Episode: 0011 Jeremy Dann - USC and Wenyi Cai - Polymath Ventures


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0011 Jeremy Dann - USC and Wenyi Cai - Polymath Ventures
Bay Area Ventures welcomes Jeremey Dann, Professor of Innovation at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies https://www.marshall.usc.edu/departments/lloyd-greif-center-entrepreneurial-studies at the USC Marshall School of Business https://www.marshall.usc.edu/ and Wenyi Cai, Managing Partner of Polymath Ventures www.polymathv.com based in Bogota, Colombia.

Professor Dann is making his third appearance on Bay Area Ventures and this time he is here to talk about his new case study about Wenyi and Polymath. The case, which is used as the basis of discussion by entrepreneurs and business students at business schools throughout the world, walks us through the challenges and issues that Wenyi and her team face in creating, incubating, funding and growing startup companies in emerging markets like Latin America.

Wenyi is an ultra-bright woman, who was working on mathematical models of fluid dynamics at the age of 15 for the Argonne National Laboratory. She earned a degree in Physics from Harvard and founded Tuesday Magazine while still an undergraduate. She worked for McKinsey & Company on management consulting assignments in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia before becoming COO of the startup Milo.com which was purchased by eBay for $75 Million. Not wanting to join another startup in the Bay Area, Wenyi decided to start a fund and foster innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging markets. After working with her team to identify the best place to found Polymath Ventures, the settled on Bogota, Colombia.

Jeremy picks up the case from there and walks the reader through Polymath’s first six ventures.

This lively conversation brings the listener up to date on how Polymath is doing and what has transpired since the case was written. We speak at length about the difference between entrepreneurship, venture financing and customer acquisition between the Bay Area and Colombia. We also discuss extracting the lessons the Jeremy and Wenyi have learned and how that applies to new venture formation in the US, Latin America, Asia and just about anywhere.

For students of business, this is a rare opportunity to fill in the blanks and close the loop on a well written case study. And Jeremey Dann is an expert at writing case studies, having now authored more than 30 of them.

Jeremy’s Case Study of Wenyi and Polymath Ventures can be purchased at https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/product/SCG521-PDF-ENG or http://www.thecasecentre.org/main/products/view?id=139181

Recorded on March 27, 2017, on SiriusXM Channel 111, Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School. Bay Area Ventures airs live on Mondays at 4:00pm Pacific Time, 7:00pm Eastern Time.

For a list of upcoming and past guest information visit www.donaldlandwirth.com and click on the Show link.

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