Vasudev Bailey, Ph.D, is vice president at Quid in San Francisco where he leads the global enterprise team. As a business leader and Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Bailey has experience from multiple startup perspectives. A UCI alumnus who understands the commercialization pathway from a university perspective and a seasoned entrepreneur in building and investing in companies, Bailey understands the ins and outs of innovation and development. He is hopeful about the ecosystem growing in Orange County and, especially, the contributions from Applied Innovation. Bailey shares that collaboration among startups and experienced professionals is key to building a successful product, and, ultimately, a successful business. In the conversation below, he emphasizes the importance of understanding that there are various avenues to achievement; entrepreneurs should choose the path that works best for them.
What are your thoughts on the progress of the innovation ecosystem here in Orange County?
“In the last three years, the amount of initiatives coming from OC, especially from Irvine, have been incredible. I think this is absolutely the right track. You have to start by inviting people from the outside world to see what’s going on here.”
What do you think about Orange County’s potential to be a source for deal flow for Silicon Valley?
“I think Orange County, or Irvine, can be an incredible source for deal flow and I think one of the challenges is access or visibility into what is going on here. I think you already alluded to the various initiatives from blogs, from newsletters, from even having access to a central place, like an incubator here that allows easier access to talent. I think that one of the other advantages of a facility like this is that you’re already vetting some of the ideas, the IP, the talent. And, it brings and gives a little more trust. It gives the entrepreneurs access to people on the other side, like in the Valley – like me. But, also, it gives us the ability to ask, ‘Can you tell us about the top five companies that you’ve seen in the last three months?’. It is also helpful to capture the data from all of the activity happening here so you can connect us to it. Overall, these are absolutely the right steps.”
On the topic of collaboration, Bailey shared the following thoughts:
“Some of the [startup companies] can get direct investments and others can work [on] partnerships with larger corporations. I think the VC world is one avenue, but I don’t think it’s the only avenue. There’s another, which is connecting with corporations that might have interest in partnering or absorbing or figuring out how to bring some of these ideas to life.”
As a venture capitalist, what ultimately in influences your decision to invest in one startup versus another?
“There are three things that have to come together for every idea to be venture investable. The first is the concept or idea itself has to be transformative. It has to be something that has legs to have good returns in x number of years. And, it absolutely is a question that you’ll think about. The second is the team and dynamics; ideas are a dime a dozen, but it takes real execution to make something successful. The third is, I think it takes humility and an ability to see. So, if you think about ideas and what you want to invest in, a track record of humility helps because people who are humble enough to surround themselves with people who have done it before generally have an easier path to success. I don’t know how you would actually quantify that, but I think one way is that you see if someone is open to the idea of collaborating or bringing in people who he or she thinks will help them accelerate to market faster.”