Some of the intellects I hold in highest regard these days come from the world of venture capital, and ranking high among the fine minds I've had the privilege of meeting is the Chinese-American veteran investor Dr. Po Chi Wu, one of the co-founders of Alameda Capital and now co-founder and managing director at DragonBridge Capital.
We'd met on a number of occasions while I was writing for Red Herring, but it wasn't until a Stanford Asia Technology Initiative conference we both spoke at last summer that we really hit it off. Over the last half-year or so he's become something of a mentor to me, always ready with good career advice and always eager to engage me in the big-think.
We try to catch a meal together whenever he's in town, as he was today. Over half a Peking Duck and some delicious Sichuan-style shrimp in chili oil in an eatery around the corner from me, we had a memorable and chat that ranged from social networking startups to semiconductors to the exigencies of Chinese statecraft, with a dozen other stops in between.
Po Chi will be officially launching a new early-stage China fund later this year, based out of Shanghai--finally making the move from his home in the East Bay. As a well-known figure in the Chinese entrepreneurial scene, I'm confident he's going have ample deal flow and deploy his fund effectively.
Po Chi, who holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology, was a child prodigy who started university at 14. He's also the son of the very illustrious physicist Wu Ta-you, who returned to Taiwan to head the Academia Sinica in Taiwan in the 1960s and is credited with laying the foundations for Taiwan's scientific and technological prowess in ensuing decades. Wu Ta-you was, incidentally, a colleague of my grandfather, Kuo Ting-yee, who was director of the Academia Sinica's Modern History Bureau.
I leave you with one pithy gem from our meal: "The creative person," Po Chi said to me, "simply sees more possibilities."