Sir Richard Heygate shares his ideas for uniting the Chinese and UK graduate market.

The University of East Anglia recently welcomed renowned businessman and writer, Sir Richard Heygate, inventor of the first online ATM and long-time partner of McKinsey & Company, to Norwich Business School. The talk was organised by Senior Lecturer in Operations Strategy and Management, Dr. Yu Xiong, who is currently working on a national programme across the UK to help top talented Chinese students to start successful businesses, alongside Sir Richard Heygate and Sir Paul Judge’s 88 Initiative (88).

Students and staff were invited to the talk, where Sir Richard, Ivan Hoo and Yukun Zhao presented the details of 88. Sir Richard, in his presentation emphasised that it had 3 main objectives:


  • Resolving the problem of the high rejection rate and small number of successful applications for the present Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment and Visa Scheme for Chinese students who want to stay in the UK, by implementing a high quality legal scheme which would be acceptable to the Home Office and achieving a 95% plus acceptance rate (against the present 80% turn down).
  • Focusing participants on gaining extensive working experience in Western companies with strong products and management teams, rather than through risky start-ups which have a very low rate of success in the UK.
  • Selecting companies in technology and branding/retail, which have considerable potential in China, thus gaining enthusiasm amongst their management for working with young Chinese, who can use their own skills, contacts and knowledge of local culture to make substantial financial gains on their own investments.

As well as matching the Chinese entrepreneur investors to the best companies,  88 will also provide regular mentoring and networking for the scheme in partnership with top UK Venture Capitalists, successful businessmen and angels, science parks and universities, as well as Chinese industry and educational communities. Sir Richard is already mentor to existing schemes, such as the Cambridge Judge Business School Acceleration programme. The 88 workshops will be conducted by Dr. Rob Wylie, one of the UK’s most experienced venture capitalists, and founder/chairman of Wheb Partners. Dr. Wylie is also Chairman of the 88 initiative.

ImageThe talk was a great success and established a lot of conversation and intrigue around the initiative. We would like to express thanks to Sir Richard for taking the time to engage with our students and for the support of Norwich Business School, and to Dr. Yu Xiong for his continued enthusiasm and dedication to his work.. Dr Yu Xiong and Sir Richard are planning further follow up activities with the university and its senior faculty

Copies of the presentation used can be obtained from Dr. Yu Xiong.

More information on 88 can be obtained from or the web site



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