–In the countdown to RISE we’re kicking off a “5 Minutes With” series. Over the coming weeks we’ll sit down with different speakers confirmed for Hong Kong. The series will feature quick fire Q & A’s. We think it’s a cool way to get to know some of the world-class leaders that will be speaking at RISE.
Today we’re chatting with Jenny Lee, Managing Partner at GGV Capital. Jenny has been instrumental in setting up GGV’s presence in China. A self-professed Geek and product investor, Jenny has been recognised by Forbes for four consecutive years in the Global Top 100 VC Midas list and most recently in 2015 as the top female venture capitalist. She was #10 on the 2015 Midas list, the first time a woman has broken the top 10 and the highest ranking ever for a woman in the history of the list.
Jenny, what was your favourite day ever at work?Ringing the bell at our portfolio companies’ IPO events. This is a key milestone where I can share in the joy of a founder/CEO who has successfully graduated their company from private startup to public status. The IPO is just the beginning on a long journey, but it’s a huge milestone.
Who would be the first person you would invite to a party?Elon Musk. He is truly the one-and-only entrepreneur globally who is thinking out of the box, who is creating companies that are unique and can change the world. He’s trying to disrupt transportation (Tesla), space exploration (SpaceX), and clean energy. In china where all three of these areas are major sectors for change, Elon would be a welcome guest at any party.
How does it feel to be the first woman in the Midas List top 10 and the highest ranking ever for a woman on the list?I’m honoured, but I’m actually more focused on finding the next killer app or breakout deal that can change the world. Where are the next generation leaders and companies going to come from?
What are your passions for investing and what are you on the look for right now?I would like to be able to support that entrepreneur who has passion in his or her eyes, and fire in their bellies. These people are rare, but they are willing to go above and beyond to create a product or service that can change existing ways of life and thinking. In the mobile internet world, (1 billion smartphone users combined in the US and China – our target markets), the law of large numbers can now truly create many unicorns.
I’m looking to back the creative and innovative elite few who will capture a large part of this value creation by daring to be different. These entrepreneurs will mold the next-generation consumer experience. I’m focused on two main areas: the IOT space, where I’m looking for companies creating new technologies in converged ecosystems or verticals (like sports, auto, drones, etc.); and global tech companies leveraging cross-border insights and sourcing capabilities to execute their business models globally (education, commerce, finance, etc.)
Can you give us a preview of what you will be discussing on stage?Perhaps, I will discuss 2 main trends: the “makers revolution” and the “revenge of the new consumer”. I’m a firm believer that with mature, low-cost hardware and faster mobile computing power, the world of startups will become dominated by “makers” again – entrepreneurs who can breathe new life into new applications and products. These makers will disrupt lifestyle, home, automotive, retail, and other sectors using innovative design.
Secondly, I’ll discuss how the next generation unicorns will be companies that understand exactly what the new internet consumers need and want, and can develop customised products and services for each individual, delivered on demand, in real-time, and across global borders.
We can’t wait to see Jenny speak at RISE. Grab an early bird ticket if you haven’t already.