Inspired by the 100 Yen shops in Japan and similar retail concepts in Europe and the U.S., Chinese entrepreneur Ye Guofu and Japanese designer Miyake Junya founded the low-cost variety store chain MINISO in 2013. Over the last five years, MINISO has been the fastest-growing retailer in China, according to Euromonitor International. Now, the company has a global empire of 3,500 stores in 79 countries with total sales of $2.6 billion USD in 2018.
Today, I am excited to announce that Cisco is launching a new, independent venture capital firm, Decibel, focused exclusively on early stage investing in the Enterprise. This is the first truly independent effort ever formed by a major technology company. Decibel is designed to bring together the best of both worlds – the capabilities of a best in class, early stage VC firm with the resources only a company like Cisco can offer. With Decibel, Cisco is adding another dimension to its multi-faceted approach to innovation – a relationship with entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem at their earliest inception and with this, a lens into the people, technologies and trends that will shape the Enterprise in the decades to come.
Our innovators and entrepreneurs don’t have the time and the resources to navigate a complex regulatory environment, let alone influence one. They may struggle to find the shortcuts that larger firms with specialist teams know about and are adept at using.
“Ladakh and J&K are endowed with high quality fruits and vegetables. We are looking at sustainable development of the region and hence exploring opportunities to strengthen the infrastructure, encourage entrepreneurs from the region and help food processing units with various central schemes,” said Reema Prakash, joint secretary at ministry of food processing industries.
Two successful Swedish female entrepreneurs - Charlotte Sundåker and Linda Waxin - recently launched Ownershift, an independent think tank designed to expand discussions about gender equality to include ownership and risk-taking. In Sweden, men still own roughly double what women own in terms of capital, land, real estate, forests and natural resources.
Standard so far, then. Next we wanted to know about how many general partners Carta Ventures would muster to go into the market. Instead of answering that directly, McGillicuddy discussed a number of existing internal staffers, and a collection of folks that he considers a “pretty good group of folks in the classical sense on the investment committee that will be able to help these entrepreneurs and guide them towards a business that we think should exist now that we [are] programmatically opening up access to the markets.”
Venture has historically been a boutique business. The old guard believes it will always be boutique and can’t be done at scale. The new guard, myself included, believes venture will have to find ways to scale. The number of entrepreneurs and opportunities is just too great. Investors with better decision making tools will outperform those without, creating an arms race for better investment tools. I think we are at that inflection point.