counterparts in North America and Europe. This situation is not a critical
roadblock to the development of a robust venturing process in Asia, but it is
worth noting that in most places there may be fewer university graduates and
professors interested in starting new companies. China is an exception to this
rule. In China, universities own and operate their own for-profit companie s
and it is common for professors to be involved in for-profit businesses.
Corporate venturing by the likes of Intel
is an important source of
venture capital in Asia, proportionately more so than in the West. Thi s
fact can be a significant advantage to you, as you may feel more comfor table
working with a Western company as an investor than to work with a local
Asian VC firm, even though the business itself is located in Asia.
From historical perspective, it is interesting to note that the VC industries
and practices in most Asia countries were started, or certainly urged along,
by funding from the International Finance Corporation.
Japan is the only
notable exception, having developed its VC industry and practices internally
based largely upon the U.S. model.
Nearly every country in the world has a na tional stock exchange, often
for the same reason they have a national airline: prestige. Like the national
airlines, the national stock exchanges do not always make economic sense as
stand-alone enterprises. Consequently, they are experiencing competition
and consolidation, especially in Europe, where the trend will probably
continue for some years to come.
This situation could work to your benefit, should you decide in favor of a
public offering, as the exchanges compete with each other for new listings.
They especially want to attract listings of foreign companies, as that adds to
the prestige and competitiveness of their exchange.
Of course, you must have a good reason for taking your company public,
regardless of the exchange on which it is listed. The primary drawback to
listing on a foreign exchange is not the regulatory environment, the cost of
listing, or even necessarily the task of convincing foreign investors to entrust
their money to you. In fact, some of those issues may be less daunting in
other countries than in the United States The real drawback is the low level
of liquidity of the shares after they are lis ted.
Opportunities to Do Business and Raise Capital Globally 369

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