June 26, 2022

UVC: Joan Yao from Kickstart Ventures on venture philanthropy & how it’s different from traditional VC, the state of digitization of consumer and enterprise experience in the Philippines, and traits of a great founder

UVC: Joan Yao from Kickstart Ventures on venture philanthropy & how it’s different from traditional VC, the state of digitization of consumer and enterprise experience in the Philippines, and traits of a great founder

Understanding VC is a deep dive on how venture capitalists work. In this episode, I speak with Joan Yao who is the Vice President of investments at KickStart ventures. Joan begins the conversation by talking about her first job out of university as an investment manager at LGT venture philanthropy which eventually sparks a discussion about venture philanthropy and how is it different from VC funds. This is followed by a brief discussion about social enterprises and the way they have evolved in the last 10-15 years. Later, Joan talks about her journey at Kickstart ventures and the reasons why the company has been funding organizations throughout the globe, as opposed to the conventional approach of VC funds of focusing on a particular geography. She also talks about whether conglomerate businesses are better off investing in startups or having internal cooperation. Joan mentions a book titled ‘Dual Transformation’ by Scott D. Anthony which talks about how to reposition today’s business while creating the future during this discussion. This is followed by a discussion about evergreen funds and the two ways of calculating their returns. Joan also talks about the digital economy in the Philippines: its rise, growth, and prospects.
Towards the end of this episode, Joan shares the traits of a great founder. The conversation then ends with a brief discussion about the changes in the startup ecosystem in recent years with respect to sales, marketing, and investing.


In this podcast episode, you will learn:

  • What is venture philanthropy? How is it different from a VC fund?
  • What is the investment thesis at Kickstart ventures? What has Kickstart’s journey from its first fund right up to the recent (third) fund been like?
  • Why does Kickstart invest in startups throughout the globe as opposed to the conventional approach of VC funds of focusing on particular geography?
  • Are big conglomerate businesses better off investing in startups or having an internal innovation team?
  • Over the years, how far has the Philippines come when it comes to the digitization of consumers and enterprise experience? How big can the digital economy in the Philippines be in the coming years?
  • Social movements or trends (in the startup world) that Joan thinks have a lot of growth potential in the Philippines or globally in the coming years like B2B e-commerce, agriculture, healthcare, and education
  • Joan answers the question ‘What are the traits of a great founder?’ by mentioning various factors such as being able to build a team, being humble, open-minded, decisive with a strong point of view about a particular thing, the one who understands the market and its requirement and the one who considers himself responsible enough for taking wrong calls and yet pivoting a way out of it
  • What are some ways in which the Philippines startup ecosystem has improved over the years?

About

Joan Yao is the Vice President of Investments at Kickstart Ventures Inc., the corporate venture capital arm of Globe Telecom. Prior to Kickstart, she was Investment Manager for Southeast Asia at LGT Venture Philanthropy, a global impact investing firm headquartered in Europe. For six years, Joan was primarily responsible for the sourcing, screening, execution, and management of LGT VP’s deals in the region. In 2015, she served as a consultant to the Secretary of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines, advising on policies and programs related to MSME development, tech startups, inclusive business, and social enterprise.

Joan Yao Profile Photo

Joan Yao

Vice President of Investments at Kickstart Ventures Inc.

Joan Yao is the Vice President of Investments at Kickstart Ventures Inc., the corporate venture capital arm of Globe Telecom. Prior to Kickstart, she was Investment Manager for Southeast Asia at LGT Venture Philanthropy, a global impact investing firm headquartered in Europe. For six years, Joan was primarily responsible for the sourcing, screening, execution, and management of LGT VP’s deals in the region. In 2015, she served as a consultant to the Secretary of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines, advising on policies and programs related to MSME development, tech startups, inclusive business, and social enterprise.