Thought Leaders May 27, 2020

Iginite Podcast – Episode 01 – Sergei Filippov – Morphosis Capital Partners – Strategy Helps You Win the War

Episode Summary

In this first episode of the Ignite podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Sergei Filippov, Managing Partner and Head of Investments and Consulting at Morphosis Capital Partners (MCP). The two discussed what diplomatic and military history taught Sergei about management consulting, MCP’s startup programs and the drawbacks of the ‘cash is king’venture capital mindset. 

Sergei Filippov, originally from Moscow, Russia, became interested in the startup ecosystem of Southeast Asia back in 2007. With decades of experience working with big firms like McKinsey, Yamaha, and Sony, Sergei offered his insights on how he has used his history degree to inform his management consulting services over the years. 

Learning from History

Michael and Sergei discussed the importance of conducting a feasibility study on new business models, expansionary plans, as well as other objectives. For Sergei, it’s all about understanding and solving problems for the business’s stakeholders. 

“Listen to the client first, be attentive to details. Otherwise, you might be solving a problem that’s not even there.” Sergei reflected. 

To fully understand the stakeholders’ problems, consultants will need to analyse and organise all the data available, while also identifying what the key goals of the business are. This was where Sergei’s training in history came in. 

From reading declassified FBI and CIA reports, Sergei noted, one starts to develop the ability to put a lot of information together and create a narrative or informed conclusion about what all the data means. The same principle applies to management consulting, where the ability to analyse and understand all the business data available is paramount to offering productive consulting services. 

MCP’s Ignite and Scale Up Programs

The two then went on to talk about MCP’s Ignite and Scale Up programs. The Ignite program is designed to help new startups develop their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and acquire their first clients in order to get funding.

Meanwhile, the Scale Up program is designed to help startups that have already developed their MVP gain some initial traction by improving their business model, upgrading their technology, and solve any other problems to get them through the next round of funding. 

The unique aspect of these two programs is that MCP is more open to help older, more mature entrepreneurs who have in-depth experience in their respective fields.

Is cash really king?

Before ending the podcast, Michael and Sergei talked about the importance of profit and cash flow in new startups. Sergei challenged the idea that startups need to be making a lot of money in order to earn VC capital, using gigantic online platforms like Youtube and Instagram as an example. 

Listen to our podcast to find to learn more about the key factors that contribute to the success of startups and find out how MCP can help scale your startup to the next level. 


Michael has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective.

Michael I. Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.

Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth.

After more than 20 years in Tokyo, Michael moved to Southeast Asia to get more involved in the Private Equity and Venture Capital business and invest his own capital.

Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael has raised capital and advised some of the most famous startups in the region.

Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia, while building the biggest and fastest growing listener base in the region. His flagship website,, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.


Sergei Filippov, originally from Moscow, Russia, became interested in the startup ecosystem of Southeast Asia back in 2007. Sergei has decades of experience working with big firms like McKinsey, Yamaha, and Sony.

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