Influential Leaders

Siqi Cheng

Founder and CEO, Jingjie Environment Protection (Shanghai) Technology
Recognition Year(s): 2023
Area of Impact: Community or Social Impact
School: SILC Business School, Shanghai University
Location: China

Siqi Cheng won first prize in the Chinese Innovation and Entrepreneurship International Competition in September 2017, and he holds more than 40 patents, including four national invention patents for polymer polymerization. As an initiator and practitioner of interactive learning, Cheng is dedicated to transforming classrooms with green materials. This initiative has not only stimulated creativity but also enhanced classroom interactions between teachers and students.

Cheng founded Jingjie Environment Protection (Shanghai) Technology to produce Hipaint writing materials. The technology is a patented polymer coating that can turn classroom wall surfaces into writable whiteboards. These enviromentally friendly materials are widely used in less-developed regions of China because they helped lower costs and provide more efficient solutions for classrooms. For example, only one liter of lightweight paint is needed to cover a 5-square-meter whiteboard, and the total cost—materials plus shipping—is one-tenth the cost of a whiteboard itself.

The prevalence of these more cost-effective writing walls has enabled children living in remote, mountainous areas to have the same educational opportunities as children living in more populated areas. To reach even more schools, Cheng’s company has partnered with the Adream Foundation, a nationally renowned public fundraising foundation dedicated to improving educational equity. Together, as the Hope Project, the team is actively promoting and renovating rural-area elementary schools. The project has transformed over 500 primary schools since 2015 and enabled over 500,000 students in economically underdeveloped areas to utilize writing walls in their classrooms. The project plan calls for a total of 1,000 schools to ultimately be renovated, allowing more than 1 million students living in remote areas equal access to educational resources.

While studying at the SILC Business School, Cheng was deeply involved and enthusiastically participated in several competitions on the theme of interactive classrooms. He values the theorectical knowledge he garnered, along with the holistic educational support SILC Business School provided. Cheng applies these theories in his day-to-day company operations as well as in his business management. He also implements theoretical and applied economics to predict the prospects for industrial growth in the context of the current economic situation. The entrepreneurial spirit he possesses has helped innovate in the industry and influence the people around him.

After graduation, Cheng started his business and dedicated himself to distributing his products throughout the education sector, especially in areas with relatively weak basic education infrastructures. Cheng couples his awareness of environmental and social responsibilities with his extensive knowledge of business theory, innovative business concepts, and a highly responsible entrepreneurial spirit for the betterment of society.

Over the years, Cheng has been closely associated with the school as one of its distinguished alumni and continues to contribute to the school’s development. In 2018, he donated an entire set of teaching tools, including tables, chairs, computers, projectors, and other basic equipment, and he serves as a career mentor for the SILC Business School, advising one to two students each year, leading them in translating thir textbook learnings into specific career-building skills.

In the last five years, Cheng has also provided scholarships to students with business leadership potential, financially supporting them through completion of their studies. He has similarly given comprehensive guidance to students on how to start a business or win entrepreneurship-related competitions. Through his involvement in a number of initiatives, Cheng has helped the school cultivate the future business leaders of tomorrow. He has inspired many students, some of whom have become mid- and high-level business executives or, like Cheng, started their own successful businesses after graduation.