In a world dominated by numbers and math, acronyms and shorthand, we often forget that it is run by people. Behind each startup, successful or not, there are entrepreneurs who devote many years of their life on a mission to change the world. It starts with the founders and team, their passion, vision, integrity, commitment, culture – and that can’t always be measured by numbers. The best VCs give before they take: My professional goal is to help entrepreneurs in realising their dream by bringing authenticity, an open mind, endless patience, great discipline, mindset, process, team, culture, and the right philosophy.
What do you look for in entrepreneurs?
Extraordinarily talented individuals who are natural leaders and who are driven to succeed; A disciplined, curious and innovative mind that changes the course of history; A heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.
What motivates you?
Growing up in China as a woman, you have to have a certain amount of grit. When someone tells me I can’t do something, it makes me want to do it ten times more!
After college I gave up a promising consulting career to move to the US with a single suitcase. When everyone thought I would settle in the US after building a life there for 8 years, I moved back to China to start a new journey. When everyone thought I would sit on what I have accomplished at Tencent, I moved to Singapore to join Jungle Ventures.
I understand the challenges in pursuing one’s career dream, as well as the mental toughness, support and even luck it takes to live life to its fullest. In my own journey, I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by people I trust and treasure. Their kindness and mentoring have shaped who I am today. I believe helping others to grow and thrive is what brings the real richness to one’s life and career.
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
An old Chinese proverb:
To learn [from a variety of places], To ask [until you satisfy your desire to learn], To reflect [meticulously], To distinguish [clearly between truth and lies], To manifest [that which you have learnt].
Grace has over a decade of experience in investment, corporate strategy and business development across early stage startups and Fortune 500 companies in both Silicon Valley and emerging markets in Asia. At Jungle Ventures she focuses on identifying investment opportunities in Asia and startups with an eye towards global cross-border markets. She also works closely with portfolio companies.
Prior to joining Jungle Ventures, she was Senior Director of Corporate Strategy and Investment at Tencent. In this role, she focused on identifying strategic opportunities in emerging markets, building Tencent’s overseas product ecosystem through investments and collaborations with local partners; and overseeing the implementation of deals and capital deployment.
A Kauffman Fellow, Grace started her career as a management consultant where she advised clients in financial sectors. Grace has an MBA in strategy and decision science from Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. Grace is also a member of The Milken Institute Global Young Leaders Circle (YLC).