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Accelerating Start-ups Around the World

Soon after Justin Wong (Malaysia, UWC of South East Asia) graduated from Bowdoin in 2013, he began working in China for SOSV, a $300 million international venture-capital fund that invests in more than 150 early-stage start-ups per year.

SOSV’s approach centers on “accelerator” programs, “where twice each year a batch of start-ups, typically 10 per batch, moves into our offices and works with us intensively to grow and scale their business,” Justin writes. “I work with the global Internet office, which runs Chinaccelerator in Shanghai and Mobile-Only Accelerator in Taiwan.” The Shanghai office helps a diversity of businesses from outside China enter and scale up within the country; the Taiwan accelerator brings Android apps to emerging markets around the globe.

As he shifts from one city to the other every few months, Justin leads and closes investment deals with start-ups, helps to find and vet potential start-ups, works on portfolio management, and helps to train new analysts. “On the Accelerator side, I work with international partnerships, where I build and maintain relationships with other accelerators, incubators, and partners. I also manage the HR program, where we help start-ups find quality talent in China. Our clients come from all over the world — it is an extremely diverse group.”

“China was not an easy place to start out in,” Justin says. “The last two years have been filled with unpredictability, cultural disconnect, and unfamiliarity; but these experiences have helped me mature considerably, and I feel at home in China now.” Working with start-ups from around the world, he adds, “I have learned that people are more similar than different, and can get along well, as I found in my time at UWC.”