Tommy Shin has 15+ years experience in the Banking, Telecommunication and IT industries. In 2016, he won the 40under40 Award, celebrating 40 business people under 40 years old who have contributed back to society and run successful business.

What’s your story?
I live in Perth, am originally from Melbourne but born in Seoul South Korea. My current roles are Non Executive Chairman of Lateral (a 30 plus year old customer software development business based in Australia), CEO of Lateral Capital Ventures (boutique Venture Capitalist firm started in 2017 currently specialising in corporate advisory to ASX (Australian Securities Exchange) IPO’s, ICO and private M&A and Group CEO of the National Currency eXchange Group Limited, a fiat to cryptocurrency exchange based in Australia and Singapore. I hold other board positions in ASX Listed entities and medium-sized private businesses. I am also a winner of the 40under40 Award in 2016 celebrating 40 business people under the age of 40 who have contributed back to society and run successful businesses.

What is your involvement with Investment?
I started investing in the early days, especially on ASX and crypto (4 years ago). I started a VoIP company in university and did a successful exit after 2 years’ of operation to a French telecommunication company which was then bought out by Skype. I have recently received my sophisticated credentials and Australian Financial Services Licence which gave me the capability to raise capital and invest into highly profitable opportunities. Through my VC firm, we started to dabble into crypto and crypto exchange. I have a team that does a strong due diligence process for IPOs and ICOs and my software company does the technical due diligence for a lot of pre-listed ASX companies.

How did that come about?
2 years ago, when I was CEO of the software company Lateral, we were approached by many tech companies to provide analysis, software development and endorsement of their tech for their ASX listing. We did a lot of the work in sweat and equity and provided a lot of seed investment to companies which we really liked. By not being in the conversations with capital companies, our efforts were not recognised by them as we were just a service provider. I then resigned as CEO and founded Lateral Capital Ventures to have a bigger voice on our investments. By the way of providing a service, corporate advisory and capital raising, we can also assist much more.

What are some of the key things you have learnt about Investing?
Don’t listen to others, do your own research. Trust your gut feeling and meet the decision makers face to face. Get to know them outside of business first.

What mistakes do you see less experienced investors making?
Getting too hyped. Set yourself an exit strategy before you enter. Stick to your goals and don’t have any emotions attached.

What mistakes do you see Entrepreneurs making?
Being reliant on brokers and VCs for funding. The CEO needs to be constantly looking at growth and secure enough funding. Reduce the burn and have great advisors to assist to grow the network. Remain humble at all times, it’s other people’s money you are dealing with. Find a second job.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Think outside of your pond. Look at expansion into a global scale. Pay for good accountants and lawyers.

What advice would you give to those seeking funding?
Look at the track record of the funders before signing any mandate. Their success will be yours and vice versa. Don’t worry too much about equity holdings. It all means nothing or a lot, but respect other people’s money.

Who inspires you?
My father, who grew a very successful business without any investment.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Don’t take emails and words for granted. If there is a signed agreement, there needs to be some evidence. Check, confirm and verify.

What business book do you recommend the most?
Not really a business book but enjoyed “Don’t sweat the small stuff” by Richard Carlson and applied them to business.

Shameless plug for your business/organisation:
Sign up to NCX and start trading and investing in crypto!

How can people connect with you?
Email or Linkedin

Social Media profiles?
linkedin.com/in/tommyshin

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]