Zixu “HaHa” Ha MBA’24 on the Power of Persistence and Community

Zixu “HaHa” Ha MBA’24, the graduate student speaker for the Class of 2024

Zixu Ha MBA’24, better known as “HaHa,” entered Babson College simply intending to fill the gaps in his business knowledge, to develop the skills he needed to jump-start his venture. But now, two years later, he prepares his Commencement speech, ready to address his peers, collaborators, and friends as the 2024 graduate student speaker.  

From humble beginnings in Beijing as the second child of a farmer and a middle school dropout turned lifelong entrepreneur, Ha worked to become the first in his family to go to college, and now the first to earn his master’s degree.  

“I witnessed my parents starting a mom-and-pop shop and transforming it into a business. That really taught me you have to work hard to be able to make it,” Ha said. “They encompassed the entrepreneurial mindset. Just do it. If you’ve failed again, do it again. It’s not like my dad was always successful. He failed three or four times before he made it.” 

And now, with several exciting advancements on the horizon for his startup, BeJewel, Ha is committed to taking the lessons learned from his family and combining them with his Babson education, so he can work as effectively as possible.  

Designing his Own Path 

In the years since completing his bachelor’s degree, Ha found work in the gemology industry. What began as an internship expanded into a full-time job, and then later into an in-depth immersion into the diamond industry as Ha played a pivotal role in helping his employer expand into the Chinese market.  

“I’ve witnessed the fluctuations in the diamond industry and the emergence of lab-grown diamonds,” Ha said. “I’ve also witnessed the frustrations from manufacturers and consumers over repetitious designs and overpriced items.”

Zixu “HaHa” Ha MBA’24 (Photo: Nic Czarnecki)

As more and more independent designers struggle to compete with major brands, Ha decided to launch BeJewel, a crowdfunding platform, similar to Kickstarter, that is tailor-made to support independent designers across the world. His business became one of the focal points of his Babson experience. Ha consistently drew upon his different classes, uncovering and applying new insights to his burgeoning young venture. 

“Babson was my top choice because I wanted to be part of the best entrepreneurship program available. I was truly impressed by Babson’s commitment to and impact on entrepreneurship,” Ha said.  

From programs at the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, including the John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad, Fast Track, and Rocket Pitch, to the Summer Venture Program, Ha took advantage of every opportunity at his disposal.  

“I have had so many valuable ideas, connections, resources, and opportunities introduced to me by our exceptional cohorts, professors, and staff at Babson,” Ha said.  

Navigating the Future, Together 

As Ha looks back on his time at Babson, he thinks fondly of the days spent sharing ideas at Rocket Pitch, the fun nights with friends at Roger’s Pub, and the Last Night in Olin event. “But I have to say that one of my most memorable moments was our first cohort outing at Babson Night at Fenway Park,” he said, “experiencing the spirited sports culture of Boston and connecting with my peers outside of the classroom.” 

The graduate Class of 2024 has been through so much together. As Ha and his classmates prepare to face the new and untested challenges ahead of them, Ha values the lessons he learned from his professors on how to build and grow sustainable business models, and it’s these lessons and relationships at Babson that make him confident that the Class of 2024 is prepared for the future. 

“It’s about the people,” Ha said. “We have to cherish having like-minded people, having that supportive community that really will help us go a long way. If you find the right people, you know you’ll make it.” 

Ha is attending two weddings this fall, both for classmates who have each become customers, fellow entrepreneurs, and lifelong friends. “Of course, I helped them with their wedding bands, and engagement rings.” 

Posted in Community, Entrepreneurial Leadership

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