Having already dabbled in Silicon Valley’s tech start-up scene for a while, Vinnie Lauria decided to take a break and travel around Asia with his wife. He got a taste of the dynamic Asian start-up scene during his adventures and was propelled to establish a venture capital firm in Singapore. Since 2011, Golden Gate Ventures has been bridging Asia internet & mobile companies — such as Carousell and Redmart — to the valley through investment and mentorship.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT CLIMATE OF SOUTHEAST ASIA’S START-UP SCENE IN TODAY’S SOFTENING MARKET?
China’s softening market is driving more capital down to Southeast Asia. A mix of Chinese tycoons and foreign VCs are looking to shift their investments to new opportunities. We’ve seen more money being invested into the region over the past six months compared to all of 2015.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SINGAPORE’S ECOSYSTEM FOR START-UPS?
I’m very bullish on Singapore’s ecosystem. The government has done a lot to both kick-start the ecosystem and mature it to the next stages. Singapore’s biggest asset is its high mix of international talent. It’s people with different backgrounds and perspectives that choose to solve problems differently and create innovation.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE SETBACKS, IN LIFE AND AT WORK?
Over a nice whisky. But more seriously, at the office, I encourage people to tackle bigger challenges with the knowledge that mistakes will be made and learned from. Sometimes a deep breath can change your whole perspective.