Rich Robinson is the Founding Partner of Whip Wham which helps startups build, scale-ups grow and organizations innovate. A sought after keynote speaker, he teaches at China’s top universities: Peking University’s Guanghua Int’l MBA program, where he teaches entrepreneurship in China, and at Tsinghua University’s BI-Tsinghua joint program, where he teaches ‘pracademics’ to senior execs, and Alibaba University, where he teaches The Spirit of Entrepreneurship.
Previously Rich was a senior exec at 3 consecutive companies from private entities through to their listings, then went on to start 5 companies: 3 exited to publicly listed companies and 2 landed squarely in the ‘L’ column. He has also been in “the war room” with dozens of other organizations as an investor, board member, advisor or mentor (HAX, Orbit Startups and 500 Global).
His entrepreneurial journey in China has been profiled in the New York Times, CNBC and China Daily.
Active in the geek-o-system across Asia and globally as startup advisor, mentor and angel, Richard speaks frequently at tech conferences globally as a keynote presenter, panelist and event MC (MC at TechCrunch Beijing, MC at GMIC Beijing and Silicon Valley, MC at Web Summit Dublin, MC at Rise Hong Kong and MC at Startup Asia Singapore and Jakarta). Richard was most recently Co-founder and President of venture backed Yolu which he co-founded with the co-founder of NYSE-listed renren.
He was also Co-founder and Chairman of venture-backed Kooky Panda; co-founder of Shouji Mobile acquired by Tencent (HKSE:0.700HK); co-founder and CEO of Dada Asia which was acquired by Milan-listed Dada; VP of Int’l for Linktone (NASDAQ:LTON); founder and CEO of MIG which was acquired by Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU); and a founding executive as VP of Marketing and Sales for renren.com (1.0) which raised $37 mln, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2000 and was then acquired in 2001. Richard is the co-founder of the first Beijing Chapter for EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization).
To exercise his creative muse, Richard writes children’s books with all proceeds going to charities through his non-profit Creatribute which has raised hundreds of thousands of RMB to date. And for nearly 20 years, he’s been producing and performing ChopSchticks stand-up comedy shows for expats across China / Asia. Richard opened for Louis C.K. at a 325 year-old Peking Opera theatre in Beijing in 2012. ChopSchticks has also featured Russell Peters, Marc Maron, Jim Gaffigan, The Second City, etc. and has given sore abdominal muscles to tens of thousands of attendees across China and Asia since 1998.
After graduating from college in ’89 and before getting his MBA in ’94 Richard was a wild-eyed backpacker who worked his way around the world as a bartender in the Virgin Islands; a concierge/ski bum in a Swiss hotel; an English teacher in post-revolution Prague; a house painter in Norway; a grape picker in France; and a BMW factory worker in Munich. In 1993, Richard first came to China overland from Switzerland via hitchhiking and through the trans- Siberian railway. He rode a 1942 Harley-Davidson through Vietnam’s Mekong Delta in ’94 and did a 4,000km solo bicycle trip through Africa from Nairobi to Capetown in ’96 Richard received an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in The Netherlands in 1996, studied at Cambridge University in the UK in 1988 and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1989. A perpetual student of Mandarin Chinese, Richard also has an amazing entrepreneur wife and three children all Made in China.