Thank you so much for joining us, Vivi Lin! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to start your business?
Before I started the entrepreneur journey, I was the TV presenter and producer for Reuters TV and its media partners.
I loved my job, but the aha moment came when I was hosting the EY Global Growth summit. It was one of the most important business events of the year when some of the world’s top influencers and business leaders gathered. A lot of keynote speakers shared their views on the world, but my attention was captured when Gina Qiao, the Vice President of Lenovo, told us how she challenged herself and started learning English when she was 40 years old. I still remember how I felt when she said: “if you don’t step out of your comfort zone, you will never know how far you could go”.
The words dawned on me, as I was feeling in a comfort zone at my job, even though it was my dream job, I was so familiar with it that I felt like I could do that with closed eyes. I could not help but thinking, what would it be if I step out of my own comfort zone?
Therefore, I decided to take a leap and started my own media venture, taking all my skills and resources I’ve accumulated through 10 years of journalism in China and across the world to make a difference.
Can you share the biggest challenges that you had to overcome since you started this business?
Challenges are everywhere, in fact, being an entrepreneur for me is to take on the challenges and come up with solutions.
In our media venture, we produce various engaging transmedia content, such as our innovation show “Vivi in the Valley”, about the startup community, putting a human face on the technology and also sharing insights from venture capital investors and top entrepreneurs. On the other hand, we provide branding and marketing services for startups in both markets.
If I have to name one of the biggest challenges, it may be how to provide the best services for our clients. Since our clients are mostly startups, that means, they have limited resources and usually focus their priority on developing and making their products better, but not so many resources are given to their branding and marketing needs. So how to provide the most-fitting marketing services for our clients, mostly technology startups, within their limited budget and understanding of the markets, appear to be a challenge.
What advice would you have for other new entrepreneurs?
The life of entrepreneurs might not be for anyone, so if you are thinking of starting your entrepreneurial journey, you might want to check if you are an adaptive person and if you will get excited when new challenges come because change is the constant.
From a business model to products, anything could change for a new startup. Google has changed its business model at least 6 times in its early days before it found the right model to monetize through ad words. That means, as entrepreneurs, we need to embrace changes, and always have a solution-driven mindset.
There is also a mindset that’s very important, which is the anti-fragile quality. Shark Tank’s judge Barbara Corcoran once said, when she invests in startups, she particularly sees if entrepreneurs ever feel sorry for themselves. If they do, she knew it would be a lose-bet. Entrepreneurs should always bounce back from failure and never feel sorry about their mistakes.
How do you think that your startup will make a huge difference in people’s lives?
Our startup is making a difference because we are connecting one of the most dynamic communities in the business world – to help solve their problems and achieve their goals by connecting their products with their customers beyond their home market.
Unlike the big marketing agencies which serve big corporate clients because they have a bigger budget, we enjoy helping the grass-root innovation startups with our transmedia storytelling and marketing solutions, albeit the low budget, but we know it is necessary and meaningful to help the new startups to grow.
Our global cross-culture teams always sit down with the startups’ team, and really understand what their product is and what are their special competitive advantages, and then craft the marketing message and come up with the strategy that will deliver the results they crave.
What are your future plans?
We are planning a new transmedia production project to demystify the secrets of venture capital and the startup world. We will travel to some of the top innovation locations in the world. We are in talks with major partners, hopefully, to work with Amazon Studio or Netflix for distribution.
On the other hand, we are building partnerships with other agencies that also serve the startup community to form an affiliation to provide better standardized and customized services for our clients across the world.
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