Seminar on Fintech, Cryptospace, and Metaverse-Venture Capital Investing

It is not surprising to have a news article on blockchain making you question your linguistic abilities. What is cryptospace, metaverse, NFTs, DAOs, and all the other buzzwords that we have been hearing about recently? What in the world is a “Nyan Cat”?  News reports and social media accounts are all aflutter on how to (or how not to) make money and invest in cryptospace. What do we currently know about cryptospace? How can investors smartly and gain profits from the cryptospace? How do angel investors and venture capitals play a role in investing in cryptospace?
On the Thursday Spring afternoon of 6 April 2022, our UK Campus warmly welcomed our distinguished seminar speakers, Mr Charles Xue, Chairman of the Joker Charlie Club, and Mr Julian Roger-Coltman, Chairman of the London and Oxford Group who heroically braved the English Spring weather to come to our UK Campus to their experiences and expertise on angel investing and venture capital investing in the Fintech and Crypto space.

Our first speaker is the esteemed Mr Julian Rogers-Coltman who has over 30 years of experience in financial and commodity markets. He was the CEO of Fleming Capital Management, which is a part of the Fleming Family and Partners. Prior to that, he was the CEO of GNI Limited, which is now a part of the MAN Group. Julian has been an investor in private companies for 25 years.
Julian first talked about what is venture capital and explained the different stages of venture capital investing and shared with us his valuable observations as a business angel. He talked us through the early stages of building a business, growing a business, making money, and leading your sector. Particularly, Julian discussed the roles of angel investors and how they are important to a business in the early stages. Angel investors are wealthy individuals with industry connections. For anyone familiar with the popular UK TV series Dragon’s Den, an angel investor is very much like a Dragon, minus the stress.


One of the few key takeaways from Julian’s talk is how investors should pay attention to management – great management is key to a successful company. Following the Dragon’s Den analogy, this bit of advice marks a stark difference between a Dragon and an Angel. An angel looks at a team first then the idea. A brilliant pitch in front of a Dragon might secure you funding. But in front of an Angel, you need to present your best team and your best management.
Julian also advised investors should be patient for the best exits are usually the longest. Patience and discipline are virtues that will benefit all investors. Patient investing is akin to fishing. There are many fish in the sea and it is not necessary to catch every fish that swims by. Similarly, if the fish fails to meet your criteria, be patient. Give things time to develop and mature.


One of the best advice, I believe, for the budding investor, is the use of common sense – if you don’t understand the company, technology, or project, don’t invest. Only follow fashion if you are early enough. Excellent advice, Julian and thank you for sharing that with us! I, for one, will be taking a harder look at my investment portfolio after this seminar! With that piece of advice, Julian neatly segued to our next speaker who would talk us through the latest buzzwords of our era – Metaverse and NFTs.

Our second speaker is the notable Chinese-American angel investor and entrepreneur, Mr Charles Xue. Charles was also the co-founder of UT Starcom and has invested in numerous Chinese start-ups, most notable amongst which are 8848, 265 which was acquired by Google, and Autohome. Charles has been an investor for more than 30 years, and has invested into more than 300 companies.

Charles took us through a quick explanation of the current buzzword in the technosphere – Metaverse. Despite Facebook changing its name to Metaverse, Charles shared with us what he envisions the future of Metaverse to be:  a digital world in which each and every one of us can participate using a unique digital identity in a universe where we can break the boundaries of physical space. Further, what is so unique about Metaverse is, as Charles eloquently puts it, is that it has a unique economic system and operating rules which governs how one can create value, trade with others, protect one’s assets, and consume commodities.

Many may say that Metaverse is just a video game and we are just avatars plugged into the system. On the contrary, as Charles explained. Metaverse does not follow a pre-written storyline and in a decentralised metaverse, the identity system is a new social relationship and the value system, a new production relationship.
Charles also talked about another buzzword – NFTs. We have all heard of Grimes selling $6 million worth of digital art as NFTs. Or having your grandmother calling you up asking you what is a Nyan Cat. Even Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, and an individual who publicizes Bitcoin on his Twitter profile, is attempting to sell his first tweet as an NFT – something that lives on the Ethereum blockchain. So what exactly is an NFT?
As Charles explains, to him, an NFT is like Pop Art in the 1960s, like Andy Warhol’s famous art work of dozens of printed portraits of Marilyn Monroe. People formed an emotional attachment to Pop Art then in the same way as people formed an emotional attachment to NFTs now; the search for differences in similarities. There may be many instances of the same Nyan Cat or Bored Apes out there but the difference is in the blockchain. Much like how we can eat and dress the same way, but we have different personalities. We, like NFTs, are not carved out of the same mould.


So how is understanding cryptospace important? Remember Julian’s tip: Do not invest in something you don’t understand. Putting Charles’ explanation of the cryptospace into the definition of venture capital investing and investing techniques presented by Julian, we now have a clear indication of how investments and investment opportunities can be found in the cryptospace. Julian and Charles both gave us an insight into venture capital investments, a different viewpoint into Metaverse and NFTs, and investing into the cryptospace.
It was our distinct pleasure and honour to have with us such illustrious guests to give us their insights into blockchain and its impact on the current era. In this seminar, both guests talked about the allure of the crypto space and how Fintech and smart investing can provide outsize returns. Knowledge is power. And having the right knowledge can definitely assist the smart investor in producing sizeable outcomes.
Many thanks again to Julian and Charles for their invaluable insight. We also like to thank Joker Charlie Club and Mr Henry Qi for making this seminar happen. Special mention to Mr Gordon Lee, the Managing Director of Joker Charlie Club who answered numerous technical questions on NFTs and Metaverse. We hope to welcome them both back to our UK Campus soon!