With a collaboration-based mindset, three Silicon Valley angel investors team up to help startups scale up, turn ideas into products, and recruit elite talents.
Jack Wu, Nick Wu, and Tiwen Lin are college buddies who share a vision of entrepreneurship. All three of them double as serial entrepreneurs and startup advisors. Together, they founded MVP Fastlane, an accelerator equipping startups with resources in need, including capital, product development guidance, and global talent recruitment.
Having worked in Silicon Valley, the trio considered an innovative mindset and a complete startup ecosystem two critical success factors for aspiring startups. "Considering a stream of tech talents, it's strange how not one Taiwan-based software company could make it to NASDAQ," said Jack Wu. Having good connections with Taiwan talents and American startups, MVP Fastlane looks forward to bridging demand and supply, cultivating Taiwan as a powerful startup talent trove.
Silicon Valley is vibrant with new ideas. MVP Fastlane anticipates to cultivate the atmosphere in Taiwan. / Photograph : Joseph Sohm via shutterstock
The three founders of MVP Fastlane specialize in different functions of startup incubation. Tiwen Lin possesses a master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UCLA, with 8+ years of experience in product development. Jack Wu is a former Intel employee with over 30 successful startup projects and worldwide tech talent connections. Nick Wu is an investor in the Pasadena Angel Club, specializing in technical due diligence for startups in consumer hardware, semiconductor, and medical sectors. Abundant resources and exceptional expertise has made MVP oversubscribed in 2020. Currently, MVP Fastlane incubates 5 to 6 startups at a time, some US-based and some Taiwan-based.
Three service facets of MVP Fastlane. / Photograph : MVP Fastlane
MVP Fastlane offers the whole package of support for hand-picked startups, which serves as the most significant difference between MVP Fastlane and other incubators. MVP Fastlane gets first-hand insights on whether the product is marketable by working closely with the startup team. Participating with startups also helps them better picture their financial health, which serves as a determinant of whether to continue investing. Possessing insider information meant higher efficiency and credibility compared to other venture funds.
For start-ups in the MVP Fastlane ecosystem, they receive three facets of support: pre-seed investment, product design and development, and global talent recruitment. After due diligence is carried out, start-ups receive about 20 to 50 thousand USD investment from MVP Fastlane. The story does not end here. Start-ups receive follow-ups and further collaborate on product development with MVP Fastlane. Close collaboration fosters trust between investors and start-ups, also allowing for timely troubleshooting.
MVP Fastlane’s profit model involves R&D fees, which are incurred when they guide product development and design. Start-ups they target are those with high potential and high growth in the sectors of enterprise AI software, the future of retails, and smart IoT.
MVP Fastlane’s investment performs significantly better under a more precise and insight-based selection mechanism. Their investment acumen won recognition with world-class investors, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Plug N Play Ventures, Mucker Capital.
Finli, one of MVP Fastlane’s clients, is a consumer finance start-up based in the US. With MVP’s product development guidance, Finli successfully delivered its product in 4 months and was later accepted into TechStar accelerator, acquiring USD 2.5 million in their seed round.
The product development process is no picnic. Jack said in our interview, "When helping Finli design and deliver its product, we had to pivot 4 times. The team stuck with us, and from there, we see the difference between Taiwanese and American entrepreneurs."
For start-ups, the ever-changing product development process could be a troublesome business. However, with product development experts and experienced marketers from MVP Fastlane, start-ups are equipped with all the resources they need to achieve market success. With support from MVP Fastlane, start-ups keep iterating and improving with real customer data, ensuring market feasibility and profitability.
Partners and customers of MVP Fastlane / Photograph : MVP Fastlane
One major problem for startups is finding the right talent. Headhunter companies often allocate capacity according to recruitment size; as a result, startups usually receive less attention. With MVP Fastlane's global talent pool dedicated to finding tech talents for startups, startups can access top-tier talents. MVP Fastlane has its all-star headhunter team and HR specialists, helping entrepreneurs build a top-tier team and manage all the HR complexity such as payrolls and benefits quickly.
MVP Fastlane focuses on finding tech talents for companies, from junior software engineers to management positions. Currently, services are offered mainly for start-ups in the MVP Fastlane incubation ecosystem. As its headhunting business picks up pace, MVP Fastlane is anticipating expanding its capacity of talent recruitment, making a move into other US-based companies that wish to recruit Taiwan’s exceptional engineers. What’s more, as remote work becomes the trend for major companies in light of the pandemic, cross-border talent matching is met with increasing demand.
“Taiwan's talent is exceptional. We are the few headhunters that could bridge demand from US-based start-ups and the talent supply from Taiwan," said Jack. Managing cross-border resources, MVP Fastlane has 20 full-time employees and has expanded to Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Taipei, and Hsinchu.
〔Original :Meet Global〕