Investing in people is what drives Ryan Wang, the Co-founder and General Partner of Outpost Capital, a leading, cross-border, early-stage, venture fund based in San Francisco and Beijing.
His multicultural background, a successful career track record and his personal interest in becoming a world explorer take Ryan across the USA and the world for investing in interesting startups. He lives in San Francisco but travels frequently to LA, NYC, Seattle, and China. Ryan oversees companies in the US and greater China with solid insights and strong connections in both markets.
Ryan’s main area of investment is in VR/AR, Blockchain (Equity and Pre-ICO), new frontier technology (Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Drones/Robotics, Lightfield), Gaming/Esports, new Media& Entertainment companies.
Ryan is also Chief Business Officer of MOAC Blockchain, a high-performance multi-layered public blockchain.
Prior to OutpostVC, Ryan was a Venture Partner at CLI Ventures managing its TMT investment arm with over $200M AUM. His earlier career days were working as an investment banker at Citigroup and Societe Generale in New York City.
He also mentors at the Launch Academy, a top startup hub based in Vancouver, Canada. Ryan is also coaching a few startup teams at Nanyang Technology University (NTU) in Singapore, under the Startup Case Challenge (SCC) program at Nanyang Technopreneurship Center.
Besides a high-profile career, Ryan wears many other hats literally considering his avid interest in collecting hats. He also enjoys snowboarding, sci-fi stuff and is a Dota 2 player and also an MMA student.
Koreatechdesk.com asked Ryan Wang 10 questions to know about his investment philosophy and advice for startups.
1. As an investor, what kind of startups have you invested in?
I have majorly invested in VR/AR, Blockchain, AI, Drones/Robotics, Gaming/Esports, Fintech, New Media/Entertainment. A comprehensive list could be be found on our website: https://www.outpostvc.com/
2. What would be the core factors (reasons) that you decide to invest in those companies?
There are three factors, which is: People, People, People. I believe early stage is all about investing in people.
3. What’s your basic investment philosophy (criteria or rules or formula) in investing startups?
First is Vision that is how does the world look like in their eyes, currently and in the future? Then World-class. In other words, are the entrepreneurs one of the few people in the world, who are best fit in solving this problem? And Plan. All ambitions boil down to real world executions. Where to start? What’s the low hanging fruit? What’s the plan?
4. What are the main factors (reasons) why startups fail that you have experienced or noticed so far? And how to prevent those mistakes in advance from your personal perspective?
Product-market fit: Many startups have amazing technology but eventually fail because they have trouble finding their product-market fit.
5. What’s your advice for entrepreneurs who have a chance to meet (or pitch to) investors like you?
Be concise and be able to explain exactly what the company does to ANYONE in 2 mins. Investors get countless pitch everyday. I got trapped in conversations that have been on-going for over 10 mins while I’m still clueless about what exactly does this company do.
6. What’s your general thought (definition) about the term “Global”?
I’m a believer in globalization, and best startups think about globalization on day
7. What are the important factors (criteria) for Korean startups to consider for a US expansion?
Again, Product-Market fit. What makes sense in Korean market may not apply in the US. Also they need to learn more about local competitors and figure out how to stay competitive. In addition, turn the equation around: how can they leverage the Korean aspect and make it an advantage?
8. As you know, our media group name is “beSUCCESS”, What’s your definition of the term “Success” as an investor or as an individual human being?
Live a fulfilling life and make contribution in your way.
9. What are the things (one or two) that you would do as prior if you could go back to 10 years ago?
Be more adventurous.
10. When you come to Korea next time, what kind (entrepreneur type or startup industry) of Korean entrepreneurs and startups you want to meet?
VR/AR, Gaming/Esports, New Media&Entertainment, Fashion Tech.
Ryan Wang will be attending TIPS X beSUCCESS KOREAN STARTUP SHOWCASE as one of the prominent judges on March 12th, 2019 at JW Marriott San Francisco.