Bartiromo: Are entrepreneur born or made? Our next guest tells a remarkable story of innovation. She remade her own life from a difficult youth in Mao's China to become an American technology pioneer Geomagic CEO Ping Fu is the author of the memoir Bend, Not Break. Ping, great to have you on the program. Thank you so much for joining us.
Fu: So pleased to be here Maria.
Bartiromo: The memoir is absolutely a page-turner and we were so looking forward to have you. It's been quite a journey for you -- beginning at when you were sent to a labor camp at age 8 where you care for your young sister and suffer from significant abuse. Tell us about what it is like during China's Cultural Revolution, children being taken from their parents to be reeducated. Can you bring us into that a bit?
Fu: Yeah. It started in 1966 when Mao said that we didn't need academic education. We need to learn from farmers, workers, and soldiers. So, all of us in the school age didn't go to school. The country turned into chaos. Red Guards, which are teenagers, are going house to house, ripping your things apart, beating people, killing people, just complete chaos.
Bartiromo: How did you get away from that? When, if you did reunite with family, what happened in terms of reuniting with your parents?
Fu: My father was away for 12 years. He only came back when I went to college after Cultural Revolution was over. My mom came back when I was 13. It was a rather difficult reunion because she was tortured and not in a good mode and I was just coming into teenage-hood and I just learned how to be independent. I didn't get along with her very much at that time.
Bartiromo: When you said you went to college. That was a huge thing. How did you get away? What led you to college?
Fu: After Cultural Revolution ended, China reopened universities. For 10 years demand there was no university. I passed exam to get into college. I was known to be the girl who never turned the lights off. But I didn't have the choice on what to study. I wanted to be an astronaut, I ended up studying Chinese literature.
Bartiromo: How fascinating. I guess the key question here is how did this life change you? What can you tell us in terms of the impacts this had and how it turned you into an entrepreneur?
Fu: Ironically, much of the skill set that I learned had this particular life journey prepared me to be an entrepreneur. For example, I have over-developed the skill of self-learning, dealing with difficulties, problem solving, the power of endurance, and also adaptability to change. Those are all the characteristics needed for being an entrepreneur.
[More discussions on Geomagic and its technology.]