Accelerating Asia aims to plug the gap in Asia’s seed-stage startup ecosystem
By Digital News Asia June 19, 2019
- AA’s inaugural cohort features 10 startups solving localised pain points
- Aims to tap on its network to fast-track the growth of seed-stage startups
ACCELERATING Asia (AA), a regional network of startup programs and an early-stage venture capital fund headquartered in Singapore, has on June 19 announced the launch of its inaugural accelerator cohort.
The programme aims to identify and fast-track the development of seed-stage startups in Asia. AA is the only independent startup accelerator programme in Singapore. It is supported by Enterprise Singapore and will work with the agency to nurture more startups based in Singapore.
AA’s first cohort comprises mature startups specialising in verticals such as big data, e-commerce, human resources, logistics, software-as-a-service, transportation and remittances; its founders hail from all over Asia including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Singapore, The Philippines and Vietnam.
“We’re in an incredibly exciting and dynamic market where we see boundless opportunities for growth, fueled by local companies whose founders have identified systemic inefficiencies close to the ground and bridged these gaps through innovation. AA’s intensive and high-impact program is specifically designed to provide our startups with the necessary funding, mentorship and support they need to scale their growth,” said Accelerating Asia co-founder, partnerships & operations director Amra Naidoo.
“As an independent accelerator with various revenue streams that ensure long-term sustainability, we are breaking the typical accelerator model that relies on one source of funding and the competing interests that can arise, better aligning our outcomes with the startups we work with and ensuring that our founders will always be our priority from day one.”
AA’s programme seeks to identify high-impact and high-potential startups from all sectors across the region and catalyse their growth. The program emphasises smart planning, training and support with extensive mentorship provided for by AA’s network of experienced mentors, partners and investors.
Participating startups will each receive US$72,948 (S$100,000) in funding, an office space in Downtown Singapore, and perks with providers such as Amazon Web Services, Hubspot, and Tribe Theory. The programme is split into two parts: a three month program period with weekly activities followed by a one-month final period which includes a Startup Mastery Program in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, as well as a Demo Day where founders will pitch their startups to a private audience of the top investors in the region, multinationals, government partners and other relevant ecosystem players.
Craig Dixon, co-founder, entrepreneur in Residence and Programme Director, Accelerating Asia added, “There is a profile of more mature startups in the region who are too advanced for existing accelerator programs but are not quite ready for institutional venture funding. These startups are led by incredible founders and have great financial and customer traction, but are still missing some key elements they need to scale to success.
"Accelerating Asia’s program is customised to fill these gaps with needed funding and support to get them to the next level. We are entrepreneurs ourselves and believe our experience and an extensive network of best-in-class mentors, investors, and partners puts us in a unique position to understand the pain points of our startups and play a part in enabling their success.”
Lim Seow Hui, director of Startup Development, Enterprise Singapore said, “We encourage more deep tech startups to make use of Singapore's established infrastructure and ecosystem to grow their business not only here, but also in Southeast Asia. With its strong leadership team and structured programmes, Accelerating Asia is a good partner for us as we grow Singapore into a global innovation and startup hub.”
The announcement of AA’s cohort comes after its successful launch of the Asean Smart Cities Accelerator (ASCA), a joint partnership with the Australian government that will support entrepreneurs with innovative and tested ideas to promote the development of smart cities in the region.
AA will also be finalising the first close of its pre-seed VC fund in July, which will commit up to US$5million to invest in over 40 high-growth regional startups. Its first Demo Day will take place on Oct 3, 2019 and applications for the next cohort will open in early October.