60+ universities worldwide to opportunities in China. In 2006, David co-founded of Heart2Heart Canadian Youth Society, a student-run charity that has raised over $1.1 million Canadian dollars over the past 12 years to fund education facilities in rural China. David is a TEDx speaker, a mentor to Tsinghua University’s Career Coaching Program, and an op-ed writer for LinkedIn. He plays several musical instruments and enjoys producing hip-hop music at home. David graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Columbia University.

Alex Chen

Alex Chen (CC '16) currently works as a management consultant at Bain & Company. Before that, Alex co-founded virtual fitness trainer service "Pocket Fitness Camp" and college application consultancy "Wuyan." Alex received his B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University.



1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 


2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion

3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Special Notice
  • The event will be conducted in Chinese.

  • Due to limited seats, registration will be verified through the QR code of confirmation. Please present the QR code at the entrance. 

  • Please plan to arrive no earlier than the registration time and no later than 20 minutes after the end of registration period.

  • If you are unable to attend the event, please inform us in advance. 

  • If you have any questions, please leave us a message below or email to [email protected]