Glad to share that the BRAVE podcast has now hit 20,000+ listeners thanks to all your support! We’re hosting our second Phoenix offsite, a curated virtual gathering for entrepreneurs who are moving on from their startups and embarking on the next chapter of their professional journey. There will be collective journaling reflections, along with an off-the-record panel comprising former founders who have successfully ventured into new startups, investment, or executive roles. Confidential, virtual and pro bono. June 10, Saturday, 10am-12pm SGT. Feel free to share the Eventbrite link with them to apply and RSVP.
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- We do a deep dive on Yang Bing-Yi’s inspiring journey from being a war refugee to building Din Tai Fung, the award-winning restaurant famous for its soup dumplings. We uncover his incredible story of being a refugee from the China civil war, his early years as a Taiwanese oil store deliveryman, middle-aged entrepreneurship, pivot to soup dumpling at the age of 45, and the many years it took to reach success. His life was a story of resilience, adaptability and true grit. RIP.
- Joan Yao: Impact Investing to Kickstart VC, Philippines Startup Perception vs. Reality (Brain Drain, Families & Acceleration) and Lose Nothing By Asking: Joan talks about her accidental start in investment banking and the learnings in transitioning to impact investing and venture capital. As Head of Investments at Kickstart Ventures, she dispels the myths about the Philippine startup ecosystem and showcases the growing opportunities for local and international founders. She explores the concept of "losing nothing by asking" and encourages people to overcome their fears of rejection.
- Kenneth Lou: Seedly Exit & 3X Founder Learnings, Vipassana Insights & Everyone Dies One Day: Kenneth Lou shares his insights as a three-time founder, building Seedly and eventually exiting the company. He highlights the impact of the Vipassana silent retreat on his understanding of mortality and personal growth. His desire to educate people about longevity led him to found Mito Health, an AI-powered health startup that optimizes people’s well-being to make them live longer.
- Shiyan Koh, Managing Partner of Hustle Fund, and Jeremy Au discussed the 2023-2024 outlook on the VC market and thus how founders should master fundraising as a system. We outlined how a Taiwan Crisis would impact the region and how startups should price in the risk. We also discussed people leadership failures and improvements. We also answered listener questions about sustainable & ESG investing trends. Let us know if you have any questions about Southeast Asia tech and we’ll cover them in the future!
- Jeremy Au spoke at the Cambodia Startup Festival hosted by Rising Giants. Adriel Yong, Head of Community & Investor at Ascend Angels, and I reflected on what we learned about Cambodia’s current entrepreneurship ecosystem and outlook.
Joshua Wang, founder and CEO of VerImmune (cancer immunotherapy), was featured for the successful completion of the Type B pre-IND meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their treatment of multiple solid tumors. Check out his episode on transitioning to a founder from PhD and killing cancer using trickery.
We’d like to congratulate the following changemakers for being recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia!
- Valerie Vu. Check out our podcasting Q&A episode before she launched her popular podcast, Forward Vietnam, and her reflections on VC as a career.
- Wing Vasiksiri. Check out his episode on US vs. Southeast Asia VCs and paradox decisions in the context as a solo GP.
- Vinay Palathinkal. Check out his view on the boom and bust of fintech and Web3, and startup last mover advantages.
How to Trick Investors & VCs by OnlyCFO made me reflect on VCs and executive teams in Southeast Asia can improve how we do financial reporting and due diligence. Mistakes are made due to ignorance of accounting standards, naivete about how to represent the true managing operating reality, desire to avoid bad news and sometimes wilful bad faith shenanigans. One common error that I personally see is forgetting to include accurate contribution margins in Lifetime Value (LTV) calculations. This can significantly impact the operator and board’s understanding of product-market fit, the timing to scale aggressively and thus the eventual cash runway.
“Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” Rainer Maria Rilke
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