Fresh out of the studio, Yaw Yeo, an angel investor joined us to discuss his experiences on working in two high growth technology companies from the US and China covering the Asia Pacific region. He shared the similarities and differences between technology companies from the US and China and how they perceived the Southeast Asia market. Last but not least, Yaw shared his perspectives as an angel investor in Southeast Asia and reflected on the changing landscape of angel investing in the last decade.
"If you look at the tech universe revolves around the U S and China, I spent a lot time almost 10 years in the [Silicon] valley ecosystem. But I haven't really seen the China technology ecosystem. So I was really curious on how it works, how is it like, how is it different? There was like a great opportunity for me to learn and see how it worked from the inside." - Yaw Yeo
- Yaw Yeo, angel investor and extended leadership with the XA Network (@yawyeo , LinkedIn)
- How did you start your career before your adventures with a US and Chinese tech company?
- Throughout your career journey, what are the interesting lessons you can share with my audience?
Two Corporate Cultures & Angel Investing in Southeast Asia
- To start our conversation, can you share about your former roles in Twilio and Alibaba Cloud?
- Let’s start from the US company experience first, how did you land your role with Twilio and what are the early days like?
- Thru Twilio, you led their expansion in Asia Pacific, what is it like working with a US company operating in Asia?
- For market expansion, you will need to work with the product and sales team. How do US companies approach Southeast Asia and do they think about localization and feedback from the ground?
- What have you learned from working in a high growth company like Twilio?
- Then you moved to Alibaba Cloud after Twilio. How did you end up in Alibaba Cloud and what is your motivation in joining the company?
- Does product management in Chinese companies differ from their US counterparts given that they tend to serve their large domestic market: China?
- What is it like working with a Chinese tech company in Southeast Asia? How different is it compared to if the same counterpart of you has worked in China?
- We have heard of the 996 culture in Chinese companies. Does that culture extend out of China into Southeast Asia?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses when trying to expand geographically in the region? What would they need to do differently in winning the market?
- Given that you are a prolific angel investor in the Southeast Asia space, can you share the verticals and types of startups that you look out for?
- What are the traits which you index from startup founders and their teams that will be a leading indicator for you to invest in them?
- How do you think that the angel investing scene has changed in the last decade?
- Any recommendations that have inspired you recently?
- Yaw's recommendations: 1/ Inside Tik Tok Part 1 and Part 2 in English and whole article in Chinese (with Yaw's linkedin post), 2/ Trevor Noah's Full Speech at 2022 White House Correspondents' Dinner and his book "Born a Crime: Stories from a South African childhood"
- How can my audience find you?