HP Tech Ventures: Vitaly M. Golomb’s Thoughts on Global Entrepreneurship and Southeast Asian Startups
By Asha Gutierrez
The Inspiration Amongst Many Entrepreneurs
Vitaly M. Golomb is a man of vision and precision. He seeks out in-depth market insights and keeps an eye on global clusters of innovation. He is an investor, an entrepreneur, a keynote speaker, and author of Accelerated Startup (2017.) Golomb has a wealth of experience in both the startup and corporate worlds.
Asides from founding several companies, he has been involved as an advisor and board member with many startups. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives focused on innovation seek out his advice. Alexander Masalov said that, "Vitaly Golomb is very experienced and a real serial entrepreneur. The person you trust from the first meeting. He gives useful recommendations and puts everything in to place."
Golomb was inspired to become an entrepreneur at a very young age while growing up in Silicon Valley. At the age of thirteen, he was an intern at a start-up company called Paragraph, (much of whose original team went on to create Evernote.) “I was fortunate to get a small taste of the startup world, and the rest is history.” he said. A year ago, he has joined legendary HP to help launch its corporate venture arm, HP Tech Ventures. He has been busy promoting the group worldwide and has spoken in over 20 countries last year. Before joining HP Tech Ventures, he was involved as a mentor with a number of ventures funds and accelerators, including 500 Startups. He has is known for his ability to break down complicated problems and develop actionable strategy.
HP Tech Ventures and Southeast Asia
When asked about his Southeast Asia travels, he replied that he has been to Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia already. Golomb noticed that Southeast Asia shows a lot of promise and opportunities for technology businesses to serve its fast-growing population and economy. Another positive factor is Asia’s strong work ethic. HP is a global company and its venture arm is uniquely global as well. Where many American enterprises focus only on primary markets such as US, Israel, and Western Europe; HP and Golomb are open to working with companies virtually anywhere in the world. The only requirement is that the technology is world-class and the entrepreneurs are ready to compete on a global level.
“We are a relatively new team inside HP and are focused on supporting our main businesses by partnering with startups doing breakthrough work in strategic areas for us: 3D printing, VR/AR, commercial IoT, battery and display technologies, digital health, life sciences, education, and artificial intelligence. HP’s value-add to startups is both on the supply chain and manufacturing side, as well as global distribution.” said Golomb.
The Secret to Early Stage Success
Golomb believes that the secret to team success in the earliest stages of a company, is the combination of market, team, and focus.
Getting the timing right and predicting the growth of a market is probably the most important factor in building fast-growth companies that disrupt the way current industry leaders are solving a particular problem for their customers. New technology provides the potential to solve the same old problems in a better, faster, cheaper, move convenient way. The window of opportunity is quite tight here.
The team must have intimate knowledge of the problem they are trying to solve to make fewer mistakes and move faster than their competitors. They also should be complete and be able to design, engineer, and sell their solution effectively.
Having the discipline to stay focused on the strategy is very important as well. The more successful the company becomes; the more distractions appear. Mature CEOs know how to keep the team focused on the most important areas and not chase every shiny gold coin.
Giving Back to the Next Generation
Silicon Valley became what it is, in-part, by mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs. “It’s about helping one generation help the next generation to go chase their dreams.” Golomb said. Those who move from a small town or developing country and find success in US or other big markets should never forget where they came from. They need to come home and show the next set of dreamers that someone who looks like them is able to find success. “Don’t move to San Francisco and never come back, it’s very important that people come back to their home city because they understand their culture best. They are the best role models for the next generation of entrepreneurs there.”
All entrepreneurs dream of changing the world. Sometimes they forget the second half of that sentence: “for the better.” Golomb believes that entrepreneurship can be one of the strongest forces for good and that’s why he travels the world to inspire young people to dream big.
Want to learn how to take your startup from idea to product to company? Read Golomb’s book: Accelerated Startup, available on Amazon and iBooks.