Benjamin Joffe studied mechanical engineering with a minor in Japanese. Not wanting to work in a large company in France, his homeland, he went to Asia and caught a glimpse, among other things, of how different the tech scene was there than in Europe. Now a general partner of HAX, an investor in hardware startups, Ben is located in Shenzhen, the Silicon Valley of hardware.
Ben’s big-picture, real-world view of the life of startups and of the importance of what he calls “entrepreneurial culture” results in boots-on-the-ground nuggets for our listeners.
In today’s episode you’ll learn:
- The role of HAX’s Accelerator program and what HAX looks for in startup companies
- What it’s like to be in a startup in Shenzhen
- The impact of the “entrepreneurial culture”
Listen to this episode on iTunes.
What was your biggest insight from this week’s episode? Let Jay know in the comments or on Twitter: @jaykimmer.
Links from Today’s Episode
- Read the full transcript from Ben’s interview
- Find Ben’s tweets @BenjaminJoffe
- Ben’s articles at Forbes
- Ben’s articles at TechCrunch
- HAX’s annual report on hardware trends
Detailed Show Notes
- (2:09) Ben’s quick introduction of himself
- (3:00) Ben explains how he ended up in Asia
- (6:18) How Ben got involved with HAX and why he moved to Shenzhen
- (10:09) The nuances of investing in hardware versus software
- (16:37) Dealing with the threat of copycats
- (18:10) What HAX looks for when investing in a startup
- (20:55) The role and benefits of HAX’s Accelerator program
- (23:54) Ben’s views on China and Shenzhen
- (27:01) Ben shares some HAX portfolio companies he’s excited about
- (30:59) Ben research and experience in entrepreneurial culture
- (37:40) Where to find and how to connect with Ben
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