210: Michael Smith – 2 Years as a VC in Asia, What has he Learned?

210: Michael Smith – 2 Years as a VC in Asia, What has he Learned?

 

Podcast highlights:

  • [03:08] Can a VC be an "Apprentice VC"? What is the learning curve for a general partner or fund manager within a VC?
  • [31:55] Which investment areas and sectors specifically in South-East Asia are exciting right now for VCs?
  • [38:15] Does the US need to start looking more seriously at what’s going on at the grass roots level across Asian ecosystems?

Podcast notes:

  • [00:05] Welcome Michael Smith to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
  • [01:55] Some background history on Michael Smith.
  • [03:08] Can a VC be an "Apprentice VC"? What is the learning curve for a general partner or fund manager within a VC?
  • [06:00] Even as a VC, you learn through doing.
  • [08:35] The apprentice structure exists in many other vertical sectors, so why not investment?
  • [10:27] Comparing “Present-Michael” with “Two-years-ago-Michael.” What has Michael learned in terms of managing deal flow, communication and time?
  • [13:50] How do you guard your time? Being a VC means you are always in demand, that's not easy, because it means at some point you have to learn to say "no" a lot.
  • [20:40] What are the signs that a potential start-up needs to give you for you to say "this is worth my time?"
  • [24:00] If you’re advising a start-up, what advice would you give them on the raise?
  • [28:20] Talking about Michael’s investment thesis.
  • [31:55] Which investment areas and sectors specifically in South-East Asia are exciting right now for VCs?
  • [38:15] Does the US need to start looking more seriously at what’s going on at the grass roots level across Asian ecosystems?
  • [42:52] In Asia, hundreds of cities can lay claim to be a tech ecosystem of some sort. How do you advise start-up founders to choose between cities?
  • [52:32] A rising tide lifts all the boats. Everybody in the tech ecosystem should want to help everybody; that benefits everybody.
  • [53:50] You can find more about Michael Smith and SeedPlus by visiting his blog: Michael Smith Jr. – Apprentice VC