On August 27, 2021, Dr. Aaron Dinin from Duke University joined our General Partner of Born Global Ventures, Dr. Sunny Zhang to have a candid discussion on what startup ideas work for startup founders and investors alike. The key requirements for start-up opportunities, laid down by Aaron, are summarised below:  

  • Clearly defined problem/need
  • Significant demand
  • Cost-effective access to demand
  • Good timing
  • The value of helping is more than the cost. 

Aaron teaches entrepreneurship at Duke University. His courses focus on opportunity identification, social marketing, and customer/user acquisition. He writes extensively about entrepreneurship on Medium, where he’s a Top Writer on Startups, Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, and Business spaces. He also hosts a popular podcast series called Web Masters podcast that teaches entrepreneurial strategy through interviews with some of the Internet’s most impactful innovators. Prior to teaching entrepreneurship, Aaron was a software engineer and founder of multiple venture-backed technology companies. He is a 2012 RS Microsoft Fellow, a 2013 graduate of The Startup Factory, and a member of 500 Startups Batch #19.

Learn more at Aaron’s website: http://aarondinin.com

Follow Aaron’s blog: https://aarondinin.medium.com 

And Web Masters podcast: https://latonas.com/podcast 

Special thanks to our event partners, Fort Bend Chamber of CommerceThe Cannon Community, Global Energy Mentors (GEM) and Z LAB Global for their kind support.

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On August 20, 2021, two remarkable Born Global VCs, Irving Kau and Eunse Lee joined our General Partner of Born Global Ventures, Dr. Sunny Zhang for a virtual event. Irving and Eunse shared their stories about getting into venture investing and talked through the current changes in the financial landscape, the pros and cons of emerging ecosystems, the opportunities in those emerging ecosystems, and some advice for early-stage founders and emerging fund managers. 

Irving Kau has extensive work experience working in both public and private equity including venture capital. He has worked on the buy-side, sell-side, and company side. Having built up a sizable network across all growth sectors, Irving serves as the Managing Partner of both Elementz Ventures and KW Capital Partners, as he has successfully completed over $100M in companies across geographies, sectors, and stages, and taken 12+ companies public to a Nasdaq listing. Irving prides himself on quantitative approaches including economic, financial, and market penetration modelling (Bass Diffusion), and as a detail-oriented global leader focuses himself on follow-through, execution, and task completion. He deeply values character and ‘doing the right thing’ in each circumstance despite any potential short-term effects. He also served as the head of Asia at GHS (now known as Seaport Global Holdings LLC) which possessed seasoned leadership from Jeffries and DLJ. He was named Top 40 under 40 finance professionals (2012, M&A Media).  

Eunse Lee is a founder-turned early-stage investor and the founder and Managing Partner at a current stealth mode VC to globally empower early-stage high-tech startups with Asian founders. Prior to this position, Eunse was the Managing Director at Techstars Korea – Techstars’ first-ever program for Korea, where he built the full cycle of investment and operations of the accelerator, and invested in high-growth companies from Korea, US, Singapore, Australia, Canada and Japan. He also co-founded two LA-based VC firms and was involved in raising two funds totaling $250mn. He started his career in strategy at a firm he founded in Korea and served Tier-1 companies in both Korea and overseas as a strategy and management consultant. He also served as an advisor to the Korean Government and many of its agencies in formulating and implementing strategies for the Creative Economy.

Special thanks to our event partners, Women in AI USAThe Cannon Community and Z LAB Global for their kind support.

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On August 13, 2021, General Partner of Born Global Ventures, Dr. Sunny Zhang was joined by two amazing academic entrepreneurs, Naama Barnea-Goraly M.D. and Christel Bastida Ph.D., to discuss the opportunities and challenges for faculty and students who want to turn research findings into tech startups that can have a greater impact in the world and benefit more people.

Dr. Barnea-Goraly and Dr. Bastida not only shared their personal journey from a researcher/scientist/physician to an entrepreneur but also touched on “taboo” topics such as mental blocks and psychological well being. One would be surprised to know that there are more similarities than differences in the two seemingly day and night worlds of academia and entrepreneurship, and there are many transferrable skills and mindsets from academia that actually help one succeed in the startup space. 

Naama Barnea-Goraly is the co-founder of Girltelligence, an AI startup for empowering teen girls and young women and providing them with a supportive community and safe space to talk about anything from mental health to gender equality. She received her medical degree from the Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical School of Jerusalem, Israel and her clinical training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as well as a postdoctoral neuroimaging research fellowship at Stanford University.

Renaissance woman Dr. Christel Bastida innovates in a variety of scientific and academic fields. Having taken part in Rice University’s Lilie Launchpad as part of the inaugural startup studio cohort and Glasgow University’s Innovation and Sustainability Fellowship, she now consults and mentors on projects related to science and innovation. She is also set to start her next endeavour as a Startup Studio Entrepreneur with FedTech, a venture builder that drives forward deep tech ventures across the DoD, NASA, DoE, universities, and federal labs. 

Special thanks to our event partners, the Consulate General of Israel in Houston, Women in AI USAThe Cannon Community and Z LAB Global for their kind support.

Please join our Slack space and sign up for our Newsletter to learn more about Born Global events and connect with amazing members of our community!