Quote of the Week: Bold Asean Entrepreneurs Emerge


November 28, 2013

 “In my opinion, if you cannot raise money from professional investors, then don’t start a company. It means there’s something wrong with your business model…VCs all think alike. They’re Excel spreadsheet guys. If they cannot project your returns, then they’re not going to invest.”

Who said it: Dr Gabriel Walter, cofounder of LED start up Quantum Electro Opto Systems (QEOS)

In Context: Walter is one of the growing number of technology entrepreneurs from Asean, the South East Asian region that covers 10 nations (including Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Myanamar). The quote above is from a recent VC conference in Singapore where the audience learned that the top three cities for social media mobile usage are Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta and they are all located in Asean, according to sources quoted in Digital News Asia. It is a regional market on track to become the same size as the United States, and yet the region appears to be wide open territory for VCs. Asean only has about 20 active VC funds, while the United States has over 1,000. Even China has around 600 VC funds and India has 400, according to the same source. Walter was one of several entrepreneurs to describe raising venture capital on a panel. Walter’s Malaysia-based optical semiconductor startup, which raised capital from local VC funds, currently holds the record for the world’s fastest lights source for optical telecommunications networking. His comments illustrate that the relationship between VC and entrepreneurs is the same in Malaysia as it is anywhere else in the world.

Where we found it: The Malay Mail Online

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