Aug. 13, 2021

UVC: Hsu Ken from Iterative VC on his journey as a founder, importance of quick validation of your hypothesis while building a product, and about Iterative, a YC-style accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia

UVC: Hsu Ken from Iterative VC on his journey as a founder, importance of quick validation of your hypothesis while building a product, and about Iterative, a YC-style accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia

Understanding VC is a deep dive on how Venture Capitalists work. In this episode, I talk to Hsu Ken Ooi, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Iterative VC on Iterative, a YC-style accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia, what he looks for in startups applying for the Iterative program, why he is excited for the future of Southeast Asian tech ecosystems and how Iterative plans to add value to it. Prior to Iterative, he was the Chief Product Officer of Workmate, an on-demand blue-collar staffing platform in Southeast Asia and talks about the importance of quick validation of your hypothesis while building a product. Hsu Ken also shares his entrepreneurial journey building ‘Decide.com’, a price comparison website co-founded by Hsu Ken which was later sold to eBay in 2013 & about ‘Weave’, a YC funded professional networking app.


Hsu Ken is the Founder and General Partner at Iterative, a YC-style accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia. Before that, he was the Chief Product Officer of Workmate, an on-demand blue-collar staffing platform in Southeast Asia. In 2014, he was VP of Product at Weave (YCS14). In 2009, he started Decide.com an early machine learning company that predicted the future price of consumer goods. It was acquired by eBay in 2013. Hsu Ken has a BS in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Washington.

Key Takeaways

  • How Hsu Ken got started in startups
  • Origin story of Decide.com, a price comparison website co-founded by Hsu Ken and acquired by eBay in 2013
  • How and why Decide was able to raise funding pre-product
  • Highs and Lows of building Decide
  • Why the team decided to sell Decide to eBay and about the acquisition process of Decide
  • Challenges of building a product for professional networking and his experience building Weave
  • Why he decided to build Iterative, a YC-style accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia
  • What he looks for in startups applying for the Iterative program and the importance of quickly validating your hypothesis while building products
  • Hsu Ken shares why he is excited for Southeast Asia tech ecosystem and his vision for how Iterative will add value to the tech ecosystem in the region
Hsu Ken Ooi Profile Photo

Hsu Ken Ooi

Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Iterative

Hsu Ken is the Founder and General Partner at Iterative, a YC-style accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia. Before that, he was the Chief Product Officer of Workmate, an on-demand blue collar staffing platform in Southeast Asia. In 2014, he was VP of Product at Weave (YCS14). In 2009, he started Decide.com an early machine learning company that predicted the future price of consumer goods. It was acquired by eBay in 2013. Hsu Ken has a BS in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Washington.