Run the World
Because now is the time for a better virtual meeting
Xiaoyin Qu launched her company eight months before the Covid-19 pandemic forced widespread stay-at-hom orders in the U.S. – and for her startup, that may just have been perfect timing. Along with co-founder and CTO Xuan Jiang, Qu created Mountain View, California-based virtual event platform Run the World in July 2019.
The idea was inspired by Qu’s mother, a China-based doctor who obtained a visa to attend her first-ever international medical conference last year--after 35 years of practicing medicine. “It shouldn’t take 35 years of being a doctor to access that kind of networking,” thought Qu, a former product manager at Facebook and Instagram. One year into Stanford University’s MBA program, Qu dropped out to launch Run the World.
By February, Run the World had 10 employees and $4.3 million in seed funding, largely from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Those figures have since exploded: Run the World now has 50 employees and raised nearly $11 million in May. The company has so far hosted events with attendees, speakers, and organizers from 110 different countries.
Qu credits her team’s deliberate approach to iteration, which is designed to prevent knee-jerk reactions to customer feedback. “Customer needs change all the time,” she says. “Instead of just listening to customer requests, ask them, ‘Why do you want what you want?’” – Cameron Albert-Deitch