Why investors should engage with JFDI

JFDI.Asia creates the dealflow pipeline that Angel investors and institutional funds who take an interest in early-stage startups need to succeed. Our emphasis is on quality, not quantity. Our value add is to de-risk start-up businesses using formal methods like Lean Startup Methodology plus very intensive mentoring. Our focus is on mobile digital products and services made in Asia, for Asia.

Active early-stage investors are very welcome to attend certain JFDI.Asia events, including:

  • The ideation workshop which opens our accelerator program
  • Demo Day at the end
  • Selected events during the course of the bootcamp
  • Any of our weekly Open House events.

If you are interested in any of these, or would like to act as a mentor to teams during the course of the bootcamp, do contact Ong Chiah Li (chiahli@jfdi.asia). If you are not already shown on our Map of the Money please mention the omission.

Ideation Workshop
Our 100 day accelerator program opens with startup founders pitching their ideas raw. Don’t expect polish – do expect passion and projects that need a lot of work before they are investment ready.

Demo Day
At the end of the JFDI.Asia accelerator program, each start-up team pitches for around six minutes. Their aim is to present hard evidence of traction, proving that they have identified a problem worth solving, a solution that addresses that problem, and a fit between that solution and the market. From video of the May 2012 Demo Day you can see why around 60% of our start-ups pitching get funded, with an average S$700k per company.

We limit attendance at demo day exclusively to active investors with a direct interest aligned to our focus, making it a quality networking opportunity. Here’s what attending investors said about the May 2012 demo day:

Chow Yen-Lu, Entrepreneur and Business Angel with WholeTree Technologies and BAF Spectrum, said: “I saw 3 or 4 companies that are interesting to us. What’s impressive is what they were able to accomplish in 100 days … With this Demo Day and other events like it, Singapore has clearly become the hub in the region for early stage investment. Investors are flocking to Singapore and companies are coming to Singapore to set up their base here.”

Ronnie Wee, Founder and Managing Partner, IncuVest, said: “I loved the presentation and the way they engaged the audience … all the presenters were very good. They had understood the problem, came up with a solution and a pretty well defined market. So kudos to JFDI for helping to mentor these companies. Early stage entrepreneurs that we see need a lot of this guidance … This is great for the ecosystem. The question is how can we scale this up to include more investees. This is exactly what investors are looking for … We should do a lot more of this.”

Rani Francois-Marie-Saad, Director and Head of Corporate Development at Abacus, said: “It was a great show today … they guys were really showing innovative ideas and very keen on taking it forward. They know what they are doing and they were great on stage.”

Tanguy Lesselin, Managing Director of Cartouche, said: “Really Interesting. Here I can see projects with high quality and surprisingly good execution.”

Paul Santos of TIS incubator Wavemaker Labs said: “I got the chance to meet a few of the startups during the 100 days and they have come a long way … So hats off to JFDI for trying something like this and hats off to the entrepreneurs for working really hard. It looks like a few of them will get some funding. The fact that the first one has worked and companies are interested and will get funding will inspire the next batch of entrepreneurs to sign up to JFDI. JFDI have been through the process once so they now have a ton of learning and the next batch of incubatees will benefit from that experience.”

Leslie Loh, managing director of TIS incubator Red Dot Ventures, said: “I think they are all quite interesting. The key challenge for any digital media business is answering this question: Are you going to get market traction in a profitable manner in a short period of time? Clearly a lot of these are not ready for series A – the VCs – but the angels, the incubators like ourselves would be their market and in Singapore I think there are enough of them. NRF have appointed 15 incubators that are all looking for opportunities to invest. So funding should be the easier part. They need to really find an incubator that can help them to find that initial market traction.”

Vinnie Lauria of Golden Gate Ventures said: “JFDI is an amazing program – great teams, great environment – I have spent the last 90 days with them mentoring a lot of the companies. I have tried to spend at least one day a week there. I have seen a lot of teams come a very long way in a hundred days. I was blown away by the demos today, just in terms of peoples stage presence, keeping it quick and interesting. Everybody did a really great job. The opportunity here for companies that focus on the Asian or South East Asian Market. It’s a huge opportunity.”

Yasuhiko Yurimoto-san, President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Brain Corporation, said: “I was lucky enough to be shown around JFDI’s incubation center during my time in Singapore last month. Their premises, which they appropriately refer to as ‘The Jungle’ exudes energy and life, partly due to the giant ferns and tropical plants adorning the space, but mostly because of the young, talented people that had taken up temporary residence there. 11 companies, all with fresh, innovative ideas, working away for 100 days to see just how far their team work, capabilities and, most of all, their spirit, could get them. And, like the plants, they kept on growing and growing. Demo Day, held on May 4th, was where this talent was unveiled. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Demo Day in person, but watching the ventures pitching sessions on YouTube I was extremely impressed by how entertaining, informative and well presented they were. Many of the ventures have the potential to make waves in the future. It’s always very exciting and uplifting to see such creative, talented people coming up with ideas that may change the way we go about our daily private and working lives. Can’t wait to see what happens next!”

Edgar Hardless, CEO of SingTel Innov8, said: “We are the key sponsor and partner for the JFDI–Innov8 2012 bootcamp… These guys have been based at block 71 over the 100 days next to us so we have had the privilege of seeing them in action. What’s been amazing is to see the progress the teams have made from the first day of the bootcamp to now. They are completely different teams: The level of confidence, the level of enthusiasm is miles higher and it shows in terms of the pitches they made today. We are talking to a number of the companies about potential funding for their next steps. We think some of the companies that have come out of this this bootcamp are exciting and very relevant to what SingTel is doing.”

Amit Anand, founder and managing partner of Jungle Ventures, said: “Incubators came into existence to fill a particular gap. There are always good technology people, there are good business people there but there is a lack of knowledge about what is a great product … I think that JFDI has done well in toning some of these startups from where they were before to where they should be… Beyond this it will be about investors like us and some of the others to back some of these companies and help them in execution.”

Ken Mandel, Asia Pacific managing director of Buddy Media and Angel’s Gate judge, said: “I loved them – I thought the team did a great job putting them together. They were professional, they were sharp, I loved the Rock and Roll atmosphere – a great job from JFDI today.”


rtfmThis page is part of JFDI.Asia’s archive of Frequently Asked Questions on innovation and entrepreneurship. For more, Read The Frogging Manual. If you’re here because someone at JFDI gave you a link, please don’t be offended. We get a lot of questions from people, and these pages are the best way we have found to offer a comprehensive, helpful response. If your question remains unanswered, please post it to our OpenFrog Community and we will compile the best of the answers here.