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Ryan Crocombe

Currently based in

London, United Kingdom

Passionate about innovation and creation, learning and progress, travel and exploration

I traded my nascent career in finance for a life focused on learning new skills, living in new places, pursuing adventure, and exploring my passions.

In 2014 I moved to Shanghai and studied two semesters each at ECNU and Fudan University respectively. While nowhere near fluent, my Chinese is decent: it's comfortably functional and I have numerous real friends and business contacts with whom I’ve only ever spoken Chinese. I often get asked how to get started, so I’ll be sharing my own methods for effective language learning here soon.

My main focus at the moment is the expansion of all-natural super-product Migraine Escape. I am also co-founder of Dengpao Media, which offers translation and marketing services for Western brands wanting to reach a Chinese-speaking audience.

Also in the pipeline is Aoye, a platform that brings hand-picked streetwear brands from Asia to the rest of the world.

Writing & Photography

I occasionally write about my ideas, experiences and personal philosophies on my blog and Medium.

I also became interested in photography in late 2017. I sometimes post the photos I take to Instagram.


My ultimate goals lie in replacing existing education systems provided by government with a new type of outstanding education.

I see a values-driven education system as the best way to solve many of the most pressing issues facing the developed and developing worlds, including income inequality, environmental sustainability and the pursuit of happiness.


In the long-term, I’d like to build a portfolio of enterprises and projects akin to the Need/Want model. I'm primarily interested in ventures that relate to the following themes:

Destruction of monopolies & the power of corporatism
Re-skilling of the individual
Location independent lifestyles
Public health
Food & waste systems
Natural products
Creativity for creativity’s sake

Day-to-day interests


Fed up with gym culture and wanting to take a more natural and humble route to physical well-being, I got into calisthenics late 2015.


Over the past 2 years I’ve found myself naturally gravitating towards more spiritual concepts and practices such as meditation and mindfulness.

Music, art and design

In 2016 I started re-awakening my creative side after neglecting it for 10+ years. It started with designing clothes-related stuff and messing around translating western songs into Chinese. I now find myself freestyle rapping & writing lyrics in my spare time.


It's cliche but exploring the world is one of my favourite things to do. My favourite destinations include Berlin, Tokyo, Ubud and Taipei.


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Growing Up

Born in New Zealand, raised in the UK. I also have Swiss, Australian and Cook Island blood in me. I grew up reading the musings of Bill Bonner and have been some variation of libertarian ever since.

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Obtained my BA in Economics from the University of Leicester and then came top of my Masters in Finance program at Cass Business School. I met and worked with some fantastic people at Cass, including these guys.

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Joined Barclays after graduating. I worked in several roles including investment management, FX and private banking and spent time in the UK and Hong Kong offices. I left after 2 years having decided corporate life wasn't for me.

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Ghana & China

I jumped at the chance to live in Africa and worked as a volunteer consultant for a small microbank in Accra, Ghana for 4 months. I then went back to the UK to complete the CFA Program before moving to Shanghai to start on Chinese.


I’m always keen to meet people with mutual interests and a similar approach to life.

If you are interested in sharing ideas or working together then I'd love to hear from you. You can reach me via email or various social media.