In the past year JFDI has worked with 19 teams from all over Asia and as program Director, Ray Wu, looked back on his experience leading entrepreneurs he realized the importance of what JFDI is doing to build the startup community in Asia. Noting one of his success stories he stated: "When I recently saw Collabspot's founder Jeremi Joslin and his new partner, I thought to myself, it's amazing to think that our efforts have made a difference not only to his burgeoning startup, but I have really made an impact in Jeremi's life!" Since graduating from the 100 day JFDI program Collabspot have raised money, dramatically increased the size of their team, and are growing at an incredible speed. This demonstrates how accelerator programs not just transform businesses, but helps founders grow to their potential.
“I originally met Jeremi in the Philippines when he just started Collabspot. At that early stage he was working remotely from France with his developers in the Philippines and a handful of early customers. But now, seeing the great traction they have achieved for their service, in a competitive global market place for CRMs, it was amazing to realize that I had had some impact on their current success.”
“This is what gets me up every day,” Ray stated confidently. “While I believe in making a dent in the world through innovation—JFDI, as an accelerator focused on SE Asia, also has profound impact on founders' lives: Jeremi found his partner, and investors, as well forming lasting new friendships through the program. He has now settled in Singapore for the long term, because of JFDI. As an accelerator Program Manager, I could not ask for more than this”
If you are a startup in Korea and other parts of the world, thinking of establishing a market in SE Asia—keep reading and apply now to JFDI.
Success Through Mentorship
JFDI has built a large community support network in Singapore and beyond that has helped to fuel the success of startups graduating from their program, which includes investors, mentors, and service providers. This community is further reinforced by the network of founders who have completed the program in previous cohorts, who act as mentors and advisers to fresh entrepreneurs.
“A lot of opportunities come through chance meetings at JFDI. Visitors like Mark Organ, and Derek Sivers, who used to live in Singapore, ended up mentoring our teams because they have been through the entrepreneurial journey before and believe in the value of our program. Singapore is also uniquely situated to have entrepreneurs and investors pass through every day of the week! The team at Between (from Korea) are well aware of this, having become good friends. They have also now set up an office in Singapore.
JFDI actively encourages visiting entrepreneurs to engage with their community through their weekly Open House events, and a lot of times serendipity catalyzes opportunity. For example, enMarkit met their first angel investor through a chance introduction at an Open House event.
S$600,000 Seed Funding
In many ways, JFDI provides not only a path way to seed funding—yes, 60% of our startups raise an average S$600K seed funding—but it's the ecosystem that they are part of building, that is more significant, according to Ray Wu.
The funding ecosystem exists and many of JFDI’s 2013 startups are starting to tap into the realm of Growth Maximization beyond where JFDI operates. Klinify and OurHealthMate have both announced recent funding events. “This gives me a lot of confidence because the problems both startups are solving are extremely hard and real to this region,” state Ray. He is thrilled that investors like Jungle Ventures and angels like Bimal Shah, Ben Ball, see the value and believe in the founders that are backed by JFDI’s program. Ray believes that through examples like this it proves that Singapore has the ecosystem to support and empower early stage teams.
Customer Acquisition Focused
Ray believes that their teams are able to raise money in part because they work hard together with the founders to establish robust use-cases for an early adopter market, and his focus on Lean Startup principals. In addition, Lean Startup mentors like Kevin Dewalt have helped the teams root their focus and create a culture for experimentation. Ray has studied early stage teams and worked with them on running Lean experiments. From his experiences he has built three Stepts to Customer Development. “Narrowing a customer segment and finding a problem that is worth solving is what I love, and is JFDI does very well. If your startup is at this stage, we are the right partner to move on to the next phase, whether you’re from Singapore or elsewhere in the APAC region.”
JFDI is currently recruiting teams for its next batch and welcomes applications from interested teams across the Asia Pacific region to participate. Apply to JFDI's Next Accelerator Program Now. JFDI’s next accelerator program begins in March 2014.
Contact Ray: firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for a time to chat with him if you need more details