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AC Ventures launches ACV Academy to give early-stage tech founders a competitive edge

Published on November 2, 2022


Earlier today, Indonesia-based, early-stage venture capital firm AC Ventures (ACV) announced the launch of its education platform for tech entrepreneurs in emerging markets called ACV Academy. The free-to-access, ongoing, training sequence is designed to take the early-stage tech ecosystem in Southeast Asia to a new level of know-how.

In 2022, ACV embarked on a bold mission to provide hands-on guidance and support to its portfolio companies across Indonesia. ACV is the only tech investment firm in the archipelago to offer a full-fledged value-creation apparatus to the companies it invests in. 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 achieve greater success in the market.       

With a straightforward ethos of “Exponential Education,” ACV Academy seeks to help more tech startups in the region achieve early traction and scale thereafter. As part of the launch, the venture firm also unveiled its debut module, a playbook for founders titled, “Refining Recruitment for Startups,” produced in direct collaboration with global management consulting and executive search firm Egon Zehnder.

Running an early-stage company is challenging and getting the best-fit talent is one of the biggest hurdles, especially in emerging markets like Southeast Asia. The playbook is designed to serve as a roadmap for founders who need to equip themselves for the end-to-end recruiting process.

It is a tool that they can refer back to on an ongoing basis, as they build out their teams. The playbook contains five simple parts: ‘Preparation,’ ‘Start the search,’ ‘Make the decision,’ ‘Onboarding,’ and ‘Ongoing engagement via team building.’ It also features interesting anecdotes and testimonials from a few of ACV’s portfolio company founders.  


The launch of ACV Academy and its debut module was marked by a public webinar on 02 November 2022, featuring an overview of the mission at hand, a sneak peek of the playbook itself, and a recruiting-themed fireside chat featuring Sergio Salvador, Chief People Officer at Carsome, and Zhafira Loebis, Consultant at Egon Zehnder. 

Sergio has over 20 years of experience building and growing technology companies, including key leadership positions at Electronic Arts (EA), Nokia, Yahoo, Google, Egon Zehnder, and XA Network. He attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business. At Carsome, Sergio is currently leading a team, where he focuses on optimizing people-centered activities such as employee experience, professional development, training, hiring, retention, and performance management. 

Zhafira is active in Egon Zehnder’s Technology & Communications and Consumer practices. Prior to joining the firm, Zhafira co-founded and served as CEO of Babyloania, Indonesia’s leading marketplace for affordable baby equipment rentals.

She earned a bachelor’s of law from the University of Indonesia and a master’s of law (LL.M) from Columbia University. Passionate about empowering women, she co-founded and continues to be active at Stellar Women, a platform that offers online classes, mentoring, and networking events for Indonesian women.

During the discussion, Zhafira stated, “We are happy to be partnering with ACV in supporting their mission to help startups develop and build talents. We hope that the Refining Recruitment Playbook can serve as a guideline to build their human capital for further business growth and sustainability.”

Sergio added, “I have experienced, several times and first-hand, what it takes to grow a business from a small team to a large one. It is encouraging to see things like ACV Academy emerging in the local digital economy. With initiatives like this, I think startups stand to gain a lot from hands-on investors like ACV. I expect it can lead to more startup success stories in the ecosystem.” 

“We are pleased to launch ACV Academy. It distills key takeaways we’ve learned through investing in more than 120 companies over the past ten years,” explained Adrian Li, Founder and Managing Partner at AC Ventures. “The lessons it provides and the playbooks it publishes are crafted by veteran entrepreneurs and operators. It offers key execution strategies, including today’s module on recruitment. We are excited to witness ACV Academy unfold and look forward to seeing how it will deliver unique value to the tech community.”

To download the playbook, please visit: https://acv.vc/recruitment-playbook/

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