Choosing Asia or Silicon Valley for Your Business with Phil Wickham

Michael MicheliniCorporate, Incorporation, Podcast0 Comments

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Thank you everyone for tuning in on episode number 60 of the Global From Asia podcast – I am without a passport right now – always makes me nervous every year as I am renewing my CHINESE VISA !! They hold your passport for a couple weeks, so I am locked down from traveling and hope I get passed. Always wonder what they do while they are processing it, doing some background checks?

We received another 5 star review on iTunes today – this one from BillGates009 in the United Kingdom – pretty cool username there 🙂 Let’s read it off here:

Great actionable advice — 5 stars
– by BillGates009 from United Kingdom on Nov 9, 2014
I have been listening to Michael’s podcast for a while now and have always found very useful actionable tips that I can use in my business. As someone who has been in China for 5 years and dealing with chinese factories every day, I am able to take a lot of the ideas and plug them into my business straight away. I have also found it to be a great resource for new information in our industry and knowing about the various complementary businesses within the international trade space.

Thanks for that -so now onto today’s show – it is part 1 of a 2 part series, I mentioned we had the StartMeUp venture forum and we have Phil Wickham – president and CEO of the Kauffman Fellows who will discuss some of his insights in Asia business and what business people need to consider when deciding to setup shop in Silicon Valley or Asia. also after the interview I will discuss some of the points I learned at a panel series of Hong Kong entrepreneurs so stick around after the interview for that – so now let’s dig in!

Introduction of Phil Wickham

The mission of the Kauffman Fellows (KF) is to develop the next generation of leaders in venture capital. Success for CEO Phil Wickham means that entrepreneurs are building more enduring companies and investors are achieving superior returns. Overseeing all aspects of KF, Wickham continues to push the programme’s international expansion. He also has a special passion for venture capital’s opportunities globally in helping to meet societal needs. Phil is a veteran venture investor and startup entrepreneur. Early in his career he co-founded the publishing company Reference Media in Tokyo, Japan, grew it to scale and sold it to the Princeton Review, where he became VP of Sales for Japan and Korea. Later, Phil served as General Partner at JAFCO America Ventures, a billion-dollar fund backed by leading Japanese financial and technology players such as Hitachi, Mitsubishi, NEC, Itochu, Nomura, and Nippon Life Insurance. Phil went on to become a partner and run US operations for Copan, a European venture fund based in Munich, Germany, where he also served on the board. He has shepherded more than 30 investments, including Ikanos, Web Methods, Com21, and Emergent. Phil currently serves on the boards of S2 Technologies, Trilibis, and Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE), and is an advisor to the Creandum fund in Stockholm. He holds a BS from the Aerospace Mechanical Engineering School at the University of Arizona, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Phil Wickham, President and CEO, Kauffman Fellows
  • Overview of Kauffman Fellows
  • Startup Weekend was born there right? I’m curious of that story.
  • Future of Venture capital
  • First time to HK? See you have experience in Japan / Korea – what do you see in similarities / differences?
  • Impressions of HK, past, now, and future?
  • Ways to look at Silicon Valley (or West) with HK and Asia
  • What should an entrepreneur consider when deciding between Asia and Silicon Valley for their business?
  • Ways they can reach out

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Length 19:56

Thanks Phil for sharing – It’s great to have these amazing people on the show and also coming to the Hong Kong Startmeup venture forum. I didn’t get to interview all the amazing guests but I did take notes during the various sessions in the event, and one was a pretty insightful panel of successful Hong Kong entrepreneurs, and I’d like to share with you gys the notes I wrote down when they were up there on stage.

Validate first – you need to make sure the market and product fit is there, and the market is ready before you invest heavily into your business

Be honest with yourself on strengths, you may have to do everything at the early stages of your venture to get it off the ground, but as soon as you start taking off in the startup know who to hire to replace those parts you do not enjoy doing,.

Recruit a team that is better than you
be a hustler – make things happen
Remember that the advise you receive is someone’s specific personal experience exaggerated ! You need to really be careful on the advise you receive, think about that person who is giving it to you, and really think hard it if it applicable to you and your business.

So that is all I have for this week -Next week we’ll have Richard Robinson on the show, a Beijing startup veteran who gives some insights on how it is to run a tech startup in mainland China so don’t miss it – cheers!

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