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Southeast Asia’s start-up scene gets help from American seed accelerator

According to a recent report, the Southeast Asian start-up ecosystem is being lauded for having an increasingly active tech arena and is seeing hundred million-dollar funds become the norm. The region is becoming globally recognised hotbed of innovation.

Located in a geographically advantageous area of the globe, start-ups in Southeast Asia have access to nearly 60 per cent of the world’s population, making the region a hugely promising location for companies seeking to be more global.

In addition, the region is massively diverse – market, business, and geographical landscape. This makes it challenging for start-ups to enter.

That is why a major American seed accelerator has taken up the mantle to support new tech businesses to succeed locally and regionally from Southeast Asia. The firm is recognised across the world for its network that enables entrepreneurs succeed. It offers a plethora of mentorship-driven accelerator programmes and thousands of start-up programmes that run globally.

Despite the challenges of the region, they have established a solid presence in Southeast Asia over the past few years.

The firm is widely accepted to be the premier accelerator programme and start-up community builder – an achievement made because they understand the value of partnerships, with programs designed to help large corporations confront the threat of disruption to their businesses faster.

The company works to connect newer companies with larger, more established corporations looking for innovative solutions thereby helping start-ups within the Southeast Asian region succeed, while also helping large corporations stay closer and engage earlier and more effectively with disruptive innovations.

When arrived in Southeast Asia, they took advantage of local knowledge and connections of native partners. They have worked closely with many local groups to run programs since 2010, when they began holding community events in the region, and it only grew from there.

With regards to Malaysia in particular, the firm was able to do larger ecosystem work with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) on a three-year engagement that involves bringing and developing entrepreneurial programs to Kuala Lumpur and neighbouring cities in Malaysia, as well as partnered with Thailand’s True Digital and the UNDP.

What makes the firm an international success is their ability to understand the market that they are expanding into. This is valuable especially for markets or regions like Southeast Asia whose start-up ecosystem is fragmented.

The scale of opportunities available in the region may seem overwhelming; it is quite daunting to be faced with the task of expanding across a region whose eleven countries all have different markets, level of technology adoption, and culture. What works for Singapore, for example, is unlikely to work as well in Malaysia or Myanmar.

A senior member of the organisation noted that Southeast Asia’s start-up ecosystem creates fertile ground for the firm to nurture successful entrepreneurs, adding that the economic prospects and level of maturity of both the emerging and upcoming ecosystems of the region makes it a good fit for what the firm is doing: creating opportunities and facilitating conversations between start-ups, investors, and corporations.

For example a three-month intensive programme held in Singapore, attracted start-ups from all over the world. While the mandate was on start-ups with focus on innovation around messaging, social, fintech, gaming, or technologies that align with the program’s chat app, a major draw for the companies which applied was gaining access to Southeast Asian markets.

It is undeniable then that global talent attracted to the region through the company is beneficial for the whole start-up ecosystem, and in turn offers more start-ups the opportunity and support to gain high growth potential in Southeast Asia.

The company affirms that it can create an opportunity for regional investors to meet these start-ups and facilitate conversations between the start-ups and our corporate partner, to be able to create a much larger regional partnership.


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