Giving thanks for 2016

December 20, 2016

Around this time every year I make a habit to reflect on the countless benefits in my professional life for which I am thankful. Out-ranking these items are a multitude of blessings on the personal side, but I’ll restrict this list to the business ones.

2016 proved a tumultuous year on the geopolitical front, making this exercise of appreciative stock-taking all the more important in my opinion. Here are five things for which I was grateful in 2016:

  1. For starters, the management teams of my various portfolio companies, both in Europe and Japan. A few experienced breakout years, others struggled, yet all approached the challenges they faced with dignity and diligence.
  2. The people that have worked for me, both current and former. I would not have accomplished so much without your collaboration.
  3. The luxury of my work allowing me to shuttle between my two favorite cities of the world: Paris and Tokyo, and the opportunity to interact with inspiring individuals in each.
  4. The progress which I’ve had a front row seat to witness of the innovation ecosystems of France and Japan. The former has sped from laughable to laudable in the 15 years I’ve invested in it. The latter is at an earlier stage, and I’m enthusiastic about its prospects in several sectors, such as fintech, AI, agricultural technologies.
  5. Pertaining to Japan, I’m also grateful for the professionals who have guided me as I stumble my way into a new investment ecosystem. The fellow VCs, the talented entrepreneurs, the savvy journalists and friendly bankers, the captains of industry who have hospitably welcomed me into their circles. Thank you.

Happy holidays to all.

posted in venture capital by mark bivens

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