Vice-President of Investments at Kickstart Ventures

Editor’s Note: We spoke with Kickstart Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Globe Telecom, on how they’re tackling the new productivity challenges of Covid-19.

Joan Cybil Yao, Kickstart Ventures’ Vice-President of Investments

For the Investment Team at Kickstart, the work goes on: We continue to receive pitches from startups all over the world, and are constantly scheduling calls with founders to learn more about their businesses. We rely heavily on cloud communications platforms to keep us connected to each other, and to the companies that we study.

Because of the lockdown, we are doing our best to gather as much information about potential investees through discussions with management, reference calls, product demos, and desktop research and analysis. There’s no substitute for in-person meetings, but the team is doing everything possible to move our diligence processes forward despite current limitations. Due diligence trips will resume once travel restrictions are lifted; in the meantime, we encourage everyone to keep safe.

In terms of tips: It’s useful to have shared and unified sources of truth—documents, platforms, and tools that team members can refer to in real-time for information and status updates on our shared work and tasks. We are on calls a lot together, and don’t hesitate to reach out if we have questions to ask or random stories to share.

It’s important not to lose that sense of normalcy and camaraderie; in these extraordinary times, humor and compassion are the most valuable commodities.

Joan is Vice-President of Kickstart Ventures. She is a member of the Kickstart Deal Team. Prior to Kickstart, Joan was Investment Manager for Southeast Asia at LGT Venture Philanthropy, a global impact investing firm headquartered in Europe.