Derek Kwik, Brave Soldier Venture Capital

29 April 2015

Meet Derek Kwik, Managing Partner of Brave Soldier Venture Capital

1. What advice would you have for someone looking to get into the same role and industry as you?  
Venture capital is a people oriented business. Because the investment opportunity is in the start-up world, the MBA finance metrics are not really applicable. It’s less so about academics of number crunching and more about the reading of the psychology of founders and their ability to execute the action plan. 

2. What have you learnt from your years working in the industry? 
1. Trust but verify.
2. As Mike Tyson once said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Founders who are able to react and change directions quickly, have a higher success rate.
3. An Ivy league education and past work experience at a top tier firm give zero indication to execution capability. None whatsoever.
4. I have never seen a PowerPoint presentation that didn’t tell me what I wanted to see. It is always better to have the Founder tell the story than to read it.
5. If it looks like shit, if it smells like shit, it probably is. 

3. What career books would you recommend reading? 
Getting To Yes by William Ury, Roger Fisher
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Competitive Advantage by Michael E. Porter 

4. What should always be taken seriously? What should never be taken seriously?  
Serious: Negotiating terms Not serious: When the investor asks the founder: “Are you fun having yet?” 

5. Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?  
Celene Loo: She is an accomplished banker turned successful entrepreneur. She is an amazing marathon runner. She is a published author. She is a painter. And she finds time to give back to the community thru her charity. Is there anything this woman can’t do? 

6. What’s the number one thing you want to achieve in the next five years?  
I don’t just want to be a pretty good chef. I want to be an amazing chef. 

7. What is your favorite Networking conversation starter / ice breaker? 
“I just ran 250km across...[insert name of desert or jungle or mountain]” 
or “My next book is going to be about [insert subject matter]” 

8. What is your favorite Hong Kong restaurant(s)?
Tsui Wah, Burger King, KFC, Rummin’ Tings 

9. Where is your favorite place to brunch in Hong Kong?

10. What is something you are looking forward to in 2015?
To publish my cook book 

11. In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame?