Preparation, Targeting, Introductions
Strategy and Growth
For the past 6+ years I have been active in Southeast Asia, primarily in the nation of Indonesia, after moving from New York City in September 2013. Notable clients of size include a United States Government Agency, a Corporate Venture Capital Fund developed by a Global Forbes 2000 Corporation, and Foundation developed by an Indonesian corporation in the Top 10 companies by Market Capitalization on the IDX. On the flip side I’ve advised many small startup companies, usually offering pro bono assessments of their fundraising strategy.
Before establishing my own entity, my first role in Indonesia, the one I accepted for the move around the globe, was for international organization Village Capital. I was the first person to arrive in Indonesia and assess whether the market was appropriate for one of its social enterprise incubator programs. The decision was ultimately made by VC management to put off market entry until the relevant social enterprise ecosystem was more mature. I was nonetheless proud of my accomplishments. I was able to interview the founders of many emerging social and environmental enterprises for potential incubator inclusion, and also gain an understanding of the broader ecosystem, the relevant players, its challenges, and its overall potential. While Village Capital was unsure of the ecosystem maturity in Indonesia, from my observation I strongly believed in its potential, deciding to continue my journey in this captivating country.
For that US Agency I consulted on a fascinating climate change mitigation project that brought me to very remote areas of Kalimantan. From this project I learned about the extent of the deforestation problem, the economic insecurity of rural smallholder farmers, financing shortfalls for small entrepreneurs, the challenges of coordinating with foreign and local bureaucracies, and potential solutions in the form of low emission development strategies.
For my long engagement for the global CVC, I conducted primary research to learn the broader industry interest of the fund, vetted investable opportunities matching the client’s criteria, prepared investment memos for the Board, and ultimately introduced the fund to a suitable opportunity, in the form of a startup into which it led a series A round.
During a consulting hiatus, I joined an emerging tech startup based out of Singapore and Indonesia. spent 2 years driving the development of the company under the title Chief Growth Officer. Internally this title was essentially synonymous with Head of Business Development, Sales, Marketing, Partnerships, and New Market Expansion. I joined the team as an early hire when our headcount was approximately 12; we had grown past 50 by the time I left. I was brought on board to bring to market a newly created B2B solution, as the company was attempting to pivot off an early product built for the commercial market in the form of a personal finance application. I travelled between Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, to build partnerships and find clients. Early on into this fast-paced experience, we successfully secured our Series A. With nearly $1.5 Million USD of fresh capital we accelerated hiring to a pace even most of my peers at other tech startups found intense. I was rapidly forced to learn and exercise human resource practices, which is one of the most value experiences I believe I gained during my tenure. Acting not only as the driver of a large team, I also personally attended high-level networking functions, delivered speeches, wrote content, and worked on developing C-Level relationships for client and partner growth.
For the domestic Foundation created by a notable conglomerate I advised on the development of a new specialized Impact SME fund. I was involved in nearly every facet of the early stages of development, including evaluation of investment vehicle structures, writing a large portion of the original investor prospectus, developing the impact measurement framework, identifying appropriate regional and global LP candidates, and rapidly building the starting investee pipeline.