Listen to Episode 007 with Benny Yiu here:
Have you ever have an idea for an app that you thought could change the world?
Have you ever wondered what its like to live in Silicon Valley as a tech entrepreneur?
Have you ever pictured yourself sitting in a board room, pitching your idea to wealthy investors?
If so, you're going to LOVE this episode with Co-Founder and CEO of AirZolo, Benny Yiu.
Benny grew up in a very entrepreneurial family, so he knew it was only a matter of time before he moved away from his corporate job in finance to start his own venture.
And, when the economic crisis struck in 2008 and left everyone in finance and asset management looking for something else to pursue, Benny seized the opportunity to be the tech entrepreneur he always knew he was going to become. He launched a start-up and went on to help deliver over $200 million in funding to small business across the US that were left unserved by Financial Institutions. He played a crucial role as their Vice-President and built the company from the ground up. That same company now has over 100 employees as of today.
"Every entrepreneur needs to take that step...going from the corporate world with a steady job, to going into a world of unknown."
Fast forward a few years, Benny is now the Co-Founder and CEO of Air Zolo, a platform that offers travel financing information, budget advice and access to a global peer-to-peer (marketplace lending) platform which can offer people great rates to finance their travels in a way that's affordable.
As you'll see in this episode, Benny is extremely experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to building start-ups. He tells us exactly how he built his team over at Air Zolo, and how he discovered that he needed to shift his focus in order to let Air Zolo become what it is today.
Building an app from scratch isn't all fun and games as the media makes it out to be. Unfortunately, an idea alone isn't good enough...it's all about execution. So, Benny breaks down exactly how he's built Air Zolo, the importance of building a structured business as the foundation to your app, how he's raised funding, and the exact steps you need to follow to evolve from asking your family and friends for a couple thousand dollars to get started, to raising millions from Angel Investors. (Hint: it's much harder than you think!)
Benny has also lived in Silicon Valley and he describes what it's like to live in the biggest tech hub in the world as a tech entrepreneur trying to build a business.
"Silicon Valley doesn't discriminate. It doesn't matter how old you are, it's purely about your abilities."
More specifically, in this podcast episode Benny will teach you:
- How to make a smooth transition from living a life of stability in the corporate world to a life of uncertainty as an entrepreneur.
- How to build a team of top performers who compliment each other; and why this is one of the most important things you need to do if you want to be successful.
- What it's like to live in Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur in the tech world.
- The exact steps you need to follow to raise funding and the different stages you need to go through.
- Why you need to build a complete business from day 1 and why having just an app is not enough.
- The difference between a founder and a CEO, and what you need to do to transition from one to the other.
- The most common mistake most start-ups make, and how you can avoid it.
And much, much more!
Make sure you check out Benny's travel start up:
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