Chia Yang Jeng is Principal at Saison Capital, the Venture Capital arm of Credit Saison. This article was originally posted on the Saison Capital blog and is republished as a contribution with permission.

There is no reason Venture Capital industry dynamics and early-stage investment frameworks should be opaque, and we should aim for a world where capital is a commodity, information is free, and there is an even playing field between founders and VCs. See some of our writing on venture and business models here and our 2020 EOY Report.

We are focused on building a practical education in evaluating early-stage business models, giving smart, ambitious people, who are passionate about learning and working with early-stage companies, hands-on part-time experience at a VC fund, and a strong curated community of founders, operators and community builders.

We are especially looking for unusual profiles and messy CVs — profiles that HR finds hard to place. Our Scouts include YC founders, ex-partners of VC funds, country managers of SEA tech unicorns, etc.

As the inaugural 2020 Scout Program is drawing to a close, we are looking to onboard the 2021 Cohort of scouts at Saison Capital, which will likely be no more than 15 people globally.

About the Program

In this remote 12-month program, scouts help Saison Capital with deal sourcing, learn how a VC fund works, and what it takes to make it in this space. Roughly ⅓ of our first cohort of 10 Scouts were repeat founders, ⅓ were in finance, and ⅓ were operators, out of hundreds of applications.

You can learn more and apply here by Sunday, March 7, 2021, at 11.59 P.M. (GMT+8). The program will begin on April 4, 2021.

Successful candidates for the Saison Capital Scout Program should be able to check many of the following boxes:

  • You are a strong networker or exhibit a strong passion for connecting to startups and founders
  • You want to be part of a global community in Venture Capital
  • You’re comfortable working independently and remotely — and know what this feels like
  • You have a strong passion for startups and venture capital, or are keen on pursuing a role in early-stage startup investment in the future

Why join us?

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  • Learn core skills through a robust, pragmatic, and remote Saison Capital VC Education Curriculum

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  • Be a prominent voice in the startup community as you represent Saison Capital in outreach to startups and founders
  • Gain access to Saison Capital’s investment team, extensive network of industry professionals and experts, and interact with them on a regular basis
  • Be a key driver of an early-stage fund’s growth and innovation, and make decisions that will be integral to early stage companies and Saison Capital
  • Become a member of Saison Capital’s Global Scout Network, drawing lessons and building a global VC and VC-enthusiast network

Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Speaking & networking with founders, startups and industry leaders
  • Representing Saison Capital at startup events and meetups
  • Helping startups that are a great fit for Saison Capital’s investment interest
  • Connect to Saison Capital and the broader Credit Saison ecosystem

VC Curriculum developed by us

As part of our scout program, we developed an in-house VC Education Curriculum, organised into a series of monthly interactive lectures covering:

  1. VC 101
  2. Deal Sourcing
  3. Due Diligence
  4. Investment Thesis Building
  5. Mental Models & Heuristics
  6. Term sheets and Legal aspects of VC

In addition to this set of general lectures, we had deep-dives into specific industries and verticals as well, with expertise sharing among the scouts. This created a space for open discussion and insight generation as professionals with diverse skill sets and experiences (of both industry and geography) share their ideas.

Hear what some of our 2020 Scouts have to say

“Saison capital’s scout program not only provides good and practical knowledge on the principles of venture capital but also provides up-to-date insights about the technology industry, especially with regards to embedded fintech business models. Moreover, the program is a great platform to build and expand international networks in the tech and startup space.”

~ Poompong (Nan) Tancharoenphol [Country Head, Zilingo Thailand]

“What defines the value of the Saison Capital program is the top-notch quality of the team and the scouts they’ve gathered together. The amount of time and energy the Saison team pours into their materials and thought pieces is amazing, and leads to wide-ranging discussions that surface real market insights. I’d highly recommend the program for any specially motivated business leader interested in the venture world.”

~ Alin Bui [Founding CEO, Anduin Transactions]

“The hallmark of Saison Capital’s scout program is its informative and in-depth VC curriculum. I especially like the fact that it is very interactive and real-life experiences are brought in to explain concepts. Beyond the curriculum, I thoroughly enjoyed the sharing sessions conducted by fellow scouts. The program does a great job in bringing together experienced people with insights into a variety of industries and providing the space for sharing and discussion. Happy to be a part of this great community.”

~ YC Co-founder of two Fintech Startups

“Saison Capital’s scout programme was exceptional — it was highly structured, insightful and I have thoroughly enjoyed the community of fellow scouts along with a deeper understanding of the world of venture.”

~ Serial SaaS + Consumer Founder

“The team at Saison Capital definitely knows their stuff and their onboarding education is excellent. I learnt a lot of investment knowledge, especially into the FinTech space through them. Definitely a great investment team to work with!”

~ SEA VC Fund Partner and Founder

“Saison Capital’s scout program offers a chance to understand how a VC firm works and expands your network with individuals from different backgrounds across countries. The course curriculum is exhaustive and has quality content. The biggest value add would be the insights gained about different sectors and the thought process of a VC.”

~ Senior Manager at an Asia-focused Angel Network

“Saison Capital Scout Program is an amazing opportunity to gain access to mentorship from veterans in the venture capital industry and from current or ex-entrepreneurs with rich operating experience. My best experience was with the monthly learning sessions, both by the Saison Capital team and fellow Scouts. I was quite fascinated by scout’s thought patterns, the mental models, they use in their work — as they build businesses or invest in businesses. There were so many brilliant minds and it was exciting to see them teach and learn at the same time.”

~ Swarandeep [Global Community Manager and Associate at UNLEASH]

“The Saison Capital Scouts Program was an exceptional experience. It allowed me to build my knowledge of VC, taught what it takes to be an investor, and expanded my network of like-minded people also in the program, both here and abroad.”

About Saison Capital

Saison Capital is a corporate venture capital arm of Credit Saison, a Tokyo-listed $30B AUM consumer finance company and one of the largest credit card issuers in Japan. We invest in Pre-Seed to Series B companies globally. We invest across all verticals, including but not limited to SaaS, marketplaces, fintech, we have a fondness for embedded finance — non-fintech companies and industry leaders that are looking to build fintech arms within their ecosystems.

Our direct investments include SME finance management platform Bukukas, B2B cross border payments startup Tazapay, Indonesian B2B marketplace Ula. Our LP investments include some of the top-performing funds in SEA (Beenext, CyberAgent), and global funds like Quona Capital, Antler and Better Tomorrow Ventures.

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