My Story

Hi there, my name is Yanbo Fang and I am an international student from China. Born and raised in Beijing, I was attracted by the endless opportunities that Duke could offer, so I flew across the world to Durham, NC, trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.

When I first got here, I was very interested in music, especially in writing and producing music. I took a variety of music classes – ranging from music theory, to songwriting, to singing…, joined Duke’s Small Town Records, and also released an EP (Extended Play) at the end of my first semester at Duke. Then computer science piqued my interest. I became a peer tutor and teaching assistant for several computer science courses, conducted summer research with Duke professor, and also participated in a variety of hackathons – including winning the HackDuke (Health & Wellness) in 2016. I love technology, but I gradually realized that what’s more important than technology itself is how we could utilize it to transform the society.

And that’s what leads me to entrepreneurship – my love for technology and my desire to change the world. I want to use my talent in technology to build a business that could transform the society. Fortunately, I happened to be studying in a university with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and I was excited to find out about the Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. With courses such as Strategies for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, I will get the chance to learn how to create financing and recourse structures, effectively lead and manage teams, etc. By pursuing the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate, I want to learn skills and build connections that could help with my own startup in the future. I will major in Computer Science, which would serve as a fundamental building block for my entrepreneurial journey. In addition, I plan to minor in Music, which is, and always will be, an important part of me.

During my free time, I love to make music and play basketball. I also love to travel around the world, to experience different cultures and simply get inspired. In the past, I have been to Cambodia, Singapore, UAE, Mexico and many other countries, and some of the destinations on the top of my bucket list include Iceland, Thailand and South Africa.

At times I would ask myself, have I really figured out what I want to do with my life? I know for sure about the goal I want to achieve, the impact I want to make, but I am not exactly sure how yet. Even I think that I know at one moment, it could easily change in the next moment. But just like any successful business and entrepreneurial journey, I’d like to think that I am constantly evolving and pivoting. And I am excited to see what the future holds for me.