With Bernard Moon from Sparklabs Global Ventures and SparkLabs accelerator, we discuss their recent report “Global Technology Trends and Startup Hubs 2015” and its implications to technology startups in this year. We start with Bernard’s journey as a startup operator to an early stage investor and mentor to startups from Silicon Valley to Korea and back. He also shared his perspectives on the Korean startup ecosystem and what it really means to be a global startup hub and the metrics to measure them.

Here are the interesting notes and links to the discussion (with timestamps included):

  • Bernard Moon (@bernardmoon, LinkedIn) – Co-founder and Partner of Sparklabs Global Ventures and SparkLabs accelerator
  • Story of Bernard Moon
    • How did he get started with his career in business and technology? [0:50]
    • Having a tenure from business development to CEO of VidQuik (web communications platform) for 4 years, how did that experience shape you as an operator in a startup?  [1:54]
  • SparkLabs and SparkLabs Global Investments
    • How did he eventually decide to work on a startup accelerator and also making early stage investments? [3:07]
    • An introduction to SparkLabs accelerator [4:37] and SparkLabs Global Investments. [7:30]
    • What are the challenges of accelerators and incubators today? Does accelerators really produce great startups? [10:34] 
    • How does SparkLabs as an accelerator work and how is the program structured?  
    • Interesting startups mentioned: (a) Memebox [13:49] and (b) DocDoc. 
  • Perspectives on Korea startup ecosystem [14:20]
    • Given that Bernard travel between San Francisco and South Korea, what are your perspectives on the South Korea startup ecosystem? [14:39]
    • What are the differences in startups between South Korea and San Francisco? [15:45]
      • Cultural: Founder attitudes and culture. [15:50]
      • Infrastructure and how does startups interact with the major corporations in Korea for example, LG and Samsung with SK Planet, Samsung and LG vs in SF with Google, Facebook and Apple. [17:55]
  • Global Technology Trends and Startup Hubs 2015 by SparkLabs Global Ventures 
    • What are the general trends you are observing in this year in the evolution of technology? [19:35]
    • What are the venture capital trends given that Asia is now housing about 29 of 134 unicorns (based on CB Insights while CrunchBase has 144 unicorns) in the world? [23:04]
    • What defines a global startup hub and what are the metrics that you used to score the global startup hubs? [25:57]
    • Contrasting with the Compass Startup Ecosystems (based on the Startup Genome data), the rankings are slightly different. 
    • How do startup hubs evolve towards a general ecosystem or some will move towards a vertical like London as a fintech centre? [30:27]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Aspirus and sign up for their mailing list.

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