Scripps Alumna, Rebecca Fannin, Discusses Asian Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Not only is Rebecca Fannin an internationally-esteemed journalist and author, she is also a Scripps alumna. Fannin, weekly columnist for Forbes and author of Silicon Dragon and Startup Asia, visited her alma mater on April 9 to discuss Asian innovation and entrepreneurship at Baker Theater for The Center for Entrepreneurship Speaker Series.

Upon graduating from Ohio University, Fannin moved to New York City, began work editing an international business publication and got the chance to travel to Hong Kong in 1995 where she fell in love with the city. She then started writing for Asian Inc. in China, until the “dotcom boom,” when she then received a call from Red Herring, asking her to work for them covering Asian and European technology innovation. Fannin happily accepted and successfully worked until the dotcom bubble bust in 2001. She moved to Hong Kong and began writing for Asian Venture Capital Journal. This was the point when she transformed into a journalist entrepreneur with her own brand, Silicon Dragon.

Fannin was one of the first western journalists to cover what was happening with Chinese internet entrepreneurs in China since many began moving back to the country and launching their own startups. She has interviewed some of the biggest names in the industry. In speaking to these Chinese entrepreneurs, Fannin was motivated by their stories. Her thought process at the time was “If they can do it, why can’t I do it?”

Rebecca Fannin with her latest book, "Startup Asia." Photo by

“It is important to have a lot of passion, determination and persistence, and to be a part of the community,” Fannin explained about being a successful entrepreneur. “Don’t be afraid to take risks and to try something new and fail at it. You also have to be very grass-roots. You have to be a part of what you’re writing about. Content is everything.”

With all of these qualities under her belt, Fannin created her own venture, Silicon Dragon, where she publishes two newsletters and puts on events that bring together venture capitalists. She has singlehandedly built these newsletters to 10,000 subscribers globally in three years. Fannin’s brand is based on the publication of her first book, “Silicon Dragon,” which discusses how China is winning the tech race. Her second book, “Startup Asia,” is about China’s inventions.

As a successful journalist entrepreneur, Fannin explains that imagination and creativity are the most important qualities to have. “Today is not a matter of looking for a job; it’s about creating your own future.”

She also applauded her alma mater on Monday saying,

Fannin speaking to students in Baker Theater. Photo by Matt Adams, provided by 33 Corridor.

“This school gave me a great grounding to go out and take my journalism experience I learned here and go apply that to everyday life. I applaud OU and the initiative and programs here. I’m impressed. Keep going.”