EP 313 – Maaike Doyer – Epic Angels – Using Wealth as a Proxy for Financial Literacy Just Blows My Mind

by | Feb 14, 2024

The Asia Tech Podcast welcomed ⁠Maaike Doyer⁠, a Founder and Managing Partner at ⁠Epic Angels⁠, back to the show to discuss a recent article she wrote on '⁠Why Stricter Angel Investing Rules Miss the Mark⁠'. In the 3 years since Maaike founded Epic Angels along with ⁠Hester Spiegel-vdSteenhoven⁠, the network has grown to nearly 300 female investors across 27 countries!

Some of the topics we discussed in detail from Maaike’s article included:

  • The untapped potential of women in angel investing and the importance of creating a supportive network to facilitate their growth
  • Advocating for less restrictive regulatory criteria that would allow a wider range of individuals, especially women and younger investors, to participate in angel investing
  • Her passionate explanation for the importance of education and access in empowering more women to become angel investors
  • How collaboration among relevant stakeholders can lead to more inclusive investment opportunities and regulatory frameworks that recognize the diversity of investors’ backgrounds and experiences
  • Maaike’s unwavering passion for making a difference and challenging the status quo

Some other titles we considered for this episode, but ultimately rejected:

  1. Redefining Risks: A Mission to Diversify Angel Investing
  2. Changing the Game: A Journey to Reshape Angel Investing
  3. The Power of Networks to Unlock Investment Potential
  4. It’s More About Courage than Anything Else
  5. Redefine Regulations from Constraints to Catalysts
Read the best-effort transcript

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

Michael Waitze 0:05
Let’s do this thing. Hi, this is Michael Waitze. And welcome back to the Asia Tech Podcast. Maaike Doyer, a founder and Managing Partner of Epic Angels is back on the show. I love when people come back. Thank you so much for coming and doing this. So good. Yeah, no, it’s it’s really good to have you. Everybody knows you. So we don’t need to introduce yourselves. But can you just talk to me? I think the first time we talked was right around the time that Epic Angels then behind you on again after that to talk about some definitions, but three years in and a bit actually. How is Epic Angels doing? Really?

Maaike Doyer 0:35
Well, really? Well. We’re now at almost 300 Female investors. Wow. Yeah, based in 27 countries, which is also pretty cool to see that happening, how it’s spread all over the world, we still only invest in Asia Pacific, I keep on repeating that even though our investors are from all over the world. Our focus is on Asia Pacific to duty investments there.

Michael Waitze 0:58
Can I just ask you this? How did you get people? How many countries say 27 countries, a lot of countries, I noticed that you traveled to the US last year as well. And you were in Bangkok recently. Talk to me a little bit about these remote locations and traveling other places and getting people involved and getting them to sign up and become part of the network.

Maaike Doyer 1:15
Yeah, I mean, I visited personally, I visited 20 countries last year. But that is, I am just a really, really passionate traveler. I’ve been to 68 countries all over the world. So even secret here, one of my side hustles, I also run a travel business. So I have travel is in my blood. And indeed, but what we’ve been seeing is since we invest in Asia Pacific, there’s of course, a lot of the countries where we are investing, where women are seeing, like, Hey, this is cool, you’re investing in this local startup I want to join right that is something that’s happening, what we see as well Singaporean, and since the Singapore is where we started, Singaporeans tend to travel everywhere as well, specifically through Southeast Asia, or to coming from all the different countries. So they’re bringing their friends who are maybe in their home countries or their colleagues who are in different countries. So I think that that’s been very hard Ganic been growing, we haven’t really put an effort on that to expand throughout the region. It’s been very organic.

Michael Waitze 2:17
So this was a very purposeful thing for you and your partner to found like he just looked around the market, you said not enough women are investing in doing angel investing. And not enough of this syndicates that are out there actually include women per se. So we need to build this on our own. But as you go from one country to another country, you were in 20 countries last year. Are there different attitudes that you see and maybe different sort of approaches to risk risk mitigation, risk management, stuff like that? How is it different in California, you know, than it is in Thailand?

Maaike Doyer 2:49
Yeah, that’s I think those are the two opposites that you’re picking out here. Specifically, us, you know, us is so different compared to Asia. And I don’t know if there’s that big of a difference between Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, I see a lot of similarities there. I think in general, we see that in Asia, people are less, they’re more risk averse, right or more risk aware as the nice way of saying that. But in the US, people are really more used to like, you know what, I believe in this, and I’m going to put my money behind this. I don’t care if this is going to succeed or not. Short, they hope, hopefully, it will. But I believe in this cause I believe in this founder, I believe if this company is doing the right, thanks. And I want to be there on their journey to support that. That’s even if it goes out. That’s fine, right? It’s sort of that whole mindset of the American Dream, which people know it comes with failures. So yeah, right just says every startup comes with failure. And you’re comfortable with that.

Michael Waitze 3:54
Do you think there’s a certain sense in the US that they’re like bragging rights come with the fact you’re an angel investor? Do you don’t I mean, even if none of them work, let’s just say one of them works. Like it’s gotta be cool at a you know, at a cocktail party to say, you know, I’m gonna share I was a shareholder in Uber before went public kind of thing. And even if you want like one share,

Maaike Doyer 4:12
of course, say that, I mean, it is a cool thing to say. And especially if you are an angel investor, you are a risk taker, and you are showing out put my money where my mouth is. Yes, hopefully it will bring you some returns.

Michael Waitze 4:27
Yes. Okay. Let’s talk about this article that you wrote. Again, I feel like and we’ve never met each other face to face but I feel like every time I talk to you, there’s this like, deeply embedded passion inside you to just like, do the right thing if nothing else, but also it says it in your No, but I can feel it right. And I got I wonder what it’s like in person, but also your LinkedIn profile at the top. It doesn’t say like, I have this job or I’ve done this thing or I went to this college. It just says I get stuff done. Right. And I’m presuming this didn’t start last year. The year before, but it was like when you were four year old your mom was going, can you sit down? Like I’m getting stuff done? And that’s all so yeah.

Maaike Doyer 5:09
My family can tell fun stories about that. Yeah. wasn’t out there, I guess. Definitely my own opinion and my own will with that. And indeed, there’s not a lot that’s stopping me from from following that passion or that firm belief on just doesn’t mean, the more I hear, nope, that’s not how it works. Like, okay, cool. Let’s figure out how we can make this work. And we’re like, hey, people say it takes a month to get that done. Well, what kind of smart thing can we do to do that in a week? So? Yeah, it’s definitely a little bit how I am. And I think as you said, that article, something was definitely bubbling up in me when I saw that happening, where both the UK and Australia they manage roughly now around the same time, announced that they want to change the regulation for so called sophisticated investors or investors. Yeah, it really frustrated me. I was like, Oh, my right, right. Like, really? Is is this right now. And 2024? The way regulation is thinking that they can control the market? Is this the right way of doing that? I don’t think so. So I, I have to write something about that. As

Michael Waitze 6:27
the world gets smaller, right, as we all get more and more connected, for better or for worse, right? The it feels like every new that every new technology that comes around is trying to democratize this or democratize that, whether it’s working or not, we can argue about as well, right? But giving access to information giving access to sort of the ability to become financially independent, it seems going like it’s going backwards to me to change these rules, as opposed to using alternative types of data and alternative types of analysis to say, You know what, maybe those rules are okay, in the 1950s and 1960s, when there just wasn’t that much information out there. But today, shouldn’t we relax them? Slowly? But surely, what’s driving this? And that’s it, then what’s your opinion on it?

Maaike Doyer 7:09
Or do it in a different way? Yeah. All regulation about accredited investor. And I don’t know how much the listeners know about this, right. But there’s, some countries have this regulation, if you want to invest in something that’s a little bit more risky, which is identified as something that is not regulated by the local regulator, and like, which is sec in the US, which is the MHS in Singapore, and so on, that is considered more risky, which, by the way, is absolutely true. So those regulators have said, well, anything that doesn’t go through me, if you want to invest in those kinds of things, you need to be the accredited investor or sophisticated investor, as it’s called, which and they identify that you need to have a certain income, or you need to have a certain asset pool. Basically, your bank accounts that will qualify you to be this accredited investor. If the if

Michael Waitze 8:03
If the idea around the rules is to protect people against scams, right, for unregulated investments, in a way, it kind of makes sense, right? Again, in a asymmetrical information world, that seems to make sense to me. We talked a little bit before about that, how there’s way more information out there, anyway. But if you’re making like $100 a week, and you want to take $1 or $2, kind of pull it yourself and put 100 bucks or 1000 bucks into Uber and turn it into $10 million. Shouldn’t you be able to do that?

Maaike Doyer 8:36
And that’s the thing for me, right? I mean by by really limiting because these barriers, income barriers or exit barriers are pretty high, right? I mean, in Singapore 300,000 Singh dollars that you as an individual need to earn, which by the way, gets into really weird things. For example, right now, one of our investors, she’s on maternity leave. So she’s not getting that income. So

Michael Waitze 9:01
this was your thing. This was the other thing I was gonna ask you, though, do you think in a way, it’s almost meant to take away the ability for some people to take the income that they do have or the savings that they do have, and then turn it into more money as they can be more financially freedom free. I don’t want to get back to this idea of an old boys network, because I feel like it’s a little bit hackneyed, but like the more people that come in, the less likely you as individual to make and have investment success, right. So the less people you let in, the more likely you are do you think there’s some of that going on here as well?

Maaike Doyer 9:32
100%. That’s actually the Australian Government is that’s the reason why they want to do it is because when they put this regulation out there 20 years ago, it was not even 2% of the population that will qualify based upon the barriers right now, specifically, since you can include your house and as we know, house prices have been increasing a lot. So the assets has been increasing. So right now actually almost 20 Plus sense of the people qualify as a sophisticated investor, and they’re gone. They were like, oh, no, no, no, let’s do too many people, let’s put it back into certain brackets. And it’s only looking at, at these this financial barrier. I’m like, I mean, using wealth, basically, as a proxy for financial literacy. That just really blows my mind.

Michael Waitze 10:25
So talk to me about that as well. Right? I think you use this idea of like, this idea of wealth, meaning leading to wisdom is just ridiculous, right? Yes,

Maaike Doyer 10:34
yes, I really don’t buy that at all. Because also what it is a lot, it’s indeed, the old boys network playing golf. Oh, I just put $100,000 in this in this startup. Ooh, I can’t stay behind. Let me also put the $100,000 in there to have the money, right. I mean, and in a way, if they lose it, indeed, who cares, right, because they have sufficient. But what I really don’t understand is, because, again, I really agree with the essence of the regulation, you should protect people from doing dumb things that they don’t understand, and that they’re making decisions that are devastating for them and their families. Right, I 100% agree with the foundation of this. Really, it really had a huge behind that that I was faced with. Because this this guy that that played Gold, and it’s just throwing 100k and might absolutely not know what you’re doing. But what’s happening resemble angels, or angels, they can invest with just two and a half $1,000. Are you really telling me you need to earn 300,000 $400,000 to be able to decide if you can invest two and a half $1,000? Right? It absolutely does not make sense.

Michael Waitze 11:49
And I mean, look, some of the richest people in the world, definitely some of the wealthiest people in United States invested in Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes, and they all got, they all got carried out on a stretcher. Right? Most of them actually did zero due diligence, because they just figured if those guys are in and I use that word purposely, then I’m in. So being rich doesn’t make you smart. Is there a way for groups like epic angels now that you have 300 people to a lot of people? Right? Is there any way for you to have impact on what these regulations are? You don’t mean to literally sit down with the regulators and say, Look, we get what you’re trying to do. But there are 300 of us. Some of us make a million dollars a year, some of us make a million baht a year. But we all want to invest. What are we going to do to make this right like can you put pressure on them?

Maaike Doyer 12:35
I’m trying I really have reached out many of the regulator’s they are in general. And I told him like, I don’t want decisions, right, I just really want to have an open brainstorm, review. Because I want not really understand your concerns. Because again, I understand the essence of the regulation, I understand what you’re trying to achieve. But the world changed it right now, you no longer have to invest half a million in a startup, right? You can do $1,000.02 and a half $1,000 very easily. So this regulation, as you said, the democracy democratization of these type of assets, it’s, it’s there already, so it’s outdated the way we’re doing it. So let’s share thoughts and pros and cons and just have an open conversation to begin with. And then brainstorm on like, what if what could we do? Could we do a certain sandbox maybe with each other? Just to test things out? I mean, the two things that, for me sound very straightforward is for example, saying You know what? Anyone can invest in those type of assets, up to 10k a year 25k A year 50k. I don’t know what that threshold should be right? But like, hey, let’s put a cap on here. Just to make sure. People really can’t go bankrupt or Beyonds or anything like that. If

Michael Waitze 13:57
you can do payday loans and charge people 17 to 20% a month interest for people that have less money than people that want to Angel invest, and shouldn’t they be able to take some of that money and instead lose it by angel investing in learning? Look, I lost a ton of money. As an angel investor, I had more money than most, but I still lost a lot of it, and I considered it tuition. But even but even a guy like Jason Calacanis, right, who not only wrote the book called Angel, but also turned 100, you know, 100 grand into 100 million by investing in Uber says, don’t write a big check when you start. That’s ridiculous. Right? Exactly. And we say this in the stock market to like, Take $1,000 Take those two thought you don’t know what it feels like until you’re long a stock that’s going down? Yes, just don’t know. Right?

Maaike Doyer 14:44
Start small and allow people already added I have so many women or almost girls, right that are students right now that are asking me is there a way that I can participate in epic angels and I was like, Oh, I wish Right, I really wish I could make it available to you. But I simply cannot right and bounded by this by this regulation. But wouldn’t it be amazing if we allow these students as well just to play $1,000 a year, right? They can they can earn that with their, with their jobs, to just learn experience as you save like, ooh, that wasn’t smart, or, Hey, that was actually really good. But in a very safe environment, learn about this,

Michael Waitze 15:27
but also just to get in the room. I mean, if you think about it, if I were a 20 year old, young lady at SMU, right are in us. And I just walked over to you like in our restaurants and mica, can I talk to you about this? Like, who are you? I mean, you’re nicer than that. But you know what I mean, particularly if they were if they were asking you about something that was interesting to you. But more importantly, if they could come to a meeting with six of their other female friends and learn about angel investing from you, because they could put in a grand each and now it’s $6,000, not $1,000? Well, now they’re in the room with somebody who knows what they’re talking about. And that changes the whole game as well, right? It’s not even the money necessarily. It’s just being part of the party. No, absolutely.

Maaike Doyer 16:11
Right. It’s really giving people access to that knowledge. And every country has its own regulation that’s making it also very complicated also, for us, right between seven countries that we have. So for example, the UK, there also are going to double the income threshold and the acid threshold, which again, don’t don’t understand, but go ahead. They luckily also have what they call like a sort of professional experience. And one of the great if you don’t meet those financial criteria, if you are a member of an Angel Network for six months, or longer, you’re in. So I literally had one of the angels joining and she said, I noted the date in my calendar, and I put a reminder six months from now, now I can finally invest, right, because that’s why I want to join so that I’m actually a member of a network. I like that. Actually, I like it that the UK Government is saying, You know what, if you’re part of a network, we’re assuming that network is educating you that indeed, you’re discussing information with each other, you’re not just making a decision on your own, you’re better off and then you qualify, even if you don’t hit the income criteria. So that was already an example for me is like, yeah, that’s a good one.

Michael Waitze 17:27
So here are two questions from that. One is if I need to be part of an angel investing network for six months, during that time, I’m not allowed to invest. Is that Is that correct? That’s

Maaike Doyer 17:38
correct there, although that UK is making it a little complicated that they’re now still debating whether or not you can show pitch decks to that group. Although

Michael Waitze 17:52
the movie theater, but keep your eyes closed, when the movies Yeah.

Maaike Doyer 17:56
How can you learn, right? I mean, because you have to learn it first. I mean, I am actively speaking with these, these young women as we just talking about, a couple of them actually join us as scouts, because that was a really great way for them at least to get access to information. So they’re helping us and of course, they’re looking into the pitch decks, because they’re purely doing it from a scout perspective, not from an investment perspective. But they’re learning a ton, of course, about the whole investment landscape. I mean, also, there’s like, is that not allowed them? That’s just strange, because this is pure education. I really think more can be done with education. I mean, I’m also a professor here at the Singapore management University. And I’m like, you know, speaking with mes about this as well, like, what if we set up a certified course or whatever? Not right? You can you can certify this, I can do this together with SMU with us all. Yeah, right. And I’ll pull in some other VCs and Angel networks, because it’s not about epic angels. It’s really about the ecosystem. And as an ecosystem, I’m convinced we all want to work together to do this. You certified as your mes. And and everyone who took the course, who graduates the course, is automatically an accredited investor. Wouldn’t that be amazing? And so simple? Yeah, he’s

Michael Waitze 19:16
so much. It would be so much better that way. And actually, that was the other thing I was gonna ask is, is there an educational part of this, but it is. But here’s the other thing, too. If you’re a scout, you’re probably going to understand businesses that are targeting and I’m gonna use a catch all term for millennials. There’s a term for after millennials, but I forget what it is. Those businesses may be targeted towards you, you may be better qualified to analyze them than somebody who’s my age, right?

Maaike Doyer 19:40
Absolutely. Yes.

Michael Waitze 19:42
So do you work with some of the other angel investment syndicates in Singapore and also like the hustle fund does something here, right, and then they do some education stuff around there as well. Not just them, but are you working with other groups to keep putting this pressure on some of these regulations?

Maaike Doyer 19:59
We should do More together, I feel I also have the feeling that it’s maybe even more relevant for epic angels, since we also have a pretty low barrier to enter most of the other networks, you need to invest 25k or whatnot. Right? You’re right, it’s about a little different, different amounts. So then, of course, it starts to make a bit more sense to actually be an accredited investor, because you’re talking larger amounts here, we’re doing the small amounts. So that’s where you can see that there’s more people that are on the edge, or like the woman that’s pregnant on maternity leave, as I just mentioned that, you know, she doesn’t qualify, what did we do? It? That’s

Michael Waitze 20:39
so strange, right? Because she could have made a half a million dollars last year, she’s just gonna have a baby. And now somehow, having the baby makes her less educated about investing feels like a weird outcome. Exactly.

Maaike Doyer 20:51
Answer your house is this real badass job? Working, she absolutely qualifies. But she just put a little pause in there for her baby, which is totally normal. But then she gets like, no, no, no, you no longer qualify. Yeah, you

Michael Waitze 21:06
can’t win for losing here. So this stuff is so hard to say. But I’m gonna say it anyway. If this same lady that you say has a badass job, right is making a ton of money, leaves her baby at home and doesn’t take care of her. She’s gonna take flak from a whole other cohort of the population saying you don’t care enough about your baby. Like, why can’t she do both of these things? At the same time? I don’t understand. I don’t understand. And it’s a rhetorical question. You don’t have to answer. But I’m just saying, it makes no sense. Can I ask you this? How did you come up with the $2,000? Number? And let’s say, and I’m just going to use me I know I’m not a lady. But let’s say like seven ladies come up with $2,000 themselves and put it together can just like one of them join with 14 grand? Do you know what I mean? As opposed to just one with two?

Maaike Doyer 21:48
So how does that how do we come up with that? It’s always a bit as an Angel Network, you’re basically a multi sided platform yourself, or you have two customer segment is the angels in the startups and need to keep both happy. So looking at this from the startup perspective, I want to make sure as a network on average, we invest $100,000, in every startup,

Michael Waitze 22:10
real money. It’s real. Yeah, exactly, is if

Maaike Doyer 22:14
we put the real money in there, that means we’re seeing like, Oh, that’s a serious investor, that attracts better deals, right? And if I get better deals, the angels are happy again, right? So so there’s, there’s that model there. For the angels, I would love to lower it even to $1,000. That’s, that’s my goal. But at the same time, I want to make sure I get on average, at least 100k For every startup. So that is the balance that I need to find. Because if I do 5k, for every deal, if I need I only need 20 Angels to get to 100k. If I do, I need 100 to get there. So maybe we’re now at 300. So we’re growing and that’s luckily we’ve we’ve shown now we can lower the amounts. And hopefully we can lower it further. The more we grow acid base,

Michael Waitze 23:02
has there been any other pushback besides EU and the UK and Australia against some of these rules. And now that you build out like those epic angels have a say in office, but like a group of people that are associated in Australia, in the UK, that are fighting this fight as well, or at least making the case for the regulator’s that this is not the right way to do it, and other other angel investment groups that you’re working with in those countries to kind of make that point. We do

Maaike Doyer 23:25
work together a lot. Again, I think we all it’s, it always is so much effort to convince the government. There’s a lobby, oh, much, right. I think we can feel a whole other episode about that. But it really is a lobby. And most of us were so passionate about the angels about the startups. And then the government is often in a whole other mindset, that’s it takes quite something to really make that happen. And to invest a lot of your energy that you at that moment and cannot invest in startups or an angel. So that is tricky. But I’m convinced we should do it. We should just pull together and sit down with the amas to get started with here in that we’re doing a lot in Australia, our angel base in Australia is really growing a lot. We have our local collective there now as well a full team of angels with with a captain, we have local captains in all the different countries where we are. So these women really help to connect with the other networks to connect and deep with authorities and know a bit better what’s going on on the grounds. Then, then from Singapore only.

Michael Waitze 24:36
Do you have any and you tell these stories as well, about some people that joined epic angels at the beginning that were a little bit not wishy washy, but just like weren’t sure that they should be there. And now we’ve kind of flipped the bid into like recruiting other ladies coming and going. This is the greatest thing you’ll ever do in your life and you’re going to lose some money at first necessarily but after a while, just the confidence that the confidence that gives you like, I remember the first time I did a big trade when I was sitting on the fixed income trading desk in Tokyo, I remember it explicitly. And I could tell you the whole story. The market was moving around really, really fast. I mean, really fast. And for the bond market, that’s not normal, right? It’s a slow moving market. And this guy wanted to do like a half a billion dollar trade. And that’s a big number. And after we did the trade, we got out of it, we made like a half a million bucks. And I just remember thinking, okay, I can do this. I know how to do this now. Right? But just the confidence that it gave me in real time was amazing. And I’m curious if you have any of those stories from Epic angels as well, where some people come in, like, not 100% Sure, never, like I got this.

Maaike Doyer 25:39
Every single week, every single week, you know, honestly, this, this is what drives us a lot. I think, if you look at our angel base, half of them are more seasoned investors. Okay, they have before, and about half of them have never ever invested before. So they really helped him to go from zero to one. Yeah. And mean, for example, every Thursday morning, we have a 30 minute ask me anything, so anyone can just dial in, be part of that and ask all the stupid questions that they have. And like, how does this work? I mean, I got the question the other day, what is the safe note? Exactly? And, you know, so it varies between the experience of the angels, and that that is so cool about having this collective, where women really see, I think they see two things, of course, it helps them to do it. But they also start to realize they already have a lot more knowledge than they think. Just like, you know, if you look at it on in general, if there’s a job ad out there, man apply, even if they know they don’t qualify, like yeah, whatever, right? I’m just gonna go and apply for this job. I will get there. While women tend to be like, no, no, no, I don’t qualify. So I’m not going to apply. You see the same thing happening in Angel investing, where men are like, I’ve never done this. But hey, I have 1000 bucks or 2000 bucks spare. Let me just do this. Yeah. Where women are more like, no, no, I first need like a full education. And I’m like, No, you already have the basics. It’s already it’s already there. And what we tried to bring with epic angels is sort of that courage to invest, because it’s honestly, it’s more about courage than anything else. Yeah,

Michael Waitze 27:29
it’s about risk management, risk mitigation could get back to the course you were talking about at SMU, or the desire to maybe build an aggregation course there. When I was in college, I studied economics. And one of the courses that I took, while while not purely economic base was the course on stock market investing. And the whole, the whole course was just like a competition for one semester of pick a bunch of stocks, and figure out why. Yeah, you could do the same thing in the startup world, here are the 10 pitches, which one of them will get invested. It’s so easy, and in a way, it’s really innocent, and there’s no risk associated with it. But I should tell you this, once it’s once a year, I think or once a semester, I can’t remember. But my friend is a professor at a local university. And she asks me, she teaches a course on innovation. And every now and then I can’t know what it is because the weather in Thailand never changes. So I never know like when it is we teach a course. And then we tell them how to build a pitch deck and how to build a business. And at the end, we make everybody in the room. And normally the somewhere between 70 and 100 people, right seven to eight teams will make them pick the winner before I choose the winner. Yep, to show them what it’s like to make an investment. We give them a certain amount of points, which is equal to money. And we just say which one is going to win, which one would you invest in? And it’s a really interesting thing to see people not invest in their own company, but think, oh my god, that team’s idea was better than mine. I’ll invest in that. But it works. I think, no,

Maaike Doyer 28:51
it works. And I’ve done a lot of variations on this I even set up like almost like a sort of a casino you know, please your backs right and eat everyone gets off fake money. Here are the different ones. Put your money down, right. It’s your fake money, just put it down. What we often do as well, I’ll specifically financial well being is a big topic also within corporates. So we’ve got some workshops within corporates about angel investing, where we do bring startup along or even just a pitch from a startup wherein the people can ask the questions and of course we always end would you invest yes or no and but just that simulation and making it real, even though there is not a real investment attached to it. But getting through the whole notion, the anxiety as well like, Oh, am I really going to invest? It works it’s really helpful to do

Michael Waitze 29:45
when you would have to first started epic angels. Did you understand sort of the depth of issues in which you were going to need to be involved? Do you know what I mean? When you first saw it, wasn’t it just like we know women should be investing more we know angel investing is kind of the time But the funnel is the best place to learn about it. It’s the, it’s the riskiest, but with the highest payoff as well, like all these things are great, we can get together and talk about it. Did you ever think like, Oh, we’re gonna have to like interface with the government and try to convince them not to change the regulations?

Maaike Doyer 30:12
Oh, no, that part was definitely not on the list. And it’s education has always been there, especially the courage to invest. I mean, I am a true true number person. I’m always the one running everything financially. Also in my household, I invest all my husband’s side of his savings and so on. And his pension I do all of that, which I know is pretty unique as the woman to do that. It but it was because I was speaking with other women and then are like, Oh, you don’t do that. Now. That’s strange. Oh, your husband does that weird, right? So for me, that was weird. Because I was so used to doing it, but and that was definitely what triggered us, hey, we need more female investors. We need to educate women better, that they should take control and know how this

Michael Waitze 30:58
works. You know, again, I’ve been here for so long, it’s hard for me to tell what’s normal anymore, right? But I get the sense that in an Asian household, the women have more control over the finances, even if it’s the husband that’s earning more money. I know, in Japan, that that’s almost 100% True, at least it was when I was living there. But I wonder then if they’re making investment decisions as well,

Maaike Doyer 31:18
it depends, like Shanghai is, is very dominated by women. I think the men just have to give all their income every month, their savings accounts to the wife, who then will take care of everything. So for sure, we see I see a lot of those strong women or in the Asian culture, I feel it’s a lot more about safeguarding the assets than necessarily investing the assets. And I think that should be combined.

Michael Waitze 31:49
So let me share an anecdote with you. And maybe this drives the way I feel about all this stuff. When my grandfather, I don’t think I share this story with you. But when my grandfather was seven years old, he stuttered. And this was in the 19 teens in the United States. And that he they made fun of him so much, and beat him up so much that he just left school when he was seven, but he was actually quite brilliant. And he and his brother actually controlled like the entire free trade on the United States and the East Coast, the United States, they made a lot of money. But he couldn’t do math at all, he could barely write his own name. But when he got married, which he did, due to my grandmother, right, she was a mathematical genius. And she literally did what you said she gave him money every month. He was like, Well, how much money? She’s like, you’re so fun. And I think I grew up seeing that. And it must have had some kind of impact on me. And I think that’s part of the reason why I look at what you do. And I think it’s so important, and I love, there’s a certain kind of person I like who looks at something that they know is wrong and says, I can’t unsee it. And I have to try to fix it or disintermediate it. I’m dead serious. So you’re laughing. But I really believe this. And that was why I want to have this conversation with you. Is there anything that I missed that you want to talk about?

Maaike Doyer 32:59
I hope some regulators are listening to this one as well, they will for sure. Please, please reach out to me. I would love to have just an open brainstorm. On what if what could we do? What are some options that we can explore that keeps the essence of the regulation because again, I really, really firmly believe in the essence of deregulation. But also, it’s more adjusted to the day and age and what we’re living right now. And giving people access to information and take risks in a very controlled way. Without the risk, of course that they’re losing everything

Michael Waitze 33:36
that they have nominated. They’re Maaike Doyer, a founder and Managing Partner of Epic Angels. This was a great conversation anytime you want to come back on the show or recommend someone to be on the show. Let’s do it. For everybody who liked this conversation. Please, please subscribe to the InsurTech podcast on Spotify on Apple anywhere we are. Let’s do more of this stuff. Thank you again.

Maaike Doyer 33:56
Thank you



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