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Regional News & Deep Dives
- Valerie Vu, Founding Partner of Ansible Ventures, talked about Vietnam’s 2023 GDP growth vs. government targets and the country’s “love-triangle” with China and USA investments.
- Wing Vasiksiri, General Partner of WV, discussed their BCG report on Thailand's historically underperforming startup ecosystem and optimism for future growth driven by cultural shifts, government support, and a conducive stock exchange environment.
- Shiyan Koh, Managing Partner of Hustle Fund, reflected on her past year podcasting and predictions for Southeast Asia’s 2024 tech ecosystem.
- Jeremy discussed how former founders can choose to build a (second) revenge, rebound or rebirth startup, the economics and incentives behind increased social competition to share personal hardships for social validation (Misery Poker) and how he had to personally learn in his 30s that "health is wealth."
- Thomas Tsao: First-Generation Immigrant to Founding Gobi Partners, Asia Career Growth & Challenges and Southeast Asia Investment Thesis "Crouching Panda, Hidden Tapir": Thomas shared his journey from a first-generation immigrant in the USA to founding Gobi Partners ($1.6B AUM) which invests across Asia. He shares his first days on Wall Street, getting through the Asian Financial crisis and the next wave of opportunities in technology.
- Sonny Vu: Founding Misfit Wearables ($260M Fossil Acquisition), Vietnam American Roots and Navigating Tough Decisions: Sonny talked about his Vietnamese-American upbringing, MIT computational linguistics studies under Noam Chomsky and founding Misfit Wearables, acquired by Fossil for $260M. He shared how he figured out product-market fit with customer reviews of competitor products, and the importance of integrity in long-term self-perception.
- JX Lye: China vs. US Tech Culture, Career Decisions & Making Bank Integrations Fast & Simple with Acme: JX discussed the work culture differences between ByteDance vs. Dropbox and Lyft. His experience at Endowus as Chief Product Officer led him to found Acme Technology to streamline corporate financial integrations with banks with APIs.
- Carlo Chen-Delantar: Iron Triangle in Emerging Markets, Philippines Gobi VC & Alibaba Report & Career Journey from Social Impact to VC: Carlo Chen-Delantar moved from social impact work to venture capital in order to drive change through transformational technology and investment. He discussed the gritty reality of the Philippines' startup ecosystem, and highlighted the growth opportunity "Iron Triangle" pattern of fintech, e-commerce and logistics.
- Anthony Tjajadi: Indonesia Market Insights, Trihill Capital Investment Thesis & Venture Capitalist VC Tradecraft: Anthony shared his assessment that while Indonesia boasts a large, young, and growing middle-class population, the potential for consumer spending are not as robust as macro indicators suggest. He shared about the bold step he took in moving to Singapore to found Trihill Capital and advised aspiring venture capitalists to be prepared to make mistakes and understand their personal risk appetite.
- Jelmer Ikink: 10 Year Life Projections, Foxmont VC Founding Vision & Childhood Curiosity: Jelmer discussed how Foxmont Capital Partners was inspired by the strategic and discerning nature of foxes. He also shared his deep-rooted curiosity from his childhood and how that led him to Lehman Brothers, McKinsey and the Philippines.
- Fandy Cendrajaya: Indonesia Bull vs. Bear Market, Founding Kopital Ventures and Tough Startup Exit Environment & Strategy: Fandy discussed Indonesia’s shift from bullish market sentiment to cautious investor outlook, the need for realistic comparisons with larger markets, and understanding local tech ecosystem nuances. He shared insights on building Kopital Ventures, navigating the challenging landscape of startup exits, and contrasting local IPO strategies with US approaches.
- Bernard Chong: Acquittal of False Drug Smuggling Allegations, Childhood with World Balance and Building Philipines' eSports Community with AP Bren: Bernard talked about his early learning experiences with the family business World Balance and building AP.Bren and the Philippines eSports community. He also recounted overcoming false drug smuggling allegations and having faith in the legal system until he finally received the news of the court acquittal and revoked arrest warrant.
- Henry Motte-de la Motte: Education Startup Challenges & Gritty Reality, Standardized Testing Debate vs. True Life Skills and Personal Passion For Learning: Henry emphasizes the need for educational reform, 21st-century life skills and standardized testing. His journey through varied global educational systems drove him to confront the challenges of innovating education across multiple countries and systems, including the Philippines.
- Raunak Mehta was featured for expanding Igloo's Weather Index Insurance in Vietnam, in collaboration with Aurora Mobility Solutions and telecoms company Mobifone. Check out his episode on disrupting the insurance market and challenging the status quo.
- We’d like to congratulate Raffy Montemayor and Salmon for acquiring a majority stake in the Rural Bank of Sta. Rosa, a Filipino financial institution established in 1963. Read about his General Manager experiences at Carousell, Agoda and OLX.
- Congratulations to Kai Yuan Neo and the Rocket Academy team for entering the Malaysia market to address the local tech talent crunch. Learn more about his insights on edtech model localization and startup boom and bust cycles.
- Gabby Dizon, cofounder of Yield Guild Games, was featured by Daily Tribune for the company’s partnership with Iskra to expand the web3 gaming ecosystem. Read his insights on digital scarcity and the cyclical bull-and-bear nature of crypto.
- Founders Doc featured Rachel Wong and I in a fun in-person discussion on how founders negotiate vs. VCs during the fundraising and legal process. Also check out her prior podcast interview on her professional lawyer experience supporting founders.
- Tech Collective Asia named BRAVE as one of the must-listen podcasts for Asian tech startup founders and executives in 2024!
"The Revenge of the Ottoman Empire" by Louis-Vincent Gave argues that US sanctions on Russia and the decoupling from China has caused the world to experience a new “wave of globalization which does not require Western financiers, engineers, transportation, currencies or technologies.” Examples include China now exporting more to ASEAN than USA, the “Istanbul-Jakarta axis” and emerging market trade no longer being constrained by the need for US dollars.
“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” ― Steve Jobs
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