JFDI.Asia launches innovation campus in Singapore
By Digital News Asia March 25, 2013
- 4,800 sq ft campus to bring together seasoned entrepreneurs, first-timers and international mentors
- Tie-in with TiE Singapore, which will curate program of events and seminars
SINGAPORE-based JFDI.Asia (the Joyful Frog Digital Incubator) has launched the Joyful Frog, a 4,800 sq ft ‘innovation campus,’ and is inviting founders, funders, freelancers and friends of innovative business to join as members and residents.
The campus offers seasoned entrepreneurs a home-from-home to meet, work, and relax alongside first-timers, international mentors and teams selected for its accelerator program, JFDI.Asia said in a statement.
Joyful Frog members enjoy unlimited signature drinks from a full-time barista, a choice of ‘lily pads’ and meeting rooms for work and discussions, plus priority access to a program of seminars and events.
In addition, a unique partnership means residents at the Joyful Frog automatically become general members of the TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs ), the world’s largest entrepreneurship organization, with instant access to a network of 13,000 other achievers in 61 cities across 17 countries.
The innovation campus is the brainchild of Wong Meng Weng, co-founder and social engineer at JFDI.Asia, who said that bringing the right people together is the key to fostering innovation, wealth and prosperity.
He previously co-founded Singapore’s very first co-working community Hackerspace.SG for software developers, web designers, and other geeks. In contrast, the Joyful Frog serves a different community: Entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and other players in the start-up scene.
“We’re building a new kind of academy. MBA schools teach workers to climb the corporate ladder; at JFDI.Asia, entrepreneurs learn to build much earlier-stage businesses by discovering and engaging with customers.” Wong said.
“We offer start-up founders an experiential education because, in the era of the Internet, the ‘know-what’ facts traditionally taught in formal education effectively come for free. Success now depends on other, very human factors: ‘know-how’ and ‘know-who’. The Joyful Frog is a place to share insights, connection and mentoring face to face.”
So far, 60% of the companies passing through JFDI.Asia’s flagship 100 day ideas-to-investment program have raised funding totalling S$3.9m. Along the way they have created over 40 high-value jobs in Singapore, JFDI.Asia claimed.
The Joyful Frog announcement follows a successful three-month pilot and remodelling of JFDI.Asia’s incubation space. The campus combines a cosy café with meeting rooms and seminar space, and a large quiet ‘jungle’ retreat where nine start-up companies are now part-way through their 100-day program, hoping to raise S$600k each at Demo Day on June 3.
“The Joyful Frog is a place where people don’t just talk about the future – they make it happen,” said JFDI.Asia chief executive officer Hugh Mason.
“Visitors value the inspirational people they meet here because of the open culture and the fact that some of our residents are willing to back their advice with cash is very unusual.”
The Joyful Frog will offer memberships and a limited number of residences. Its first official individual resident is Hian Goh (pic), creator of the Asian Food Channel, and an early investor in Chope.com which raised funding recently.
TiE Singapore is the innovation campus’ first corporate resident. TiE chairman Ravi Mantha said: “The Joyful Frog adds huge value because it brings together the movers and shakers of Singapore’s start-up community.
“TiE will curate the program of events and seminars and is uniquely placed to link residents with other achievers in every corner of the world,” he added.
The Joyful Frog holds an open house event every Friday at 5.30pm when anyone is welcome to visit. Details are online at: http://jfdi.asia/openhouse.