(May 22): After Steven Yang left his coveted job at Google, he asked his mother whether he should take venture-capital money to fund his business idea.

If his online consumer-electronics enterprise was a risky bet, she told him, go with the venture capitalists. But if building the business into something great was his destiny, he instead should use her money from a pharmaceutical career in China.

So Yang combined his Google money with his mom’s, and with less than US$1 million ($1.34 million) in seed capital he moved from California to Shenzhen, a hub in southern China for technology companies. Seven years later, Anker Innovations Technology Co. sells products ranging from smartphone chargers to portable power banks on Amazon.com. And it’s getting even bigger after recently reaching a deal to put products in almost 4,000 Walmart Inc. and 900 Best Buy Co. stores in the US.

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