Vosik Shamsiev
IMPACT INVESTING

Vosik Shamsiev

#21

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Asset Management

Acquisition Should Always Be On the Table – Vosik Shamsiev

“Try to out innovate everybody else that’s the only thing you can do to stay on top of the market”

ABOUT

Vosik Shamsiev was born in Uzbekistan. He moved to Japan to study in 2000 and ended up working there and meeting the love of his life. He has worked for solar companies and semiconductor companies which led him in the venture division. After moving to Canada, he started a private practice in Asset Management.

He speaks 4 languages English, Japanese, Russian and Uzbek.

Core competencies include International sales, venture capital, and business development.

Experience:
Asset Management
2016 to present
Self Employed

Consultant
TEL Venture Capital

Venture Partner
TEL Venture Capital, Inc.
2014 – 2016

Photovaltaic Equipment Sales Division
Tokyo Electron
2010 – 2014

Project Manager
Space Energy Corporation
2006 – 2010

Group Leader
Planex Communication
2003 – 2005

Media Manager
1997 – 2000

REQUEST INTRODUCTION Arrow

THE FULL INTERVIEW

Vosik Shamsiev

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
Vosik, welcome! Thank you very much for joining us today we’re always excited that we get to talk with another angel investor but i’ve got to work with Vosik over the last couple of months in one of other investments. so I got to learn a bit about yourself and got excited at the opportunity to want to spend a few minutes or we’ll say another hour with you to learn a bit more about yourself and what you’ve been up to in the whole angel investment community. so maybe to start off you can give us an Idea of a little bit of your background, where you came from what you’ve been doing, and then how you got to where you are today and then one other caveat if you can share one thing about you that nobody would know that would be brilliant

Vosik:
Okay, thanks for having me. I’m not sure if I’m excited yet hearing it will take one hour or more. Briefly about myself, 40 something years old, was born in, then soviet union, currently Uzbekistan. In 2000, moved to Japan to study, ended up working there as well after graduation. I was planning to go back, happened to meet my wife there so they decided to stay in Japan for a while. Worked in solar companies and worked for the big corporate company in the semiconductors which led me to the venture division within the same company, and after moving to Canada four years ago, I’m doing good solo. Basically, that’s probably a very short version of what I’ve been doing so far. Some fact which nobody knows about me…that’s a tough one, I’m very public person, everybody knows me. No, I guess, I speak four languages decently well. That would be my native Uzbek, Russian, Japanese, and English.

Jeffery:
Perfect! Well that’s some information that people would know and what I find is it’s a good little unique identifier. So, when people come up to you they’ll say, “Hey! I speak languages, three languages too.” So, it’s a good way for people to connect with somebody that they may not have a lot of things in common with, but there is one common ground that helps start a conversation. So, I’m a big fan of finding that one unique thing that everybody can relate to so- or just something to remember who you are which is great. So, in our discussions you chatted about a few things that you kind of done over time and one of them was on raising funds. So, I’d be interested to learn a little bit more about in your past roles and in the businesses that you were part of, what was- is there a structure behind it? Or how did you go about raising dollars inside of a business?

Vosik:
Well, I was part of the relatively established startup. I joined it later on, not as a founder, just a normal employee in the financial department that was a solar business. 2005, 2006 that was very hot topic and we were expanding really fast, so we were trying to — I was in charge let’s say of purchasing which raw material was coming very short and well, considering that from 2004 the price for silicon spiked from 40 dollars to 400 in 2006.

Jeffery:
Wow!

Vosik:
Yeah, 2007 it was around 400. So, we were trying to source the material and one of the things was just to buy out the old factory which is not working and bring it up to the speed, improve, put the new equipment, put the personnel in charge to make it, to make sure it’s sufficient enough for the solar, and well other than just developing the project, the financing obviously should have been secured. So, we were looking at local venture funds, we were looking at big trading companies who might have been interested. It all came crashing down after the solar market basically, collapsed in 2008 like everybody else in 2008. So, we raised some funds, we just discharged it back to the investors, and didn’t go ahead with the plans because it was not much need fight. At that time the company actually folded like two years later because the competition from China was much more than we expected at that time. I was working in Japan, it was leading, one of the leading companies in the [ inaudible 4:55 ] industry for five, six years.

Jeffery:
Okay

Vosik:
By the time Chinese newcomers came to the market, we were very much outpaced by the volumes stay pushed by the lead times, by the costs. So, it lasted first well, not long enough but it’s an experience.

Jeffery:
No, for sure. So, when you guys are raising these funds, did you have a specific target? Did you go after institutional money? You were a startup so, there’s a position where you’d fit in that would be best, what was the position that you guys took? And obviously you raised funds so, it worked. It’s very rare that you give money back but understand the circumstance, so how did how did you guys go about that? Was there planning, anything strategic about it, or it was kind of a buckshot spray you just one at everybody?

Vosik:
It was, well, first of all, obviously trying to round up the people who much closer to the industry itself, who know what they’re talking about, and who might actually use some of the material. So, we started with the close trading companies. Japanese trading companies are famous for trading all kinds of materials, so that was one of the big sources of funds. The other idea was to get someone from the venture capital which we did, but that was the part which we basically gave it all back because it was raised for the project rather than for the company expansion. So, that’s the reason why it sounds strange but we did not consider it as a loan, we weren’t considering as a part of the new venture set up for the specific purpose, but well, since it didn’t, there was no need for it anymore. We just decided to dissolve the company and get the funds back. But well, there were other financing schemes available, so at the moment, let’s say we did buy lots of new equipment and we paid out right cash in it. The company was quite profitable at that time when the need for the financing came, we just leased all the equipment to the leasing company and use the proceeds as well.

Jeffery:
So, there was that. There was a bit of a strategy, you were going after like-minded people in the space. Obviously, you got hit with the 2008 financial crisis that kind of caused all of these other problems and kind of trickled down everywhere else. I’m kind of assuming, plus you have also the Chinese companies coming in, and kind of dominating the marke