JFDI.Asia (AKA Joyful Frog Digital Incubator), the incubator program that seeks to “innovate in Asia, for Asia,” just announced the eight startups that will be part of its accelerator program. The competition, which pushes teams to take an idea to investment in 100 days, begins on Feb. 21 at JFDI.Asia’s new purpose-built facility in Singapore.
The eight startups, which have each already received an initial investment of $24,000 SGD, have a chance of winning $600,000 SGD or more at the Demo Day which will mark the end of the program. Each startup will get six minutes on stage to showcase their product in front of an audience of early-stage investors. The focus of JFDI.Asia’s program is “less about brilliant ideas than it is about focused execution.” Each team must accomplish three things: focus on a real-world problem that is worth solving, show that its solution fits the problem, and then prove that there is market demand for that solution.
Most of the teams are using mobile tech, reflecting the importance of feature phones and other mobile devices as the main way many Southeast Asia users get online. The current roster includes:
- AskAbt, from India, a platform to manage real-time crowdsourced queries
- Collabspot, from France and Philippines, a customer relationship management platform
- DayTripR, from Singapore and New Zealand, an online data collection utility
- DocTree, from Singapore and India, software for medical practice management
- Duable Chinese (讀able), from the USA, seeks to make Chinese language learning fun and effective
- FashFix, from Singapore and Malaysia, helps fashionistas turn their wardrobes into blog shops
- My Fitness Wallet, from Singapore, are working on a health and wellness platform
- Referoll, from Singapore and Vietnam, have a business that recruits participants for research studies
(Many of the teams are using temporary names and JFDI.Asia says it might add one or two additional teams before the boot camp begins).
This year’s teams were picked from an application pool of 262 teams. JFDI.Asia incubated 11 startups in its 100 day program in 2012, seven of which raised follow-on funding and are still trading, a good success rate compared to the 14% rate reported for other early stage startups in Singapore. Funding raised by the seven teams totaled $3.3 million SGD and continues to increase.
According to JFDI.Asia, more than 30 percent of the participants in the program are Singapore citizens or permanent residents, up from 20 percent in 2012. About 10 percent of entrepreneurs taking part are women, double the number from last year. The average team size is just over three people and include the “‘holy trinity’ of a ‘hacker, a hipster and a hustler'” to span the key skill sets of coding, design and business.