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A Tale of Five Investors

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  • 1. Ryan Huddleston (Analyst)February 23rd, 2012Mentor’s CapitalSeoul, Republic of Korea A Tale of Five InvestorsAfter meeting personally with five Silicon Valley based venture capitalists, I took noteson some key issues startup companies, and especially Korean startup companies, needto be aware of before seeking investment. I have compiled the most importantinformation from each investor below:Moon Kim (Harbor Pacific Capital)1) VC’s want to see executive summary, presentation, charts and numbers, etc…2) Team-the people running the company IP (Patents)- US patents are important (Korean patents are too lose) because if the company fails, the investors can keep the patents (very, very important)3) You just get one chance; you have to be credible; if you’re not credible, you willdie in this industry (be honest)4) The problem with Korean companies is that many times their record keeping isvery messy compared with U.S. companies -Korean companies need to fix their books (accounting), make sure everything is very neat and easily presentable5) Korean companies tend to be very stubborn, they don’t want to change (theyhave to be open to change)-unlike Chinese, Japanese companies who will change6)Connections in Silicon Valley are very important; you have to have someone inyour company who is reputable or known, or know somebody who has thesequalities and use them for connections, find an advisor, someone you can use7) Silicon Valley investors never invest alone; if they like you, they will take you totheir friend’s offices and try to get them to invest in you also-you must be ready topresent to several different companies8) Talking to portfolio companies these firms have invested in is very important;they almost always listen to their portfolio companiesTae HeaNahm (Storm Ventures)1) -What is Space?
  • 2. He is interested in Space-how close entrepreneurs are to him, if someone he knowsintroduces entrepreneurs (what is their relationship to Tae Hea or Storm Ventures)ORIf their companies are close to Storm Venture’s portfolio companies, if theirportfolio companies are interested in themSynergy with Storm Ventures portfolio or KT2) They have a filter-this idea of space is their filter.Due diligence-My time-investment stage (If a portfolio company or a relation to TaeHea knows the startup company, it means it is easier to do due diligence on thecompany)Space-------> IT (very broad)3) Wants to do due diligence on the people he meets, can do that through LinkedIn. -Wants to find a mutual link (LinkedIn, other VC, etc). People can easily find information out about him, people know about him before a meeting, he wants to know about people, he wants to be able to find their information easily.Jay Eum (Translink Capital)1) Angry, many companies come from Korea, and organizations give them tours, butalmost all investing companies don’t invest in them -There are only a few companies in Silicon Valley that have a history of investing in Korean companies2) Korean companies come over here, hire marketing people, schedule meetings,and work very hard, but they don’t seem to get anything out of it, they are notsuccessful -He says Korean companies have to be very cautious when entering the U.S.3)Companies that have Korean Americans or Americans coming from Korea have abetter chance to succeed, because they are more cautious and prepared. Companiesmust be prepared and understand the market they are trying to enter.Perry Ha (DFJ Athena)1) Koreans provide too much information during their presentations; too much
  • 3. information on the presentation slides2) The biggest thing is marketing; they are marketing themselves every second oftheir meeting, they have to understand VCs are not interested in reading about theircompany history or company timeline.3) They only have about 30 minutes to make a successful relationship; they haveabout 30 minutes to get another meeting with the investor.David Lee (XG Ventures)1) Sees so many ideas and startup business plans and presentations every singleday; how can your presentation be different?2) Don’t worry as much about the market and how much money you’re going tomake in the future, just create something cool, something interesting -People can look at and say ‘wow, huh, this is interesting’3) A lot of times, companies will just send a video of someone using their product, oran introduction video to investors. -Don’t need to go in there with a huge presentation and business plan, just get them a video of someone using their product/service.