In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each honoree in detail here on the blog. This year’s distinguished alumna in the Social and Behavioral Sciences category is Ruby Lu ’94, economics, co-founder of the venture capital firm DCM China.
Ruby Lu is one of the earliest investors in her home country’s technology sector. Part of that pioneering spirit comes from the education she received at UMBC, and she cites several professors as influences throughout her undergraduate career, including her nominator, Dr. David Mitch. “Professor Mitch took a personal interest in my development throughout my years in UMBC,” she says. “Seeing how much he enjoyed books really inspired my love for them.” She also says that Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, then in the earliest days of his presidency, “was and is way ahead of his time in terms of investing our university in innovation…It is common wisdom now that Silicon Valley is successful. However, our president was leading us in that endeavor back in the early ’90s when I was a student.” After graduating, Lu pursued a master’s degree in international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and in 2005, she co-founded the Beijing-based venture firm DCM China. Her investment in China’s e-commerce, software, and healthcare industries has helped to grow companies and create over 300,000 skilled jobs. She says her proudest achievements are “building a leading venture capital firm before venture capitalism became a thriving industry in China,” as well as being a part of that industry’s development. She is currently working to establish a cross-border tech fund to focus on artificial intelligence and applying data science to healthcare.