Time running out for JFDI.Asia accelerator applications
By Gabey Goh July 19, 2013
- Application deadline for next JFDI intake is July 31
- Program is especially suited to tech startups with 'a real connection' to Asia.
TIME is running out for interested entrepreneurs and startups to apply for JFDI.Asia Pte Ltd’s next intake for its seed accelerator program, provisionally scheduled to run from Aug 29 to Dec 6.
JFDI.Asia, also known as The Joyful Frog Digital Incubator Asia, claims to being the longest-running, most successful seed accelerator program in South-East Asia.
It takes teams of entrepreneurs from idea to investment in 100 days, and claims a greater than 60% success rate in raising an average of S$650,000 (US$514,200) per team.
The first intake of the year began in February, and saw the selection of eight digital startup business teams to undergo its gruelling idea-to-investment accelerator program.
The program culminated in a Demo Day held in June, and saw the attendance of seed stage investors such as Golden Gate Ventures, Jungle Ventures, TNF Ventures and Wavemaker Labs along with institutional funds including Vertex Venture Holdings, Temasek and Sequoia Capital.
In an interview with Digital News Asia (DNA), JFDI program manager Ray Wu shared that most of the teams have been 'in great discussions' with angels, funds, and corporate investors.
“Fund raising is going to take three to six months and we are not yet ready to disclose the details, but as a teaser, a couple of them already have commitments and term sheets. Demo Day was definitely a great way to kick-start this process and helped the teams line up a lot of the meetings,” he said.
Teams applying to JFDI.Asia range from raw startups with just an idea, to companies that already have significant user numbers and prior investment.
However, the program favours technology businesses that can demonstrate a real connection to Asia. Wu (pic) noted that the program always looks for great teams that understand how to design experiments and iterate.
“Often we see teams with small seed round all the way to concept stage apply, and we enjoy getting to know them all. The main thing we look for is definitely a balanced team that are make up by 'Hustlers,' 'Hackers,' 'Hipsters,' and can demonstrate domain expertise,” he said.
When asked what the incoming batch of startups can expect from the program, Wu said the JFDI approach is rooted in helping the teams commit to the Lean Startup and Customer Development methodologies, to stand apart from the crowd.
“Over the past two programs, we have further refined our framework and approach. We expect the teams to come out of the program lean and mean. In addition, we are seeing more mature teams from all over the regions, and competition is fierce!” he added.
As further validation for JFDI’s approach, Wu pointed to a blog post by Lean Startup mentor, Kevin Dewalt who wrote: “They don’t just talk Lean – Customer Development is the very foundation of their program. I was really impressed with JFDI."
As part of the program’s terms and conditions, all teams accepted are required to incorporate or re-incorporate in Singapore.
When asked what his pitch would be to Malaysia-based startups considering joining an incubator, Wu said: “Today's digital startups are borderless. One of our strongest founders, Devan Singaram of TribeHired has bridged his team between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. There is history here, and we are excited to work with more teams from Malaysia!”
The application deadline for the next JFDI accelerator intake is July 31 and interested founders can apply here.
The program kicks off with a boot camp, which begins on August 29 and ends on December 6, followed by the Demo Day.