The trend for globalization of high-tech industries has gained momentum during the last few years. In particular, the Asia Pacific region has become an increasingly important market for U.S. high tech companies. What investors, both the public market and VCs, look for now are companies with revenue growth and a clear path to profit. The challenge for technology companies and investors is to define the roadmap to weather through the current downturn and build strength to grow when the market returns. The companies that will succeed are the ones that are close to the market, with the ability to produce their products at a reduced cost.
China, with its mass population, is undeniably an enormous market. It not only presents a broad customer base for the high-tech industry, but also an attractive low-cost manufacturing center. There is no doubt that Greater China is a lucrative region to ride the next wave of high-tech industry growth. We all want to capture this golden opportunity. How do we address this huge consumer market? How do we fully utilize the emerging labor support to lower production costs? For venture capitalists, how do we find legitimate ways to get return on our investments?
Taiwan is now China's leading trade partner and investor. Over 25 percent of Taiwan's exports are headed to China, according to the latest official statistics. With its geographic proximity, a well-established technology and business support infrastructure, as well as a common language and similar culture background, Taiwan is well positioned as a gateway to the China. In addition, Taiwan has built a well-recognized capital market in the past three decades. This highly liquid capital market is the best support for the high-tech industry as well as VC players.
In this session, Katherine Jen, a veteran venture capitalist, will lead the audience through her strategy in the quest for the next wave of high-tech industry growth and identify the key success factors.
About the Speaker
Katherine Jen is the managing partner of AsiaTech Management, LLC, a venture capital firm investing in the Silicon Valley and Asia. Katherine's successful venture capital career began in the early eighties. During her two decades in the Ministry of Finance in Taiwan, Katherine ran a $3 billion government investment fund, instrumental in the founding of successful high-tech companies such as TSMC and Moses-Vitelic. She also served on the TSMC board of directors from 1989-1993.
Katherine was one of the pioneers in Taiwan's VC industry. She led many key initiatives in venture capital legislations, including the adoption of the first Venture Capital Act in Taiwan. She helped establish the first group of venture capital funds in Taiwan, including Hotung Ventures, H&Q Asia and Walden International Taiwan (IVCIC). In addition, she founded the venture capital firm Genesis Venture in Taiwan and successfully raised its first fund. As a leader in the Taiwan financial industry, she served on the board of International Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the largest commercial bank in Taiwan.
Based on the belief that Silicon Valley technologies can find much broader markets if they are combined with the efficient manufacturing industry in Asia, she founded AsiaTech and raised its first fund in 1997. Today, with operations in the Silicon Valley and Taiwan, AsiaTech manages three funds with strong backing from Asian-based manufacturing companies, commercial and investment banks, and government.