Over 100 investors ranging from business angels to venture capital funds showed up to watch our 11 start-ups pitch this morning. By this afternoon, several investors including SingTel Innov8 were in discussion to provide funding and we expect more announcements, like those made by Kark Mobile Education and ShopSpot before demo day, shortly.
Investors attending included MIH Internet, JAFCO Asia, iGlobe Partners, Crystal Horse Investments, WaveMaker Labs, Golden Gate Ventures and Jungle Ventures. They came to see the result of an intense 100-day ideas-to-investment acceleration programme that has given all 11 digital start-up companies seed funding, intensive mentorship from international industry experts and the potential to access mobile markets across Asia.
The bootcamp was made possible by sponsorship from key partner SingTel Innov8 and grants from SPRING Singapore and Singapore’s Media Development Authority. Each start-up received free access to technology facilities worth over S$100,000, provided by technology vendors and S$15,000 capital from local business angels. In addition, 50 local and international mentors provided advice, insights and experience.
Sindhu Prabowo, CEO of bootcamp start-up Kark Mobile Education said: "The JFDI–Innov8 Bootcamp has been a really good experience. The mentors have been great, helping us refine the financial and technical aspects of our project. Our mindsets shifted when the mentors challenged us to think bigger and see our project as something that could go global. Now that is happening."
Hugh Mason, CEO and Co-Founder of JFDI said: “This is a great result for the start-ups, the JFDI–Innov8 Bootcamp and the regional start-up ecosystem. For the first time, the fast-track accelerator approach pioneered and proven successful in the US by TechStars has delivered real results in South East Asia. Just as in the US, the bootcamp has been a community effort that would not have been possible without the huge generosity of many people and organisations.”
Edgar Hardless, CEO of SingTel Innov8 said: “We are delighted to be part of this pioneering programme. Working with partners such as JFDI, we hope to help create the confidence and processes to inspire and deliver innovation for consumers and businesses across the region.”
Teams participating in the JFDI–Innov8 2012 Bootcamp were selected for their technical and communications skills as well as their passion to solve problems in a particular domain. Many were first-time entrepreneurs with no formal business training, but had the commitment to apply the ‘Lean Startup Methodology’ which lies at the heart of the TechStars method. Coupled with community support, this method is the 'secret sauce’ that offers the chance to create valuable companies quicker and more consistently than ever before.
Meng Wong, Co-Founder and Social Engineer at JDFI said “The Lean Startup method is all about finding ‘fit’: a fit between an idea and a team; problem/solution fit and product/market fit in a way that maximises the chance of success for a start-up and makes investment attractive to early stage investors because they can see that a business has eliminated many risks. Our aim was to have teams focus on customer discovery, hypothesis testing, market validation, and development of a minimum viable product. Some have gone farther than others but all have used a scientific process that roots their decisions in evidence from the real world.”
The start-up companies featured at today’s event were:
- ShopSpot, a C2C mobile app that makes buying and selling items as easy as sending a tweet (watch demo).
- Kark Mobile Education, a B2C tablet game platform using collectible QR cards to make 4–12 year old children masters of a simulated world (watch demo).
- Tradegecko, a B2B web-based service providing supply chain management for independent brands and their retailers (watch demo).
- Remember, a B2C mobile app is the family Time Capsule in your pocket that makes it simple to capture and relive memories on your smartphone (watch demo).
- FamilyKo, a B2C multi-platform app that allows families separated by business to bond and grow together (watch demo).
- Flocations, a B2C web travel service that visualizes nearby destinations on an interactive map, so leisure travellers can browse by budget and book their next getaway in minutes, not hours (watch demo).
- Fetch Fans, a B2B web service that gives brand franchises with local businesses control and analytics as they use social media to maximise impact for all their franchisees (watch demo).
- Trafflers, a B2C web service that makes it fun to discover and plan vacations with friends, thereby increasing the frequency and size of group travel bookings online (watch demo).
- Stubb, a B2B document sharing service for the masses that connects your printer to the cloud. Anything you can print, you can publish online (watch demo).
- Wildby, a fun talking encyclopedia on your iPhone that 5 to 12 year olds can enjoy without needing any literacy skills (watch demo).
- TribeHired, the social recruitment platform for fast-growing start-ups that puts friends to work (watch demo).