.CO’s Icons & Innovators Series Chats with Jennifer Yang

Who is Jennifer Yang?
My name is Jennifer Yang, and I am a serial entrepreneur. I am the founder of Co.media and Grit Founder. Co.media serves Chinese companies seeking to enter the overseas market and American companies trying to reach the Chinese market by providing a one-stop service including marketing research, brand localization, media exposure, promotion channel establishment and sales channels establishment. Grit Founder is a platform bringing together cross-border entrepreneurs in China and the United States through online and offline events. Before starting my own businesses, I had been working in cross-border marketing for six years. I once developed and executed the marketing plans targeting China market for iRobot, Rethink Robotics and many other high-tech companies. We have team members from both China and the United States, who have worked for 4A advertising companies, Big Four consulting firms, Fortune 500 companies and domestic listed international brands.
What inspired or motivated you to start your business venture?
First of all, I started Co.media, which is a cross-border marketing consulting company, because I believed that I would be more passionate about starting a business in a field that I am familiar with, and I could also avoid many detours. Moreover, since China is changing rapidly under globalization, and Chinese companies are in serious need of brand building, we hoped to help Chinese brands step onto the global stage and expand to the world market by making a good use of our experience in the United States. At the same time, we also hope to build a P2P communication platform for cross-border entrepreneurs. With Grit Founder, entrepreneurs in China and the U.S. can get entrepreneurial training services, and get to know more like-minded friends.
Why .CO?
Actually, we have an interesting connection with .CO domain, since one of our brands is called Co.media. Our understanding of “CO” is very similar. We think “CO” stands for courage, connect, collaborate, and is short for “company”, all of which are indispensable for a startup company. The job I am doing every day is what I like and what I am good at. It is my passion that pushes me forward project by project and reminds me to reflect and progress further. I hope to pass on this kind of passion and tell startups, entrepreneurs, and innovators to do their favorite things.
What are you most proud of in your startup journey?
At the very beginning of my startup journey, many things made me feel proud, and my team is at the top of the list. In the early stage of our startup, a passionate, energetic and united team is what we needed most. But back then I was able to gather such a great team with experience in different fields. At the same time, they firmly hold the value and vision of our business, which made me feel grateful and proud.
What was your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur? How did you overcome it? What was the lesson learned?
The hardest time for our business would be the very beginning when we were brand new and quite small in size. We were in urgent need to increase the awareness of our business. Since I am not an extrovert, my first challenge was to step beyond my comfort zone and encourage myself to walk out and talk to people. My team and I tried hard to overcome our weak points, for example, if someone is not good at public speaking, we will deliberately participate in those public speaking events.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking about starting their own business?
I think for every person who starts a business, the most important thing is to believe that nothing is impossible. Trust yourself, and believe that you can make your dreams come true. It is significant to maintain a sincere attitude and keep focused. You must be practical, earnest and down-to-earth while dreaming big. Accumulate your experience and resources step by step, and aim for perfect execution.
Did you face any unique challenges as a woman starting a business or leading a team?
The community of female entrepreneurs and career women is growing around the world. Women today are open-minded, and they are eager to express their ideas and fight for their dreams. In fact, women have their advantages at work. They are perceptive and attentive, which helps to manage a company better. However, the family is still regarded as the main “social responsibility” for women, and there are many other more social factors hindering women’s career development. There are many female communities as well as female entrepreneur networks today. It would be a great help for female entrepreneurs to communicate with each other and exchange ideas.