Joshua Slayton is the Founding CTO of AngelList, the leading platform for startups. Since 2010, more than $600 Millions has been invested in startups through AngelList. Recently, Joshua has been working on another new platform for cryptocurrency fundraisings called CoinList. Joshua will be in Vietnam to be on the judge panel for VietChallenge 2018 National Round!
What is AngelList and what role does it play in the global startup ecosystem?
AngelList is a platform on which startups fundraising, recruit and find customers. Over $600M has been invested into startups through AngelList. Although the fundraising product caters mostly to startups in the US, Canada and Europe, startups around the world use our recruiting and marketing products to meet hundreds of thousands of global candidates and customers.
Have you ever worked with or had any contact with Vietnamese startups? What do you think about them?
Not in particular, but I have met Vietnamese entrepreneurs in other parts of the world outside of Vietnam. I’ve been impressed with them all so far!
What does it take for Vietnam to be the next Asia’s tech-hub?
First and foremost it takes capital to create any tech hub, so there need to be angel and seed investors ready to risk their money in the hands of entrepreneurs. You need an environment in which entrepreneurs are encouraged by the government and culture. Usually after there is one or two successful tech companies in a certain area, the hub will start to form. Many people are surprised to hear that Estonia has a big tech scene—that’s mostly because the Skype team reinvested their profits and people into the area after Skype was sold.
Since AngelList is focusing on the Silicon Valley startups scene, what would be some benefits for Vietnamese startups when using AngelList?
First and foremost people use AngelList as the directory for startups, so it’s always important to have a profile there. Startups anywhere in the world, including Vietnam, can use AngelList to recruit. We currently have hundreds of candidates in Hanoi, for example. When you’re ready to launch your product, Product Hunt can help you get tens of thousands of new customers in a single day. Doesn’t matter where in the world you are!
What did you do in your 20s to set yourself for success in your 30s?
Everyone says hard work is important, and that’s true. But good judgment and good luck has also played an invaluable role in my success. I chose risky ventures that others would have passed on because I believed passionately in whatever the project was. As for luck, being kind and friendly with everyone I meet has helped me make a lot of random connections that opened some really important doors in my career! You never know who is going to give you the opportunity that might change your life.
What is the #1 thing that you would like to do in Vietnam?
I’ve traveled a lot around the world meeting people in startup scenes around the globe. I’m excited to meet and network with the up-and-coming entrepreneurs and investors in Vietnam. It’ll be my first time in Vietnam, so I’m just looking forward to seeing the country in general!