Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.
BootstrapAccelerator Asia has officially joined a growing list of accelerator programs in Southeast Asia, kicking off its July intake with three startups from Malaysia, where it is based.
We reported earlier that the program — formed by San Francisco-based BootstrapLabs and Malaysia’s MAD Incubator — would be starting in July. The accelerator opened its doors to the public yesterday and has already taken in three startups for its July class, with another two scheduled to join its August class.
The three startups that will kick off the program are:
- MyMobileUniversity — a mobile e-learning platform offering a range of classes from university courses to children programs.
- iPointi — a mobile social engagement platform that uses augmented reality and location-based services to deliver marketing campaigns.
- Shoppertise — an e-commerce platform that turns a third-party website into a digital storefront.
The accelerator noted that interestingly, the number of applicants targeting Web-based distribution has been larger than those targeting mobile, while the number of applicants focused on business-to-consumer ideas was higher among the ideation candidates compared with business-to-business for actual startups. Co-founder of Bootstrap Accelerator Benjamin Levy explained the rationale for this:
This is not really surprising in a region where smartphone penetration still trails feature phones and computers but we expect this trend to rapidly shift toward mobile. Similarly, young entrepreneurs tend to focus on B2C projects as they require less knowledge of the corporate world, something they might lack exposure too.
BootstrapAccelerator Asia is a 12-month program aimed at early-stage startups in the region. It takes in startups every month, particularly those that use Web distribution and cloud infrastructure. Selected startups will get more than $35,000 in grants and perks, and the most promising ones will be eligible to take part in Bootstrap Labs ‘Silicon Valley FastTrack’ program.
The accelerator also runs an ideation program where those selected can refine their ideas, validate and plan for the launch of their startups.
Levy said there has also been a number of companies from Europe applying to BootstrapAccelerator Asia to focus on the Southeast Asian market, and said there may be a move toward an “ASEAN-first” trend.
This wouldn’t be at all surprising considering that the startup scene in Southeast Asia is booming, with many firms eyeing the huge market that has a nascent tech scene projected to grow rapidly.
Recently, Singaporean media company MediaCorp launched a strategic investment vehicle targeted at startups particularly in the digital media space, while Singapore-based JFDI Asia opened applications for its third 100-day accelerator program.
Headline image via Thinkstock
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