My anniversary at Kakao Ventures (formerly named K Cube Ventures) was at the beginning of May this year, and so I wanted to give an idea of what can possibly happen during a seemingly short period of time in a vastly vigorous industry.
Summary to kick off:
- in 2 companies based in the US
- in 8 companies based in Korea
- $5m across 4 funds
- $2m as government grants (thanks to the Tech Incubator Program for Startups)
- 1,000 new acquaintances whom I've talked with for at least 5 minutes
- Celebrities, politicians, the rich and the poor, the young and the old, students and professors, first-time founders and high-profiles, old friends and new enemies, etc.
- The birth of a company
- The death of a company
- The rapid rise and fall of a company valuation
- The creation of a new fund
- Helped out:
- Getting office space
- Getting next-round funding
- Getting new hires
- Getting business development opportunities
- Attended or performed few or numerous:
- Demo days, networking events, international trips, mentoring, pitch judging, hackathons, conferences, etc.
- Anything or anywhere that can let me meet the brightest minds
If it wasn't for the very lucky timing of my onboarding, I think it would've required at least another year to go through all of what I wrote. All of this could happen simply because of the following reasons:
- Extraordinary Team: Our partners are super open to new ideas, our associates are almost never resting, our operations team is extremely robust, and our PR team is trendy at its best.
- Unique Position of Our Firm: We operate just like what an independent VC house would do, but we also get the benefits of what an in-house corporate VC would get.
- Power of Our Brand: From the founders of our firm to the startups that we've collaborated with, every single moment added up to become something bigger.
- We Ourselves Are Still a Startup: Luckily, the young culture hasn't worn out yet, and everyone gets an opportunity to take more responsibilities.
What's next? The upcoming years are also expected to be full of challenges, such as:
- Increasing our headcount
- Upgrading our internal processes and systems
- Setting up satellite offices
- Liquidating our first fund
- Exploring new industries and markets
- Exploring new types of investment structures
With such a privileged job that lets you meet so many special and passionate people, I hope that whatever I do doesn't end to be just for the few.