On a personal note, I turned 34 today. A friend just asked me this morning for a pearl of wisdom. I shared with her that I recently discovered that hugging my baby daughter Arden is always the best way to start the morning!
I'm thankful for a wonderful year learning from amazing humans sharing their personal truth. I've also been pleasantly surprised about how many other folks care about this too. Happy to share that BRAVE has now climbed to the world’s top 10% most popular podcasts, ranked by Listen Score. All credit to our brave guests, production team and listeners.
Here’s your quarterly briefing on Southeast Asia tech’s future and rising stars.
- Anna Haotanto drank half a bottle of whiskey every night in tears after her startup was hacked and held for ransom. She still showed up every morning to lead her team and rebuild the platform from scratch. We shared our personal experiences with grief, how universal this emotion is, and how we’ve matured over time. Frankly, I’m not sure if I would have showed up the way she did.
- John Tan is truly passionate about education. He shares what he learned as a child, how he’s doing things differently for his own children, and why he’s so driven to found edtech platforms like Doyobi and Saturday Kids. He’s also Southeast Asia’s top angel in the future of work and learning in terms of dealflow, thoughtfulness and judgement. He angel invested in Ninja Van and continues to serve as a board director.
- Aldi Adrian Hartanto as a teenager lost his father, had to settle his family debts and was rejected by multiple universities. He still chose to learn what his parents had not, join a new school and become a part-time telemarketer to pay his own way as a student. Since then, he’s worked his way up in Indonesia to become Partner at Arise, a $40M early-stage VC and VP Investments at MDI Ventures, an $830M VC. Inspiring.
Changelog: Let us know what you think!
- Thanks for noticing the audio quality improving. Upgraded the mic, engaged a better producer, implemented guest sound checks and switched recording platforms. You’ll continue to see gains as we process the 6 month queue of episodes.
- As requested, we experimented with discussions and listener Q&As. A spicy debate on local vs. foreign VCs, and thus downstream winners and losers. A founder thinks through cofounder negotiations and international talent discusses whether he should explore SE Asia. Why MBA programs like Harvard are getting unbundled vs. the benefits and trade-offs for joining On Deck as a fellow.
- Here's why I angel invested in 10X at-home testing for environmental toxins, digitizing group gifting, disrupting venture capital and every hotel’s future digital concierge.
Know any authentic Filipino founders or VCs? We’re looking to feature more of their journeys, so feel free to introduce over email!
Stay well and stay brave :)
Thanks Adriel Yong, Kyle Ong, Tan Yong Quan and Lyndon Lee for all your help!