A talkshow deconstructing the Billion Dollar Moves of the top founders, funders and execs across the US-Asia, raw & unfiltered: their triumphs and their failures as they move from underestimated to iconic.
Think Oprah meets Guy Raz with a touch of BBC HardTalk, Billion Dollar Moves is a conversational interview where we’ll dive deep into the personal and business journeys of each leader featured to date, the trends they’re keeping tabs on and more. Sarah uncovers more depth than any interviewer!
Disclaimer: This podcast is an expression of personal opinion and does not represent the opinion of the host Sarah Chen-Spellings (SCS) as an investor personally, her firm Beyond The Billion (BTB) or any company discussed. These discussions are for informational purposes only, including any mention of securities or venture funds; and does not constitute any investment, legal, tax advice. SCS or BTB may hold currently, or in the future, direct or indirect interests in the featured companies or funds. No guarantee of any kind is implied or possible where projections of future conditions are attempted.
Exiled from the only place she knew to be home, Iranian singer, Gola (Golazin) shares her story on how her first hand experiences of life under the oppressive Iranian Regime shaped her as a fearless, international women’s rights advocate. Fighting everyday to have her voice heard since female solo singers are not allowed to release songs or perform publicly in Iran, Gola shows us what pushing boundaries and true bravery means; and how at the edge of your deepest fear could lay your greatest potential.
And we are back with a bang in Season 2! This week we dive deep into discussion on the ethics of AI, emotional intelligence, finding inspiration and executing on that founder’s vision while finding purpose along the way, even post-exit, with the global pioneer of Emotional AI, Rana el Kaliouby. One of the few women leading a disruptive AI company, and an Egyptian-American, Rana gets vulnerable about what that all means to her and her view on the portfolio career. You don’t want to miss this!
“The team was not cooperative with me. I was trying to manage them, doing the right thing for the company. And this is what she said ‘Tiwa, you understood the words but did not understand the meaning’. I wasn’t really listening to my team and why they were frustrated with me: I was thinking that I was doing the right thing, but I wasn’t hearing what they were trying to tell me… there’s a sense of silent stubborness I was up against”
We travel today to the West Coast of the United States where it’s becoming increasingly clear that Enterprise Tech is dominating venture capital — where every company is becoming a software company. From retailers to established financial institutions and even health providers, the underlying technology has enabled everything from payments to CRM, information management, and so, much more. But how did we arrive at this inflection point and what next?
We love rooting for the underdog- but what does it really take to rise despite the odds, as THE underdog? Rosaline Koo founded CXA Group from her living room in 2013 after a storied career with multinationals, with ambitions to transform health benefits for employees. Tune in to her story from risking all her family savings to build her startup; to scaling to over a million users and raising over $50M from the likes of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, EDBI, Openspace Ventures and more.
“Tolerate failure but don’t tolerate incompetence. Till this day, I regret how I let a company go bankrupt— I’ve learned from that” From microbiome manipulation, to genomic sequencing, biotechnology promises an unprecedented future. But what does it really take to build a biotech company that will last? This week, we chat with, Brian Conn, serial biotech CFO, who has raised over $300M, completed 20 M&A deals and is currently CFO of genomic sequencing company, Quantapore, co-founder of synthetic biology company, Levadura and advisor to VC firm, General Inception.
Ride-hailing giant Gojek and marketplace Tokopedia, Indonesia’s two largest startups, said a couple of days ago that they’ve merged their businesses to form GoTo Group, on track for a $35-$40B IPO end year.
This sets more fuel to the fire of SuperApps rising in Southeast Asia: a trend that is actually moving from East to West. But is it all that it’s cut out to be?
From the rise of SuperApps to the unique challenges of the two-wheeler opportunity in a country like Pakistan, to the fear of a meaningless life, Muneeb Maayr, Bykea and I cover it all.
“If I was being invited into a room, it was for a reason. So it’s about being confident in that I had something to offer. I wasn’t going to sit at the periphery of the table and not speak”
This week, we make a trip to The Hill with America’s Top Lobbyist, Alethia Jackson. As VP of Federal Relations & Head of Advocacy for Walgreens, Alethia is expanding patient access to pharmacy services while advancing the role of pharmacy in the healthcare system. We unpack what it means to lead with your voice, the complex healthcare landscape and how to build partnerships that matter.
This week, we went deep on the Global Entrepreneurial Revolution shaping our future with renowned American investor & entrepreneur, Christopher Schroeder. From the dominance of big tech, to the digital divide to startups rising in the Middle East – we cover it all.
Southeast Asia’s ride hailing giant, Grab is set to go public through the world’s largest SPAC merger, valuing the company at close to $40Bn. Fresh off the announcement, in this episode, we talk about the rise of startups in Southeast Asia, with over 650 million internet users, more than America and Europe combined. Southeast Asia is arguably the most exciting region in the world right now to create disruptive tech companies with more dry powder, higher valuations, the rise of unicorns and imminent exits fueled further by large corporates.
“Never do business with your friends”
“Never hire from Craigslist”
From breaking all these rules and more, this week we went deep on the growing pains of a startup, from PR nightmares to co-founder breakups, the challenge of shifting from a scarcity to growth mindset, and so much more with Jack Smith, serial entrepreneur & investor who sold his startup, Vungle to Blackstone for $780M.
Over a decade ago, JPMorgan and the Rockefeller Foundation, together with the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), published a report claiming that impact investment was an emerging asset class that would reach between $400 billion and $1 trillion in assets under management by 2020. Many thought this was an ambitious prediction but fast forward, we now see how those doubts were misplaced with markets hitting $715 billion in assets under management in 2020. Against the backdrop of the reckoning of 2020, our lens on impact dollars has become tremendously important. But is there far too much sensationalization of impact? How do we stay grounded on metrics that really matter? We talk with Karen Wawrzaszek to unpack this.
What does it mean to be the first and the only? How do you turn being seen as the ‘token’ woman to being taken seriously as a team player? We hear from the one and only, Dr. Jen Welter who tackled her football career with tenacity and an unprecedented track record of pioneering firsts. From building on her career in women’s football, that included 2 Gold medals with Team USA, 4 World Championships and 8 All-Star selections to breaking through the biggest boys club of all, the NFL, as the first female coach in the league and the Madden NFL 20 video game.