6 trends Startups must cope with :: SEA Style

Saw this on the RWW:


The main points with my commentary:

1. Accelerators Will Slow Down

This is interesting from an SEA angle cause for the most part the accelerator phase is just getting real in SEA. I can speak for each region or country since they all have their own twist on this but in Singapore I think http://jfdi.asia and http://pollenizer.com are just getting going. I think Singapore, if it keeps to being a regional hub, will have room for a few strong accelerators who will ultimately be successful. However I do think that the idea of each country having their own might get a little over done and won’t make it. I think their will be consolidation and a regional focus.

2. The Enterprise Will Strike Back

So far in SEA you just don’t see enterprise companies that much. It is typically an American or European thing or specific to say Japan or China but this could change. However I just don’t see the culture of Asia and the young entrepreneurs going after enterprise. It could happen though and as the enterprise looks sexy again it might accelerate.

3. The Cash Gap Will Fix the Talent Gap

We shall see in SEA if this is true. My feeling is this region is just getting serious about startups and their potential which means the talent crunch might continue. In Singapore it already feels like the bar is getting too high to bring expats in or non Singaporeans to take startup gigs. Within specific countries I think smart startup folks can find the right locals to make something go and may not feel the crunch anyway. I think Singapore is a unique problem since their is not enough locals to take startup gigs so startups are forced to import which is getting more expensive and time consuming.

4. Venture Capital Will Rebound

In SEA there really isn’t any series A anyway. So I don’t see a rebound but maybe there is a chance that the region will grow their series A ecosystem and we will see more series A funding. Right now most startups look to the valley, Japan, China and India for proper series A. This is a big hole in Singapore and the regional ecosystem.

5. Startup Ecosystems Will Go Extinct

It is quite possible that the region has overdone the singularity or country specific ecosystems. I have always argued for regional focus and will be interesting to watch. I think it is early days and some countries like Indonesia are big enough to contain their own ecosystem but maybe Thailand isn’t? Not way to tell but I think Singapore is doing okay but will need to figure out how to attract talent, make startup life affordable and keep growing. Maybe SEA is the ecosystem in this regard and it will do fine. Jury is out.

6. Big Data Will Crash

Big Data hasn’t really happened in SEA – meaning startups might be practicing it but not building businesses around it. I think both businesses built around social and big data are not going to make it in SEA anyway. We shall see how this goes but the fringe businesses selling the picks and shovels to people with real businesses don’t always do well unless the pick is a must have – like AWS, Akamai, Heroku and so on.

All in all I think some of these trends will have their place in SEA and some won’t.

For a different take on all this – check out Jon Russell’s latest on TNW.

Posted in SEA

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