Amoo Venture Capital Advisory is proud to announce the successful launch of place4BRICS, London's first community for technology entrepreneurs and investors from or interested in conducting business in the BRICS countries. The first event took place on the September 14th, 2011 and featured perspectives on an opportunity in each country put forward by relevant experts, which was followed by an insightful round of Q&A and an opportunity to network. Speakers on the panel and some key takeaways from the day were:
Brazil: Avron Olshewsky, South African born telecoms entrepreneur. Avron started two businesses in Brazil and spoke about the size of the market, key regions for growth and the cultural nuances he had to learn - such as Brazilians often placing personal relationships above business - and adapt to while setting up his operations.
Russia: Evgeny Shadchnev, entrepreneur in residence at Forward Venture Partners. Evgeny's key insight on the start up scene was that Russia presents an environment in which funding exists in abundance but there is a dearth of key skills, most notably business acumen. Businesses looking to exploit opportunities in this region need to bring these with them and actively mentor their staff and teams.
India: Lipi Begum, PhD student at the London School of Fashion. Lipi’s academic research covers the techniques used to market global products to urban Indian women. Her talk offered a fresh perspective to be considered in finding a balance between global and local (“glocal”) marketing strategies.
China: Lu Fei, investment banker at Societe Generale. Lu Fei presented an analysis of Chinese technology behemoth Tencent and honed in on their instant messenger QQ, the world’s largest instant messenger. She tied the success of the messenger in China to the social effect of China's one-child policy where youth, in the absence of siblings, actively tryto form associations over the internet and are more open to connecting with strangers, thereby disrupting Western notions of online privacy.
South Africa: Rupert Cruise, serial entrepreneur in the field of clean energy generation. Rupert discussed socio-political changes the country has been through, its demographic diversity and the grassroots innovation taking place. One lamentation of his, however, was that the cost of Internet connectivity is prohibitively high (almost 4 times the cost in the UK) and this presents a bottleneck for tech start ups.
The key insight from the event was how strikingly similar each of these countries are, yet how much they differ as consumer markets. The talks led to networking and we take the fact that we had to be asked to leave the venue as a positive sign that meaningful business conversations were in play.
Total number of signups: 74
Total attendees: 60
Profile of the audience: As expected, the audience was multi-cultural with people from Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa as well as other emerging regions such as Bangladesh and Nigeria. Professionally, a range of occupations was represented spanning investment banking, management consulting, trade association members, entrepreneurs, engineering students and technologists.
Sponsors: Amoo Venture Capital Advisory & Queen Mary, University of London
Nzube Ufodike, Nikhil Kalanjee, Naunidh Virk, Enock Koola
Room 1.13, The Bancroft Building
Queen Mary, University of London
329 Mile End Road
Future Dates: Every second Wednesday of the month: the next event is a networking session to be held on the 12th of October.
Please feel free to contact us for details on the event: firstname.lastname@example.org