On this episode, Hall is joined by James Wang of Creative Ventures. Before early stage investing, James started out at the hedge fund Brightwater Associates. His background in both finance and technology led him to really being able to focus on risk investing. At Creative Ventures, they tend to look at the biggest problems facing the world at the moment and go after those with the same focus. James highlights two risks that you can face when investing in early stage startups. First, there’s the execution risk in terms of picking the right team. Second, there are the market risks–if you’re trying to go after a market as an early stage investor, you need to look for something that’s going to be around for an extended period. As James advises, it is important to have both a problem and a space as a starting point to really have the returns that you’re looking for.
Hall and James also discuss his unique perspective on investing in the deep technology space, as well as some of the advice he’d give to others wanting to branch out into this space. Creative Ventures makes it a point to research and understand problems and challenges well, and then talk to like-minded startups that tackle those problems. In the deep technology space, James advises that it is important to know whether the technology you’re investing in has a real-world market, rather than something that is in a research and development stage that may not pay off for many years. James talks about the current state of investing in deep tech, and how that space is evolving. In addition, James provides some examples of specific technologies, and some of the startups pursuing them, that Creative has invested in. Finally, James discusses how a lack of focus is something to look out for when investing in deep tech.
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Hall T Martin is the director of Investor Connect, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the education of investors for early-stage funding. All opinions expressed by Hall and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Investor Connect. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for the basis of investment decisions.