Entrepreneur He Feng '03 Co-Founds Popular Crowd-Funding Website in China

China Daily: His stock in trade: creative juices

He Feng runs a website that seeks funding for talented people's projects.

Studying at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, He Feng, 18, learned about the importance of self-expression, something that has become an asset in his career.

He, now 34, is the co-founder of demohour.com, a crowd-funding website in China. He and three others set it up last year, inspired by Kickstarter, said to be the world's largest funding website for creative projects, set up in 2009.

"In the U.S., Kickstarter has developed well in recent years, so I thought we could set up a similar website for people who have creative projects," He says.

Demohour.com shows off the videos of creative people and their projects as a way of attracting funding support. In return, the designer/director who launches the project gives products or opera tickets to donors based on the amount they give. Once the project has reached its funding target, demohour.com takes 10 percent.

He says that 70 of the 150 programs placed on demohour.com, which was set up 11 months ago, have succeeded in raising funds, and the rest are still taking in money.

Programs placed on demohour.com cover industrial design, travel, film, music, photography, technology and publishing. One of the most successful fund-raisers, a book publishing project that finished in mid-May, drew 340,000 yuan ($53,389, 42,275 euros).

Every day, He says, the site receives about 10,000 hits, an increase of 20-30 percent in two months.

He, who studied overseas for seven years, says that his support for self-expression drove him to set up such a website.

"Creation is the way people try to express themselves. That's something in short supply in China because Chinese are poor at expressing themselves.

"When I studied in the U.S., I was encouraged to express myself, something that is all too rare for people here."

Expressing oneself is critical, he says, and he hopes that the website can help those who have creative ideas to fulfill their dreams... more

Originally from China, He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College in 2003 with a double major in mathematics and computer science. He then returned to Beijing, where he worked for Boston Consulting Group and Lenovo China. He earned an MBA from Stanford University in 2009.