Suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man gives back to the com­mu­nity BIO

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By QI­DONG ZHANG in San Fran­cisco kel­lyzhang@chi­nadai­

In 1986, af­ter work­ing 12 years at US-based IBM in ad­vanced re­search of mass stor­age sys­tems and tech­nol­ogy, Ta-lin Hsu quit.

Many people “dropped glasses to the floor,” when he quit the “golden bowl”, Hsu said. But it may have been one of his most im­por­tant — and for­tu­itous — de­ci­sions.

The holder of a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in physics, a mas­ter’s de­gree in elec­tro physics and a doc­tor­ate in elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing, didn’t turn to sci­ence or en­gi­neer­ing. He went into ven­ture cap­i­tal­ism and formed H&QAP.

“When I wit­nessed the ven­ture cap­i­tal­ism model prac­ticed in Sil­i­con Val­ley, I thought it’d be a great model to bring to Tai­wan and Asia. I then be­came one of the ear­li­est people who brought the ven­ture cap­i­tal idea to Asia,” Hsu said. “It was so new at that mo­ment that I re­mem­ber my mom kept ask­ing me, ‘Do you have a salary? How can you live with­out a salary?’”

H&QAP man­ages more than $2.7 bil­lion in cap­i­tal and has in­vested in more than 400 com­pa­nies. Its Asi­aPa­cific di­vi­sion is rec­og­nized as a pioneer in Asian ven­ture cap­i­tal and pri­vate eq­uity, bring­ing “Sil­i­con Val­ley” style ven­ture cap­i­tal first to Tai­wan, the Philip­pines, Malaysia, In­done­sia and Thai­land, and later to China in 1993, jointly man­aged with the Bank of China.

Named one of the top fi­nanciers in Asia’s Busi­ness Week’s “Stars of Asia’ in 2007, and ranked as the 15th top ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist by Forbes Mi­das List that same year, Hsu said he now finds his most re­ward­ing task is giv­ing back to so­ci­ety.

“I re­ally feel re­warded when I am en­gaged in ef­forts of giv­ing back to so­ci­ety,” said Hsu. “Many Chi­nese come to Amer­ica, live in good neigh­bor­hood, send kids to pri­vate school, and ab­sorb the best re­source from this coun­try and so­ci­ety. What we need to think more about is giv­ing back to so­ci­ety and par­tic­i­pat­ing in the progress of the so­ci­ety.”

That ef­fort is re­flected his 30-yearplus de­vo­tion to lo­cal Chi­nese com­mu­nity ser­vices.

Hsu is the founder of Give2Asia, a US-based so­cial en­ter­prise that has served as a cat­a­lyst for phil­an­thropic in­vest­ment in Asia since 2001. The or­ga­ni­za­tion made $12 mil­lion in grants to China in 2013, 41 per­cent of its to­tal grants for the year.

Hsu said the funds were made to sup­port lo­cal Chi­nese or­ga­ni­za­tions and lo­cal so­cial needs in ed­u­ca­tion, pub­lic health, poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, as­sis­tance for the dis­abled, pro­mo­tion and preser­va­tion of tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture, dis­as­ter re­lief, build­ing for non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, and in­vest­ment on in­no­va­tive projects.

The San Fran­cisco-based foun­da­tion has raised a to­tal of $237 mil­lion in gifts and do­na­tions from 15,000 cor­po­ra­tions, foun­da­tions, and in­di­vid­ual donors, sup­port­ing projects of 1,500 com­mu­nity part­ners in 24 Asian coun­tries since be­ing founded.

“The world is chang­ing so quickly. Twenty years ago Asia was there to re­ceive aid. To­day, the eco­nomic mir­a­cle in China and Asia might mean giv­ing from Asia,” said Hsu. “The most im­por­tant part is that we help each other to live in a world with­out dis­ease, poverty and hunger. We need to make a dif­fer­ence to the world and do what­ever we can to help out.”

When the Wenchuan earthquake oc­curred in Sichuan prov­ince on May 12, 2008, more than 87,000 people were killed, in­clud­ing thou­sands of stu­dents; 5.5 mil­lion were left home­less and forced to live in tem­po­rary com­mu­ni­ties.

Give2Asia was part of the res­cue ef­fort. The or­ga­ni­za­tion raised $16.6 mil­lion within 24 months from part­ners and donors and $15.9 mil­lion was granted to China.

On Feb 14, the or­ga­ni­za­tion an­nounced a part­ner­ship with the China So­cial En­tre­pre­neur Foun­da­tion, also known as YouChange, to set up the YouChange-Give2Asia Spe­cial Fund in China.

“Set­ting up the YouChangeGive2Asia Spe­cial Fund in China is an im­por­tant step for Give2Asia and for the ser­vices we pro­vide in the re­gion. It en­ables us to di­rectly work with clients in China to sup­port phil­an­thropic pro­grams and or­ga­ni­za­tions,” said Hsu. “We are also able to pro­vide ad­vi­sory ser­vices and first-class stew­ard­ship for clients in China to help them deliver ef­fec­tive and ex­cel­lent phil­an­thropic pro­grams.”

The spe­cial fund will pro­vide Give2Asia a plat­form for rais­ing funds and man­ag­ing lo­cal giv­ing pro­grams for in­ter­na­tional cor­po­rate donors in China who wish to en­gage their lo­cal of­fices and em­ploy­ees in China in taxd­e­ductible giv­ing that sup­ports Chi­nese or­ga­ni­za­tions and phil­an­thropic pro­grams. The new part­ner­ship will al­low Give2Asia to fur­ther sup­port so­cial in­no­va­tions and so­lu­tions that ad­dress lo­cal com­mu­nity needs.

Ac­cord­ing to Wang Ping, chair­per­son of the YouChange Foun­da­tion board, work­ing with Give2Asia “brings to YouChange a new plat­form for in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion that im­proves and pro­motes char­i­ta­ble giv­ing in Asia and in the United States”.

Hsu’s most im­por­tant lead­er­ship roles are serv­ing as the found­ing mem­ber of the Monte Jade Sci­ence & Tech­nol­ogy or­ga­ni­za­tion, the pre­mier non-profit that pro­motes busi­ness and re­la­tions, as a mem­ber of the Com­mit­tee of 100 and rep­re­sent­ing H&Q Asia Pa­cific at the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum in Davos, Switzer­land.

Hsu also has fo­cused on help­ing Chi­nese Amer­i­cans and Asian Amer­i­cans


Born: 1943

I re­ally feel re­warded when I am en­gaged in ef­forts of giv­ing back to so­ci­ety” TA-LIN HSU CHAIR­MAN, GIVE2ASIA

• MS, Polytech­nic In­sti­tute of

New York Univer­sity • BS, Na­tional Tai­wan Univer­sity • PhD, Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia

Berke­ley • Chair­man, Give2Asia (2009 –

Present) • In­de­pen­dent Di­rec­tor, Mem­ber of Au­dit Com­mit­tee and Mem­ber of Com­pen­sa­tion Com­mit­tee , Ad­vanced Semi­con­duc­tor En­gi­neer­ing Inc.(2009 – Present) • For­mer Di­rec­tor, Mem­ber of Au­dit Com­mit­tee and Mem­ber of Ex­ec­u­tive Com­pen­sa­tion Com­mit­tee, Marvell Tech­nol­ogy Group Ltd. (2009 – 2012) • For­mer In­de­pen­dent NonEx­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Chair­man of Com­pen­sa­tion Com­mit­tee and Di­rec­tor of Smic Bei­jing, Semi­con­duc­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ing In­ter­na­tional Corp. (20012008) • Gen­eral Part­ner, Ham­brecht &

Quist Group (1985) • Founder, H&Q Asia Pa­cific (1986) par­tic­i­pate in lo­cal pol­i­tics.

“Cal­i­for­nia Con­gress­man Mike Honda, Con­gress­woman Judy Chu, for in­stance, were fully sup­ported by an or­ga­ni­za­tion that me and my friends founded to­gether named Asian Amer­i­can for Good Govern­ment (AAGG),” he said. “Mike was a mid­dle school teacher be­fore he ran for pub­lic of­fice and is a typ­i­cal suc­cess of what can be done when good lo­cal sup­port is given.”

An­other or­ga­ni­za­tion that Hsu co-founded with friends in 1998 is “Vi­sion New Amer­ica,” which ini­ti­ated the Youth Lead­er­ship & Civic En­gage­ment (YLCE) pro­gram that has sup­ported hun­dreds of stu­dents in youth em­pow­er­ment, lead­er­ship and civic en­gage­ment.

“We have sent over 1,000 high school stu­dents to var­i­ous govern­ment in­tern­ships in the past 16 years. The or­ga­ni­za­tion en­cour­ages in­ter­ested stu­dents to ap­ply through the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Af­ter qual­i­fy­ing, they are in­tro­duced to var­i­ous in­tern­ships at of­fices of mem­bers of Congress, the mayor or city coun­cil­men,” said Hsu.

Defin­ing him­self as “a sci­en­tist at heart,” Hsu grew up in Tai­wan and re­ceived his bach­e­lor’s de­gree in physics from Na­tional Tai­wan Univer­sity. Af­ter get­ting his mas­ter’s de­gree in elec­tro physics from the Polytech­nic In­sti­tute of Brook­lyn and a doc­tor­ate in elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing at Berke­ley in 1966, he then joined IBM.

“While the ear­li­est known Chi­nese Amer­i­cans be­came no­table schol­ars in Amer­i­cans uni­ver­si­ties, such as Chang-lin Tien — chan­cel­lor of the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, 1990-1997, and the first Asian to head a ma­jor U.S univer­sity — and Shi­ingShen Ch­ern — re­garded as one of the leading math­e­ma­ti­cians of the 20th century — the most no­table ca­reers in 1970s were work­ing for large cor­po­ra­tions such as Bell Lab, IBM, Phillips, In­tel or Hewlett Packard re­search,” Hsu said.

“Later, in the1980s and 1990s, the trend was to join smaller com­pa­nies where you prac­tice ‘one kick for all tasks’ to pos­si­bly start up your own com­pany. Now the fash­ion is to start your com­pany when you are in col­lege, some kids even start up in high school.”

Not­ing the speed at which Sil­i­con Val­ley changes, Hsu still re­mem­bers the “re­frig­er­a­tor size hard disc server” at IBM which only stored six gi­ga­bytes, com­pared to to­day’s 1,000 gi­ga­byte mem­o­ries stored on an In­ter­net server.

Hsu, who lives in the Ather­ton area of San Fran­cisco Bay, at­tributes Sil­i­con Val­ley’s suc­cess to its in­no­va­tion and global high-tech tal­ents.

“Many times people ‘pre­dict’ that Sil­i­con Val­ley would not sus­tain its leg­end, but sev­eral decades have passed, it is still ‘hold­ing ox ear’ af­ter the dot com crash and fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Prob­a­bly it’s be­cause we have high-tech tal­ents from China, In­dia, Rus­sia, Europe, Korea and many other coun­tries, nowhere in the world is there such a global in­flu­ence and re­sources like here. Most of all, no­body looks down on fail­ure, ev­ery­one dares to think out­side the box, and ev­ery­body dares to try new things,” he said.

Hav­ing wit­nessed Chi­nese com­pa­nies re­cently com­ing to Sil­i­con Val­ley to start up re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ters, Hsu is op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture.

“We will see re­sults in 10 to 20 years from now that the in­no­va­tion spirit will be spread all over China, and more tal­ents will come across borders, which will fur­ther de­velop Sil­i­con Val­ley into a global in­no­va­tion cen­ter,” said Hsu.

It was Mi­crosoft Corp founder Bill Gates who in­spired Hsu when he an­nounced in 2004 that he would do­nate a large por­tion of his wealth to char­ity.

“I was re­ally in­spired by him, and touched by the so­cial ef­fort that fol­lowed af­ter­wards when many wealthy people took him as role model and do­nated per­sonal wealth to char­ity,’’ Hsu said.

“What I also no­ticed was that Bill man­ages his char­ity uti­liz­ing a cor­po­rate man­age­ment method to en­sure the ben­e­fit of giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety. And I would like Give2Asia to fol­low that ex­am­ple.”


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