“The Problem with Today’s Entrepreneurs”: Singapore VC Nicholas Chan’s Insights (Part 4/4)

18 Oct 2010 in Interviews

“The Problems with Today’s Entrepreneurs”: Singapore VC Nicholas Chan Explains from John Exley on Vimeo.

NOTE: **Warning About Video: at the 1:30 mark in this video, something is messed up with my camera (or perhaps my file?) for about 4 seconds and initially when reviewing the video it caught me off guard so I hope you aren’t taken aback by it!


Begin: the final segment.
31 year-old venture capitalist Nicholas Chan thinks there is something wrong with entrepreneurs these days: they talk too much, and they spend way too much meeting each other rather than focusing on building their businesses. Disagree? Have a conversation with him on Twitter. Want to have a personal dialogue? Email him: nicholas@azionecapital.com.

Who is Nicholas Chan? The serial entrepreneur behind 5 companies and 1 non-profit is currently the Founder & Executive Director of Singapore-based early stage venture capital firm and startup business incubator Azione Capital.

UPDATE: Want more? Watch segment 1: “The Early Days of The Accidental Venture Capitalist

In this the final segment of my interview with him from late April, Nicholas addresses a few of the problems he has seen surface with Singapore’s entrepreneurs that come to him with proposals for VC funding. He also describes his outspoken methodology of refusing to invest in entrepreneurs who are “trend followers”, “talkers-not-doers”, and “fancy education boasting”. Basically, people who try to prove their worth by writing and not doing.

Finally, Nicholas explains why he thinks Asia/China has it right when it comes to business fundamentals, relationship building, and long term focus.

What are Nicholas’ credentials? Watch/read segment 3 of my interview with him here. In short, he has invested in 25 companies and had 3 successful exits thus far.

*NOTE: Special thanks to my friend Lai Wing Sheng for helping out by handling the camera!

Below are my interview summary notes:

1. Nicholas talks about how he thinks the most successful tech startups are quiet; not consumed with blogging, tweeting, and attending events.

2. As a follow-up, I asked him ‘so if you’re not going to be consumed with blogging/tweeting/attending events, how do you efficiently network and build relationships / engagement / community without becoming consumed by it?’

3. I give a shout out to my best friend ADAM “The Stepbrother” RAYBURN


UPDATE: Oh yeah, and watch segment 2 of my interview if you want to learn how Nicholas “Won Over Mentors As a Teenager“.

QUESTION to YOU the reader: Do you agree with Nicholas’ take on today’s entrepreneurs spending too much time socially…whether on or offline?