On the afternoon of April 28th, Gary Rieschel, one of the founders of Qiming Venture Partners, was invited to deliver a keynote speech at the Fudan-SVB Forum of Management Masters held at School and share with the audience his experiences of entrepreneurship over the past three decades. He and his colleagues were warmly received by our Dean Xiongwen LU and Associate Professor Yimin SUN.
Dean Xiongwen LU (first from right), Associate Professor Yimin SUN (first from left), Gary Rieschel (second from right), his colleague, and the MC
Qiming Venture Partners is an outstanding venture capital company dedicated to providing funding for start-up enterprises in China and assistance for Chinese companies in entering international markets. Gray holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School and has over 25 years of business operation and investment. Before establishing Qiming Venture Partners, he was a founder and major investor of several reputable VC funds in China and the US. Before that, he held senior executive positions at major multinationals such as Cisco System and Intel. Based on his rich industrial and cross-cultural experiences, Gray delivered a very inspiring and informative speech at the Forum.
After getting his MBA degree, Gray learned that self-discipline is a prerequisite for successful entrepreneurs. Even when he held senior executive positions at big companies, he never refrained from pushing the envelope and trying something new. In 2001, he came to China and started a new page in his career development. In 2005, he established Qiming Venture Partner with his co-founders.
Gary Rieschel shares tips on successful entrepreneurship and investment with the audience
When giving suggestions on entrepreneurship, Gary drew upon his experiences and used the terms of “self-discipline, directness, openness and voluntary spirit” as the fundamental concepts behind his suggestions. According to him, one can only earn trust and assistance from others in the future by helping them now without asking for anything in return. A good entrepreneur should not focus on what they have now but what they will accomplish in the future. He also needs to be open-minded to different cultures. Gary also mentioned the importance of timing. He indicated the Chinese market is ever-changing and, therefore, when assessing an investment target in China, it is more important to look at the whole picture by factoring in the macro environment. A good concept may not necessarily mean a good investment opportunity. As indicated by Gary, investment is a field full of dangers and challenges but the rule is quite simple — no risks, no gains. Therefore, for businesses and entrepreneurs, the most important thing is to honestly and thoroughly assess their risks.
Before the end of his speech, Gary focused more on how to obtain funding for businesses. As he suggested, companies need to have thorough preparations and stay true to their own ideas before looking for suitable VC companies and seeking their attention. In addition, in the demonstration meeting, don’t waste time telling long stories or bragging about the company. Just cut to the chase within the first 20 minutes of the meeting and use simple and easy-to-understand charts and figures instead of fancy PowerPoint slides. In addition, never make any unrealistic guarantee. Gary particularly stressed that companies need to have accurate understanding of their finances and well-thought plans about what to do after obtaining funding. “The best funding is no need for funding at all,” he concluded.
During the Q&A session, the audience asked Gary questions about entrepreneurship and funding. He gave insightful answers to the questions from the perspectives of the economic situations and policy supports in China, timing of investment, and future development of Qiming Venture Partners.