Meet GES Delegate: Shinta W. Dhanuwardoyo & Jenny Q. Ta
VCNetwork.co is a virtual Shark Tank meets matchmaker platform of independent, international venture capitalists. Founded on the premise that “cliquey” VC networks tend to overlook or exclude lesser-known, less-connected startups from funding consideration, VCNetwork.co is the anti-“Good Ol’ Boys” club. Its founders believe more startups should be given proper guidance, funding opportunities and an overall better shot at success.
Shinta & I were inspired to start VCNetwork.co after meeting hundreds of female founders and entrepreneurs who were not able to obtain funding mostly because of their gender. Data has shown that VCs never invest unless they are introduced to a founder by someone they trust. They also only tend to invest 5% of their capital in startups led by women, and 1% in startups led by minorities. So, it is our mission to break down those barriers the traditional funding models have placed between VCs and entrepreneurs by connecting startup founders with the right investors for their specific needs.
The next big step for VCNetwork.co is to connect more venture capitalists with startups. Both Shinta & I studied AngelList.co’s concept of connecting startups to investors, and we found that they practice a “bottom-up” approach — in which data shows only 710 of the 690,000 companies listed get funded. With VCNetwork.co, we employ a “top-down” approach. Our goals are to reach out to as many investors and VCs possible to invest in startups globally. This reverse model is a bold solution that allows each individual startup to be closely considered by a more focused group of high net worth investors. One of the immediate projects we are currently working on is to seek out some of the top startups from the U.S. to join force with other startups from Jakarta and Vietnam for a global tour to be presented to some of our high net worth investors from SE Asia. As both Shinta and I continue to meet with startups on a one-on-one basis, we will soon zero in on some of the top players we are planning to feature on our VCNetwork platform. In conjunction with this, we are working with a number of selected well-known Venture Capitalists here in the States to join with our high net worth investors from SE Asia to launch a $10-billion-dollar fund — the “Berkshire Hathaway” of startups!
Our biggest obstacles in business have probably just been ourselves. This could be anything from being too tough on ourselves, to trying to be too perfect, to acting too harsh or too soft when it comes to making the hard decisions. We have both learned to overcome this by surrounding ourselves with good people we can trust to give us honest and positive feedback. We have both individually founded a number of startups; some have been successful, and some were not. Having this sounding board available has helped us sharpen the learning curve on decision making, investment discernment and unnecessary self-doubting.
Shinta & I would advise other entrepreneurs to treat failures not only as a lesson learned, but also as an asset to succeed in future projects. We tell the startups we mentor to never be afraid of failure. If an entrepreneur is aggressive enough, as soon as he/she has failed at something, he/she should immediately pivot into starting something new. Each time this is done, that entrepreneur’s self-confidence and determination to succeed will only grow stronger. And, determination to overcome setbacks is a key to overall entrepreneurial success.