Jerry Zhu

Founder and CEO




For Jerry, cities form an integral part of who he is; his memories and life are bound in some way to the many metropolises he has lived in. 

“Every city offers a unique lesson that constantly evolves,” Jerry says. A graduate of HKUST’s MBA program, he founded SimpliCity, a consultancy in Shanghai that offers clients a range of edicational programs and activities to immerse themselves in the amazing depth and diversity Jerry’s hometown offers.

How did Jerry decide on starting SimpliCity? Appropriately enough, its genesis can be traced in his journeys through the world’s biggest urban areas, starting in Nairobi.

Looking for a break and inspiration for his life, Jerry quit his consulting job in 2013 and found himself on the other side of the world in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. With over 4 million inhabitants, Jerry was astonished Nairobi’s biggest golf course was separated from East Africa’s biggest slum by just a wall.

Dedicating his time to a NGO that worked to improve educational standards at a local school, Jerry initially found it challenging to connect with the students. It was only after he let go of his technological gadgets and began queuing for lunch with the children, Jerry was finally able to form bonds that last to this day, particularly at the school he helped fund, Tabasamu Watoto.   

At the end of his six months in Nairobi, Jerry concluded, “The deepest bonds are the ones between people, and the ties between people and their communities.”

Returning to Asia, Jerry sought opportunities to further expand his horizons, and he found HKUST’s MBA program helped him in this regard. Learning much from his gifted fellow students, Jerry was inspired and encouraged to start his own business, SimpliCity.

Founding SimpliCity in Shanghai was a natural choice for Jerry: it’s his hometown, and China’s biggest city is a diverse, thriving metropolis, the perfect stage for his start-up. SimpliCity’s first product was Magic 7, which took visitors around the Bund at 7am at a leisurely pace. When it’s this early, the usual throngs of tourists are absent; there are only old men doing Tai Chi and aunties dancing.

Today, SimpliCity offers a suite of professional consulting services and educational programs for businesses and governments that want to understand Shanghai in an immersive, experiential manner. Believing learning shouldn’t be restricted to classrooms, Jerry notes, “Cities are the best classrooms, and I’m certain my hometown’s message can resonate throughout the world.”  

Know more about Jerry and SimpliCity 

Tencent - 與城市的心相遇 (視頻)