We’re happy to welcome Valerie Vu, Founding Partner of Ansible Ventures, as a co-host! She will be covering Vietnam’s tech landscape and news on a monthly basis. We have also launched the BRAVE merch shop where you can find exclusive caps, shirts and mugs. Profits go towards founder events and training.
Do you know a founder who is moving on to a new professional chapter in their life after their startup? This may be due to an exit, wind-down or cofounder departure. We are organizing our third Phoenix offsite on December 2, Saturday, 10am-12pm SGT. We’ll be hearing from other founders about their earlier transitions, how to mentally integrate earlier learnings and exploring new opportunities as a future tech operator, VC or repeat founder. Confidential, pro bono, 2 hours, virtual. Let them know they can RSVP here.
Democratize home ownership with Ringkas, this month’s newsletter sponsor!
Ringkas is a digital mortgage platform solving the access to financing problems for home seekers in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Ringkas currently collaborates with all major Banks in Indonesia and the largest Property Developers across more than 15 cities. Ringkas vision is to democratize home ownership and create more than 100 million homeowners. Learn more at www.ringkas.co.id
Regional News & Deep Dives
- Valerie Vu, Founding Partner of Ansible Ventures, discusses Vietnam’s funding gap, VNG & VinFast’s IPO, and local cultural nuances & UX preferences for Zalo and TikTok Shop.
- Shiyan Koh, Managing Partner of Hustle Fund, shares Southeast Asia’s startup failure patterns and resulting down-rounds and recapitalizations and how to effectively prepare and pitch at initial founder-investor interactions.
- Nir Eyal, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, shares his personal sleep strategy and routines across technology habits, introducing friction and the mantra of how the body eventually gets what the body needs (if you let it).
- Jeremy explores soul defragmentation & rewriting our personal narratives.
- Leanne Robers: She Loves Tech, Founder-VC Gender Feedback Dynamics & Entrepreneur Psychology: Leanne dives deep into her career trajectory, from her time at Siemens to spearheading the global She Loves Tech community for women in tech. She discusses the challenges female tech founders face, and shares about how she personally had to learn from and react to VC feedback. She also discusses empathy, and what it takes to be a founder.
- Der Shing Lim: Founder to Angel Syndicate Leader, Disrupting Yourself & Shifting Identities: Der Shing recounts his personal journey from being an engineer at Sembcorp Industries to co-founding JobsCentral with his wife. He emphasizes the benefits of being a 'third mover' and how observing, learning, and strategizing had been the foundation for his entrepreneurial success. He also reflects on early-stage investing nuances, the evolution of Southeast Asia's startup ecosystem and the importance of disrupting yourself to grow and move on to the next phase of life.
- Ilya Kravtsov: Indonesia Property Market, Cultural Assimilation & Navigating Startup Transitions: Ilya talks about stepping away from his last startup and choosing to found Ringkas, an Indonesian startup that democratizes home ownership. He shares the significance of finding a compatible co-founder with shared values and complementary skills. He also delves into the challenges in Indonesia’s property market such as fluctuating interest rates, primary vs. resale markets, and intricate mortgage loan process. He also highlights the importance of understanding the region’s diverse cultural fabric and immersing yourself in the environments of lesser-known cities.
- Cambodia Market Dynamics, Local Partnerships Nuance & Khmer Population and Industry: Max and Dom talk about their serendipitous connection that began during the pandemic which led them to dive deep into Cambodia's market and eventually launch the Rising Giants podcast. They emphasized the country’s multi-faceted Khmer identity, economic nuances, and the value of local partnerships.
- Maaike Doyer: Women Investor Syndicates, Diversification Strategies & Investor Risk Management: Maaike discusses her move from Europe to Southeast Asia in search of economic growth. She built Epic Angels, a female-only investor syndicate supporting APAC startups - and identifies risk awareness as a crucial aspect of angel investing and the importance of embracing uncertainty.
- Jennifer Ong: BlackRock to Style Theory GM to Coach, Career Transition Advice & Reframing Success Narratives: Six months into Jennifer’s tenure at BlackRock, she realized that she needed to leave. However, it took her 6 years to reflect and eventually pull the trigger on moving on to a new chapter in her career. She shared her struggles with following societal and parental expectations vs. pursuing her own path now as a career coach and podcast host of Ctrl Alt Career, and emphasized the importance of unpacking these pressures when making significant career decisions.
We’d like to congratulate Robert Huynh for his new AI gaming startup, Reforged Labs. Check out his episode on his career transition from Google Moonshot to a Vietnam YC founder (with his previous startup) and product-market fit iteration.
Mika Reyes was featured by DealStreetAsia for co-founding Parallax, a US-based Philippine startup that offers near-instant international payments to address high fees and slow cross-border transactions. Check out her episode on the Philippine diaspora and her learnings from working at Kumu.
Oswald Yeo, co-founder and CEO of the leading Southeast Asian talent platform, Glints, was spotlighted in Tech in Asia for his insights on the transformative role of AI in the workplace and the critical interplay between talent and growth. Check out his episode on product-market fit pivots & Indonesia’s market leadership.
Daan van Rossum, CEO of FlexOS was spotlighted in The New York Times for his insights on hybrid work in Asia, specifically addressing the challenges Vietnamese employees face working from often crowded homes. Check out his episode on navigating career shifts and Vietnam’s work culture landscape.
Jeremy was featured by Your Grit Story about why he named the podcast “BRAVE,” his career motivations over the years and how he envisions AI transforming not just productivity, but also relationships and society.
Best Read / Best Watch
"How To Do Great Work" by Paul Graham was a great read on how to be successful. I enjoyed the opening caveat that this article was only for folks who wanted to be “really ambitious.” My favorite tidbit was “A lot of standup comedy is based on noticing anomalies in everyday life. "Did you ever notice...?" New ideas come from doing this about nontrivial things. Which may help explain why people's reaction to a new idea is often the first half of laughing: Ha!”
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
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