Grace Tien, *20

Global Disruptors: Startups, Entrepreneurs, and Investors in the Age of Technocapitalism

Grace completed her PhD in sociology at Princeton on an accelerated track with the Dean's Completion Fellowship and is currently a postdoctoral scholar and a research affiliate of Princeton's Center on Contemporary China.

While her early research examined the impact of cultural and religious ethics on business management practices in China, her dissertation research examined the emergence of new business and organizational forms—tech startups—at the nexus between the West and China and how these early stage firms and entrepreneurial actors must navigate both intersecting contexts as well as locale-specific challenges, such as regulatory constraints, in China.

Grace employs mixed methods in her research, using a combination of ethnography, interview, survey data, and text analysis. She has conducted fieldwork research between the States and China since 2012 and has worked in a number of contexts for research purposes, including as HR and marketing director for a fintech/blockchain startup, an impact investor, and as a consultant and advisor to startup founders and CEOs across a range of industries. In her next project, Grace examines how entrepreneurship can (or cannot) address issues of inequality and poverty in the inner city and rural America, with a focus on POC/female small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Prior to her time at Princeton, Grace studied politics and economics at Wellesley College and taught in inner city Baltimore through the Teach For America program.

The American Sociological Association recently awarded Grace the 2020 best student paper prize in economic sociology and entrepreneurship.

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