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YEYU Founder and CEO, Andrea Speranza

Jun 22, 2018

My name is Andrea Speranza, I’m the Founder and CEO of YEYU, a mobile platform that connects sport organizations with sport enthusiasts based on their needs and interests. I was born in Napoli, Italy, and have been a resident in Shanghai since 2002. Since I was a child, I have always been interested in China, Shanghai in particular, as my grandfather lived here for 4 years during his time as a young official in the Italian Navy. At the time, they helped build the infrastructure of Shanghai and Tianjin.

After graduating from university, I started to work in London as a shipping broker. Although I have worked in India and the US, when the opportunity arose to go to Shanghai, I took it as a calling—to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps. When I first arrived, the city had not yet been announced as the next Expo city for 2010, so I was able to experience the big transformation in just a decade.

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I actually think the Shanghai I first experienced was much better, even though it was not as modern and clean as today. The sense of community among people was very much present, it was much more authentic. There were no smart phones at the time, we knew how to be active, how to explore a city, meeting hundreds of people a week, and we knew we were sharing an amazing experience together, while friends and family back home had no clue what was going on in Shanghai. This created a sense of privacy and a sense of freedom, which I never had back home, where everyone knows everything about you, on any given day.

Shanghai is a diverse and progressive hub of every market place. It is a city created for women. For years, my guy friends and I had trouble buying clothes, but for women it has been and still is paradise. The progressiveness of Shanghai, compared to other big cities, is certainly how the city reflects the strength of Shanghainese women: strong and proud, with a great commercial and entrepreneurial sense for business.

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I’d like to think I’ve always experienced the city at its best, this includes culinary experience. I can’t imagine a week without eating dumplings or Yunnan cuisine. I’ve had a phase when visiting the Bund for dinner was the norm, dining at Michelin star restaurants. But now, I am happier eating without the spotlight, eating at genuine and intimate venues, during the week, often times by myself. My all time favorite food suggestions include: Da Marco, Salute, Goodfellas, Bella Napoli, Mamma mia, Bar Centrale and Zozzo for Italian food. If you haven’t yet you must try Din Tai Fung and Moka Bros. If you’re going for a drink I suggest Funkadeli, Malabar, Unico.

Other than working hard, eating and drinking, my favorite hobby is to play football with Azzurri FC, the only Italian amateur football team in China (founded in 1995) that I represent being the President. We practice at Luwan Stadium every Tuesday and play in SIFL league every Saturday.

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I’ve always played sports (football, ping pong, golf, jogging, etc) and I think it's the biggest catalyst for social development and bringing people together. For years, people have asked me: “Where can I go dancing?”, “Where can I play football?”, and so on, they thought I would know because I’ve been living in this city for a long time. After a while, the Italian Consulate and the British Consulate (the company I was employed for was British), sent me an email, saying they would like to suggest newcomers to contact me for help settling in.

This stimulated the creation of YEYU App. The idea of a digital word of mouth has always intrigued me. It all started in Shanghai for newcomers and friends, and overtime, I hope more people can experience and engage with the app and other sports enthusiasts from different communities across the globe. Stay tuned for the end of our beta test, and the launch of a huge update, coming in July.

VENUES MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE:

  • Da Marco (Dong Zhu'anbang Lu)

    • Dining
    • Pizza
    • Italian
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • Address
      1/F, Golden Bridge Garden, 103 Dong Zhu'anbang Lu, near Jiangsu Lu
      东渚安浜路103号1楼, 近江苏路
    • Phone
      6210 4495

    Da Marco is a perennial expat favorite for Italian. Its simple formula -- inexpensive, decent Italian -- has kept this, its original location, going for years. The menu is mostly pizza and pasta, with a few more ambitious mains, but generally, the simpler, the... Read more

  • Salute (Wuxing Lu)

    • Dining
    • Italian
    • Sandwiches
    • Address
      94 Wuxing Lu, near Kangping Lu
      吴兴路94号, 近康平路
    • Phone

    The second branch of the popular, hole in the wall wine bar on Fuxing Lu. The Wuxing Lu branch place is more a sandwich shop than a watering hole. Opens early February 2013. Read more

  • Goodfellas

    • Dining
    • Cafes
    • Italian
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • Address
      7 Yan'an Dong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
      延安东路7号, 近中山东一路
    • Phone
      6323 2188

    Read more

  • Bella Napoli (Changle Lu)

    • Dining
    • Pizza
    • Italian
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • Address
      Lane 946 Changle Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu
      长乐路946弄, 近乌鲁木齐路
    • Phone
      6248 8985

    Read more

  • MammaMia (Huaihai Zhong Lu)

    • Nightlife
    • Dining
    • Wine Bar
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • Address
      2/F, 1333 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Changshu Lu
      淮海中路1333号2楼, 近常熟路
    • Phone
      5081 0966

    Mamma Mia is an Italian restaurant by chef/restaurateur Enzo Carbone of Capo and formerly Issimo fame. Unlike his previous higher-end concepts, this one is more casual with food served family style. Expect handmade pastas, and of course Carbone's singature pizza... Read more

  • Zozzo (Donghu Lu)

    • Dining
    • Pizza
    • Italian
    • Address
      9 Donghu Lu, near Xinle Lu
      东湖路9号, 近新乐路
    • Phone
      156 1864 8117

    Once in Metro City out in Xujiahui, Zozzo Pizza moved wholesale to their new spot on Donghu in late 2017. Hopefully closer to an audience who can appreciate square slices of pizza. The pizzas evoke Italy rather than Brooklyn; Salami, Italian Sausage and a sweet... Read more

  • Moka Bros (Xiangyang Bei Lu)

    • Dining
    • Cafes
    • Outdoor Seating
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • Address
      1/F, 108 Xiangyang Bei Lu, near Xinle Lu
      襄阳北路108号1楼, 近新乐路
    • Phone
      3669 6090

    Straight outta Sanlitun Beijing, Moka Bros is a well-honed, market-tested power (and poke and smoothie) bowls, wraps, sandwiches, smoothies, juices, coffee, wine, breakfast, brunch place, with a clear identity and personality, great design, consistent service, and... Read more

  • Funkadeli (Fumin Lu)

    • Dining
    • Italian
    • Xuhui
    • Address
      A Mansion, 291 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu
      富民路291号, 近长乐路
    • Phone
      6170 1318

    Relaxed atmosphere and plenty of seating inside and outside, but with enough room left to stand if it gets crowded. The food menu is quite extensive. Cold cuts and cheese platters are 120rmb, and lasagna, salads, wraps, panini, focaccia, and even some vegetarian... Read more

  • Malabar

    • Nightlife
    • Bars
    • Spanish
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • Address
      1081 Wuding Lu, near Jiaozhou Lu
      武定路1081号, 近胶州路
    • Phone
      5237 3085

    Spanish tapas bar. Read more

  • This venue has now closed

    Unico

    • Nightlife
    • Dining
    • Bars
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • Address
      Three on the Bund, 2/F, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Guangdong Lu
      中山东一路3号外滩三号2楼, 近广东路
    • Phone
      5308 5399

    Popular Bund lounge. They get busy at night, with live latin music parties, salsa nights, ladies nights, and weekday events like their Tuesday salsa party. It's a good, casual-but-impressive destination for friends and guests. The quiet window seats in the back are... Read more

  • Luwan Stadium

    • Sports & Recreation
    • Racquet Sports
    • Stadiums
    • Address
      128 Zhaojiabang Lu, near Shanxi Nan Lu
      肇嘉浜路128号, 近陕西南路
    • Phone
      6445 1045

    Read more

[Shanghai Famous]:

Shanghai Famous is a weekly SmartShanghai column focusing on people out there in the city makin' the scene. They're out there around town, shaping Shanghai into what it is, creating the art, culture, and life around us. We asked them what's good in Shanghai. We asked them what's bad in Shanghai. We asked them to tell us more, more, more about their wonderful selves.

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