LEONARD
LEE

VENTURE PARTNER

Experiences, results, People, no boundaries… these are the words that describe me.
 
Experiences - Born in China, grew up in Fiji, educated in Australia and worked in Singapore, Australia, US and Europe. I have learnt in my early years to adapt quickly and make the most of every opportunity. 

Growing up I was fascinated by airplanes and aviation so I studied Aerospace Avionics Engineering under Australian government scholarship. Later in my career I wanted to expand my skills and expertise which led me to undertake a MBA in the US.
I was fortunate to have led transformational teams for Airbus, Microsoft, GE and Honeywell where I learnt to build operationally strong businesses and scale them worldwide. 
 
At Microsoft I helped to build and launch the first public cloud service (Azure) in China. In my role as General Manager, Business Excellence, I led the Digital Transformation efforts in the Microsoft Worldwide Sales and Marketing organization.
Moving to Airbus, I led the newly created innovation organization as Vice President, New Business Models, where I successfully launched 4 new startup ventures in the first year.
 
While most of my career has been with large global companies, my day to day work with these companies was about creating new ventures or expanding into new markets. There are many common principles that apply to running a business of any sizes whether it's a startup or a Fortune 500 company…passion for product/service, sound business model and tenacity for results!
 
Leaping into the startup world can be a harrowing experience. It’s important you have the right network of advisors who can coach and guide you along the journey. In my experience, a great unfair advantage is to have a working relationship with a large corporate partner who can provide early feedback on your product and/or serve as a first customer.
 
All about the people - Having led teams large and small, I believe that People are the main success factor for any business…however finding the right talent is the hard part. I have an enormous passion for meeting, learning from, and working with smart people all around the world. I have a good eye for talent and enjoy helping entrepreneurs identify and attract key hires.
 
I have proven operational expertise across multiple industries including software, aerospace, financial services and advanced manufacturing. My professional and personal networks extend across US, Asia and Europe. 
 
Over the past 15 years, I have worked on many exciting business ventures in China with Microsoft and GE. I am amazed at the immense scale of opportunities in China. I understand there's the fear of the unknown when doing business there and I’ve learnt that partnering with someone who has the right conditions for success in this country, expert knowledge of the market, deep connections within the ecosystem and strong relationships in both private and government sectors is crucial. I found all this expertise and some of the brightest people at SILK Ventures when I decided to join.
 
I think work and fun go together and not at the expense of the other. My other life passions include golf, tennis, marathons, whiskies and travels. During my time in Singapore, I co-founded 2 specialty scotch whisky bars, a passion I enjoy sharing with both old and new friends.

Team

We are a team of entrepreneurs and investors with distinctive backgrounds who have lived and worked in China experiencing its exciting development over the past 20 years. Collectively, our experience covers 15+ industries and all stages of a company’s life from inception to exit.