1. What investing areas do you focus on? I oversee B Capital Group’s China business. We are in an exciting era to capture opportunities benefiting from the paradigm shift empowered by China’s advanced infrastructure, huge market, and abundant talent.2. What attracted you to venture investing? I started my career as a semiconductor chip designer at AMD in Silicon Valley. At a teambuilding occasion over a work lunch, I sat across our Group VP, Mike Van Buskirk, who heads AMD’s engineering team and later became CTO of the memory business. I asked him some questions on strategic decisions on memory chip architecture. My thoughts and questions got recognized by him, and he transferred me to work with him on strategy & investment. That was an awesome experience for me, I helped the C-suite to analyze long term industry trends and evaluate opportunities to invest in high-potential startupsusing AMD‘s balance sheet. It was an opportunity of self-exploration. This role led me to get acquainted with Silicon Valley’s lively entrepreneur and investor community. I became friends with some Sandhill VC investors. Some friends gave me their advice to become a venture capitalist. I took their advice and headed to the east coast and learnt finance and accounting. That’s how I moved to New York city, got my MBA at Columbia Business School, and became a venture capitalist.3. What’s something that you always look for in a pitch? One key element I look for in a pitch is the company’s commitment to create long-term value to the industry and society. Among many rules in investment business, long-term vision is the overarching principle. For individuals, commitment to long-term value is an approach to stay away from short-term temptations. For companies, commitment to long term value brings an effective way to build up meaningful moats. A company may face many challenges in the short run. It is important to avoid being overwhelmed by short term problems and steer its direction with long-term perspective. As investors, our job is to find entrepreneurs and partners that could be a “friend of time”.
4. If you weren’t in this career, what would you be doing?
My career dream early on was to be a diplomat. I aspire to be someone who can connect people, connect nations, solve problems, stay strong, and make many friends from all over the world. Although this dream didn’t work out, I am glad that my career is no less exciting than my childhood dream job.
5. What do you look for in a founder or executive team?
From founders and executive teams, I look for two things – leadership and execution capability.
Leadership determines if the founder can sell the company’s long-term vision to its customers, employees, and investors. It takes all kinds of support from the stakeholders to build a successful company. We look for leaders with true passion, and genuine sincerity for people around them.
Execution capability is also a differentiator. I have asked so many successful peers in VC/PE world, “people” or strong management team often ranked as one of the important factor for success. Reliable, diligent, and smart entrepreneurs are required quality of a founder.
6. What’s something many people may not know about you?
Believe it or not, I used to be a Kong Fu master. I was a member of Tsinghua University’s varsity team of Chinese Martial Art (Kong Fu). I have lost the flexibility over time and can’t do most of the moves now. But I benefited from years of harsh training and appreciated the sportsmanship quality learned when young.