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Highlights from our first VC Unlocked in Asia

Newton Davis
by

November 21, 2017

Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets to Silicon Valley Investing in Asia, our inaugural course taught in collaboration with INSEAD, wrapped up on November 10th. This course convened 23 participants from 10 countries for five days to learn how Silicon Valley’s best practices can be applied to Asian markets. Here’s a quick introduction the class:

  • 10 countries represented: Cambodia, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam
  • Participants have made 40+ investments in total
  • $50M+ in total projected investment budgets over the next two years
  • Areas of interest include: AI, BioTech, B2B Consumer, Digital Payments, E-Commerce, EdTech, Fintech, Food, Logistics, Regtech, retail, AR/VR

A Long Time Coming

Our collaboration with INSEAD marks the first time we’ve conducted a full investor education program outside of Silicon Valley. Like our mission of enabling entrepreneurs wherever they are, we hope our efforts with investor education outside the U.S. accelerate growth in the global venture capital ecosystem.

We worked with INSEAD’s Professors Claudia Zeisberger, Virginia Cha, and Vikas Aggarwal to create a program that highlighted INSEAD’s superb teaching capabilities and deep knowledge of the private investment markets with 500’s practical knowhow.

The program equipped participants with theoretical frameworks while encouraging real-life application in interactive learning exercises. This enabled investors to immediately apply concepts in hands-on activities– quickly increasing their abilities as investors.

From Theory to Practice

From investment thesis creation to exit scenarios, participants covered a panoply of topics geared towards ensuring they were equipped to identify, structure, and execute early stage investments across the region.

Peng T. Ong highlighted the need to be differentiated in a market where capital is a commodity. With Monk’s Hill philosophy of “Entrepreneurs backing entrepreneurs,” participants learned how top firms in SEA are taking advantage of the increased attention from international capital.

500’s Vishal Harnal impressed upon participants the need to approach investing humbly. While the role of investors is extremely important in the technology ecosystem, it’s necessary to recognize who creates real value. “What matters to us the most is impacting people. Remember how privileged and grateful you are to be meeting the most brilliant people who are looking to make the world a better place. You impact a lot of lives in the process.”

Prominent VCs from SEA joined our Investor Forum and Networking reception. The event was structured to give participants an opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired in the program while networking with fifteen SEA companies. The post-forum networking session served to introduce participants to other investors whom they’ll likely see on cap tables in the future.

Sessions throughout the week sparked candid conversations among participants, instructors, and guest speakers. Hian Goh of NSI Ventures doled out tips on how to fundraise and to approach investor relations in a crowded market. 500’s Bedy Yang extolled the importance of having a clear investment thesis.

Grab’s Hoi Ling, praised her mentors, advisors, and investors who help remind the Grab team to ask the simple questions that get forgotten when in the trenches of building a business. Each of the 20+ sessions granted participants an opportunity to confront their preconceived notions and question the status quo of venture.

Applications for Next Year

Interested in attending the next Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets to Silicon Valley investing in Asia run in collaboration with INSEAD?

Join our email list to stay up to date on the latest news. We’re finalizing exact dates for next year and will let you know as soon as it’s official.

NOTE: VENTURE CAPITAL UNLOCKED IS OPERATED BY 500 STARTUPS INCUBATOR, L.L.C. AND NO 500 STARTUPS FUNDS PARTICIPATE IN ANY OF THE REVENUES GENERATED BY THIS PROGRAM. ANY INVESTOR EDUCATION PROGRAMS PROVIDED BY 500 STARTUPS INCUBATOR, L.L.C. PROVIDE GENERAL EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL SERVICES, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL 500 STARTUPS MANAGEMENT COMPANY, L.L.C OR ANY AFFILIATED 500 STARTUPS ENTITY BE DEEMED TO BE PROVIDING INVESTMENT ADVISORY SERVICES TO ANY OF THE ATTENDEES OF SUCH PROGRAMS.

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