Oliver Lo

  • Marketing
“There is no greater pursuit than just being yourself in whatever you do.”

“You’ll never get anywhere in life, playing all those video games!” This was the constant refrain outside my bedroom door while I was growing up. But it was all those video games that got me into this baffling world of startups.

For those familiar with the stereotypes in the West, I was always the straight A’s Asian kid who wanted to break the mold of generations of Asian kids and do something a bit different.

A dissertation on hip-hop subculture, much to the disapproval of my Cambridge University professors.

First job in advertising when most people with my grades would go into banking.

A move to Beijing without a job, against the will of my much-Anglicized parents.

And it was there in China, that I discovered the startup world – joining a gaming startup that would soon get acquired to become part of Zynga. App Annie followed, Grab beckoned. Fifteen years later, I was irreversibly immersed in the dizzy world of hyper-growth startups.

As soon as Sequoia India & Southeast Asia came knocking on the door with Surge, I knew that this wasn’t an opportunity to be missed. The chance to help not just one, but dozens of founders every year, build their brand from scratch.

I love working with early-stage startups. It’s the purest moment of a company, when everything is simply about trying to make things better by doing something completely different, something a little bit out there. It’s when appearances don’t matter and doing the right thing rules. Which is why I love being able to work at Surge with cohort after cohort of bright-eyed, mission-driven founders who are trying to do the right thing.

So yes, I’m always on the lookout for the next startup where the tiniest or not so tiniest bit of difference could be made in their growth journey, and hope it can have some impact on the millions that they’re going to bat for.

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