Derek Capo was living the high life. He was in his early 20s, an analyst at hedge fund Everest Capital monitoring international equities, and soaking up the weather and nightlife of his hometown of Miami.
But looking ahead, as he'd been trained to do, Capo didn't like what he saw. The housing bust was starting to strangle the Florida economy, the stock market was looking increasingly erratic and he didn't want to pursue a pricey MBA in the middle of an economic crisis.
He also wanted to test his entrepreneurial muscles, by starting his own business, ideally in a locale that felt economically vibrant, with seemingly limitless possibilities. To do that, Capo left the U.S. in 2007.
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He now lives in Beijing, having founded Next Step China.