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WE ARE BRUNN

Let’s Work Together

AC Ventures launches advisor community to help startups achieve operational excellence from day one

Published on February 21, 2023

(L-R) Paula Wang; Sergio Salvador; Natasha Nababan; Herwan Ng; Jeffrey Scholz; Harumi Supit; Deeps Da Silva

Earlier today, Indonesia’s leading early-stage venture capital firm AC Ventures (ACV) formally announced its latest value creation initiative in the form of an expert advisor community, designed to help startups achieve operational excellence from day one.

Advisors on ACV’s roster are tasked to work closely with founders to provide strategic advice and consultations. The ever-growing collective features prominent executives and leaders from different facets of the region’s digital economy.

Since 2022, ACV has been on a bold mission to provide hands-on guidance and support to its portfolio companies. It is the only tech investment firm in Indonesia to offer a full-fledged value creation division to the startups it backs. The underlying idea is that if ACV can help its portfolio companies achieve operational excellence from their early days, they can then go on to raise capital and achieve greater success in the market.

A pool of expert advisors can be important for startups because they provide valuable guidance and support in areas such as business strategy, marketing, finance, and technology development. Advisors with a wide range of experience and expertise can also help startups navigate the challenges of starting and growing a business. They can also bring valuable insights and connections to the table. Additionally, advisors can act as a sounding board for ideas, provide mentorship and support, and help startups make essential decisions. The right advisor can also help startups access resources and networks they would not have otherwise.

ACV’s current advisor community features Paula Wang, Managing Director at Google; Natasha Nababan, Founding Partner at NABS & Partners; Harumi Supit, former Head of Corporate Communications at OVO; Deeps De Silva, Founder of Samadhi Ventures; Jeffrey Scholz, Founder at 8020CTO; Sergio Salvador, Chief People Officer at CARSOME; and Herwan Ng, an Independent  Commissioner and Committee Member at multiple publicly listed companies.

Paula is a global leader with over 24 years of experience in tech. She graduated from multiple universities and began her career at IBM. She recently served as the Managing Director of App Developer Business in APAC at Google and held various positions at other tech companies such as Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Sony Electronics, HP, and IBM.

Natasha has over 20 years of experience in law, working at private and multinational market leaders (ExxonMobil and Indosat). Her breadth of experience in multiple sectors honed her skills and passion for guiding clients to form and execute their business strategies effectively, including through her efficacy in framing legal issues and solutions. She is a founder of NABS & Partners and a keen promoter of diversity, inclusion, and a sustainable economy.

Harumi is a creative professional with experience in strategic communications, investor relations, branding, advertising, sustainability, and social impact. She honed her skills at Cambridge Associates, World Bank, and as an independent consultant for multinationals and tech startups. She is an international, award-winning writer who has worked with various creative agencies for brand voice and positioning.

Deeps is the founder of Samadhi Ventures, a growth-stage investor, and helps companies scale during the scale-up phase. He was previously Head of Global Programs for APAC at Meta and Head of Marketing at Dropbox for APAC and Japan, driving their growth efforts prior to the IPO. He has also held various positions at tech leaders such as Salesforce and Microsoft.

Jeffery runs a CTO-as-a-service provider and engineering leadership coaching company. He was previously a Senior Software Engineer Manager at Yahoo, where he built a video machine learning department that generated millions of dollars in value. He graduated from the University of California, Irvine, and Columbia University.

Sergio leads the people and culture team at CARSOME, a Southeast Asia-based, pre-IPO 5,000-employee startup. He previously served as a Senior Leadership and Development Advisor at Egon Zehnder, advising, developing, and coaching C-level teams and individuals at global, regional, and local organizations, including many in the Fortune 500. He also held commercial Asia Pacific and general management roles at Google in Tokyo and Singapore. Sergio is an accredited Executive and Transformation Leadership Coach. Originally from Spain, he has been a permanent resident of Singapore for 15 years and now calls it home.

Herwan has 27 years of experience in finance, corporate governance, business development, and strategy. Currently, he serves as an independent commissioner and committee member for companies in various industries including telecommunications, financial services, mining, manufacturing, hospitality, shipping, health, and digital technology. Prior to his current role, Herwan was the Managing Director at AWR Lloyd until 2020 and has also served as a Senior Advisor for business development at Grand Thornton Indonesia and ERM Indonesia.

Harumi said, “This advisory group stands out for its extensive and diverse expertise, covering top-of-mind areas such as technology, as well as often-overlooked areas like legal and messaging, which play a critical role in building competitive and sustainable businesses.”

“Our growing, curated group of expert advisors is tasked to help ACV’s portfolio companies grow via valuable guidance across various disciplines. Our startups are able to interface with these advisors on an ongoing basis,” explained Samira Shihab, Head of Value Creation at AC Ventures. “As a hands-on propulsion system for our portfolio to succeed in the market, ACV’s value creation team will continue building a vibrant and useful advisor collective.”

She added, “Startups need advisors for their expertise, guidance, and networks to help them navigate the challenges of starting and growing a business. Helping companies in this hands-on way is what is ingrained within our team at ACV.”

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