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Peter Stilli

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What’s your story?
I have lived in Singapore since 2006 and I have been heading up a Swiss MFO since December 2016. Before that, I worked for Bank Julius Baer in Singapore and before that, for DB in Zurich. Today’s jobs offer you freedom to be creative and live the entrepreneurial spirit with great diversity.

What is your involvement with Investment?
As the CEO of the company I am deeply involved with investments for our clients. It is key to at least try to be one step ahead and on top of what is going on. Needless to say this needs to be in many different areas. The extra mile is something I really want to live by. I contribute excellence and passion to my daily work.

How did that come about?
I have been involved in the financial industry since my early 20’s. I have been an fx broker and dealer with a two year stay in Tokyo, a swap trader, an investment and private banker and now I am a family officer. The variety of all this experience has helped me tremendously over the years in understanding the individual client’s needs.

What are some of the key things you have learnt about Investing?
Certainly patience and that the trees are not always growing towards the sky. Don’t be too proud to take a profit, or cut your losses if momentum is turning against you. Be open minded and true to yourself.

What mistakes do you see less experienced investors making?
Following the mainstream instead of being opportunistic and listening to less experienced people. Being stubborn and too proud to admit the learning curve. Not listening enough to yourself and following your gut. Getting manipulated by things outside your control without realising it.

What mistakes do you see Entrepreneurs making?
Not being patient and honest enough to themselves when it is not working or when a change of direction is needed. This asks for a lot of courage and a visionary mindset. Being too proud and getting too emotional and stubborn.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Keep all your options open. Speaking your mind is not always a smart way of reaching your goals.

What advice would you give to those seeking funding?
Put skin in the game and share the pain. This is fair, I believe.

Who inspires you?
People who are hard working, honest, positive thinking and never give up. Those with a great attitude, energetic and full of drive enabling them to motivate others, these people inspire me.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
A discussion with my daughter who shared with me her priceless advice on how to keep emotions and behaviour in check and how to manage self-criticism to become a better person and manager. This was truly great coaching.

What business book do you recommend the most?
“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman which is rich and fascinating. This book talks about two brain systems which drive the way we think. Excellent book.

Shameless plug for your business/organisation:
I am a very opportunistic and enthusiastic person and I am not afraid of facing the head wind. The latest example of my work is the launch of the first cryptocurrency fund which started with a simple request and quickly became a very serious project which we successfully mastered. We had to cross many hurdles facing always the unknown but this is exactly the exciting thing about what I am doing with my team.

How can people connect with you?
Mainly through LinkedIn or through my trusted network or via our company web page: https://www.helvetic-investments.sg/

This article is part of the World Business Angel Forum media partnership with AsianEntrepreneur.org

If you would like more information about WBAF, please contact Callum Laing WBAF High Commissioner for Singapore. [email protected]

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Entrepreneurship

Venture Capital Will Be Obsolete

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I don’t think it is too much to say that a venture capital played a major role in the innovation in Silicon Valley. However, in my humble opinion, it will be obsolete in the not so distant future.

Venture capital(VC), literally, has been investing their wealth to generate additional one despite the risk of the danger attached, and I imagine it sounded like a crazy idea for most people at the beginning.

When Arthur Rock was working as a banker in Wall Street, he received a letter from engineers in California. It was a cry for help. At that time, no one at his department knew what to do about it, but he saw an opportunity in this letter because he thought those engineers were brilliant. He went to California to see them, and suggest that they start a company (those engineers hadn’t even considered this before), and he offered to secure funding for their business. He looked for individuals and corporations willing to invest in the new company, but everybody declined interest in it. After the series of efforts to find investors fell short, someone suggested that he meet with Sherman Fairchild. Then finally, Sherman agreed to invest in those guys. The company was called Fiarchild Semiconductor.

Fiarchild Semiconductor’s case was (as you might have guessed), not a successful venture capital funded company; it was owned by an eastern corporation, and the capital policy was opaque/obscure. However, this model became a stepping stone to the VC as we know it today. Moreover, eight engineers (The Traitorous Eight) who left the Fiarchild Semiconductor largely contributed to the development of Silicon Valley (Intel, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, Byers…).

Arthur Rock wanted to do more of this type of funding in the West, but at that time all the money was in the East. So, he collected money in the East, and moved to San Francisco. And he ended up becoming an early investor in major firms including Intel, Apple Computer, Scientific Data Systems and Teledyne.

Now he is known as a pioneer in a VC industry. Venture capitalists like him ventured when other people saw only risks in startup funding. This noble model of venture capitals has been successful and became the standard for early stage startups.

Unfortunately, the world is headed in another direction. I believe a VC will be something like a newspaper today.

Instead, another crazy idea will become the mainstream; Crowdsale. It will open the equity buying to the public, and the fund-raising of startups will mainly be from the crowd. It’s simply a more efficient approach to raising funds. In order to raise funds from VCs, typically, startup founders have to meet lots of investors, pitch their ideas, consult with lawyers, and sign a contract in the end. Whereas, with crowdsale, founders only need to program the smart contract of crowdsale on their own, and explain about their project just once online. A large part of the fund-raising will be done online with a programmable smart contract.

I guess a form of crowdfunding will evolve over time, but in essence, I believe startup fund-raising will be more decentralized; instead of being dominated by rich people in VCs, anyone can participate in the open market where the risks and the gains are more evenly distributed.

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About the Author

This original article was written and submitted by Tai Sukemino.

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Investors

Shaheen Alkhudhari

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Shaheen Alkhudari experienced frustration, like a lot of us when paying rent, collecting rent and managing rental properties. So, he created Ajar Online to streamline rent payment and property management.

What’s your story?
I am a co-founder and CEO, and I hold a bachelor degree of Management Information Systems and a Masters of Business Administration. I successfully have over 9 years experience in diversified fields including logistics, real estate, investments and information technology. Early 2015, I came up with the idea of Ajar Online. As a tenant, it was a real hassle and a hectic process to pay my rent. Every time it was due, it was a nightmare. I had to pay cash, cheque or bank transfers, chasing my landlord to collect my rent or my receipt, or I had to stand in a long queue at the bank, all this, just to settle a simple rent. I worked to validate the idea by researching the real estate market, specifically its traditional methods of rent payment and property management. The conclusion was that both tenants and landlords were feeling the same pain, which all stemmed from inadequate payment methods. It was a common issue for landlords who owned just one property, or thousands.

What is your involvement with Investment?
In late 2016, we closed a second investment in a round led by Dubai-based venture firm BECO Capital, followed by an investment from Sharq Ventures. The first round was in October 2015 by Beco Capital.

How did that come about?
This investment supports Ajar Online’s growth in the region by upgrading the current services, and releasing new tools for the landlords. We believe in our investors as strategic partners, who work alongside our objectives and share our vision. They are the backbone of the company. We use their experience, network and passion to grow effectively.

What are some of the key things you have learnt about Investing?
1. Find the right investors who will support you to grow and self-funding at the start is very likely. Make sure you have the budget for it. I call them smart investors.
2. Invest in the team and the future of the company.
3. Know your competition. With a clear market research and swot analysis, you can identify your unique selling points (USP) and be more appealing for investment.

What mistakes do you see less experienced investors making?
Not asking the right or enough questions. An important factor in forming an investment is asking why. Young investors with a lack of experience haven’t experienced pitfalls in investments, so they ask a lot of questions to avoid it, or if it happens, they learn from it.

What mistakes do you see Entrepreneurs making?
Not knowing the market well enough and merely assuming, or not validating their idea with the right steps. This is a killer, as you can spend a lot of time and money building a product nobody wants to use.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
To stay focused, no matter the distractions and appealing factors. Stay focused on the goals you have set and execute accordingly.

What advice would you give to those seeking funding?
To play it smart, be prepared for all questions by investors, especially the ones regarding market and competition. Have a short pitch deck straight to the point, max 10 slides, don’t bore investors with too much information and stick to the main points: What’s the problem? How do you solve it?

Who inspires you?
Elon Musk

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
As a founder, everyday I learn something new that increases my knowledge.
One of the latest trends I am following, are the ones related to Bitcoin, a very unique issue that is creating a buzz globally with its unexpected drops and growth

What business book do you recommend the most?
The lean startup – Eric Reis
Rich dad, poor dad – Robert Kiyosak
Start with why – Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business/organisation:
Ajar Online provides optimum free property management solutions by digitizing rent payment and collection services in an effective manner. It is simple, fast and professionally tailored to meet the needs of landlords and tenants.

How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaheens/

Twitter
@Shaheensz

This article is part of the World Business Angel Forum media partnership with AsianEntrepreneur.org

If you would like more information about WBAF, please contact Callum Laing WBAF High Commissioner for Singapore. [email protected]

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