September came and went by in flash. And just like that, SEA Anchor concluded targeted growth acceleration with four startups going back to their home country to a laundry list of business goals to come back to Singapore to.
SEA Anchor Accelerator is the venture building and investment vehicle of Accrete Innovation. We handpick startups that are ready for market expansion, bring them to Singapore for a detailed analysis of their business. In an intense and customised one month, we get to know the founding team, provide strategy development and advisory work and determine a good angle for market access for each company. Companies that make the mark will be offered follow-on incubation and possibly investment.
Needless to say, the four startups achieve more than what they had set out to before coming to Singapore. These are the top 4 reasons from the horse's' mouth:
1. Knowing the Singapore Market
As a foreign company, especially a startup, finding your way around a new market and landing a foothold in any community and industry are uphill battles many can identify with. And we're not talking about getting around Singapore physically, but the nitty gritties of how to set up a company and which business doors to start knocking.
Moin is definitely a beneficiary of this. Ian Suh, founder and CEO of a blockchain-based cross border remittance company had set his sights on Singapore as a regional base for expansion into Southeast Asia. SEA Anchor helped him with exactly that, as Ian puts it: "SEA Anchor is very helpful and useful for us in incorporating our company here in Singapore and setting up baseline operations. The mentors also introduced business connections in the financial space to kickstart our operations here."
Yoojin Shin, a sales manager with Marymond also shared that SEA Anchor helped them make assessments of Singapore as a market to consider for expansion. "(The programme) For me, is about building a business from scratch in another country. Singapore is the first country that we ventured into, and we could not have done so without SEA Anchor."
2. Leads & Sales
Throughout the programme, we work with you to understanding your company which helps us make relevant introductions or referrals that can significantly shorten your pre-sales and sales lead time. All four startups are unanimous on this as a strength of SEA Anchor, without which they'd have been cold-knocking on doors. Dan, one of the co-founders of Hauzd, a 3D sales solution for real estate developers and brokers spoke of having made contact and had multiple meetings with real estate developers as well as architectural studios for partnerships with the help of our referrals. Dan also shared that they had came to Singapore to pursue one specific deal for which they made progress through meetings set up here.
3. Growth Strategy Advisory
Repositioning your business model for the Singapore market, refining your pitch deck, sharpening your pitch and developing a robust expansion strategy are some of the staples the startups get from the programme. We have domain mentors with deep industry knowledge and practitioner mentors with a wealth of business experiences from building to growing and scaling a company. Which would help companies with deep expansion strategy. Kevin, founder of Medi Whale, an artificial intelligence for eye and heart disease screening found that the mentoring sessions helped him greatly to visualise and map out his business plans with a global view in mind.
4. Deep Network Connections
Not forgetting the community that boosts and supports startups, Accrete Innovation is deeply embedded in the Singapore startup ecosystem. From the multinational and multi-stakeholder community at Collision 8 - right in the heart of Singapore's bustling business district and night life, to Block71 - the (other) heart of Singapore's tech startup ecosystem and the world's most tightly packed entrepreneurial ecosystem as coined by The Economist. Kevin of MediWhale shared that he got connected with the “inner circle of VCs in Singapore", much like the who's who of the VC circle in Silicon Valley.
Hauzd also quantified their packed-like-sardines schedule as such “It was a full schedule for us. 9 VC meetings, 6 partnership meetings with architectural studios, 4 networking events and 3 sales lead meetings with real estate developers.” All made possible through SEA Anchor Accelerator.
The SEA Anchor programme is also planned to coincide with related and often major tech events in mind. This batch was accelerated during a period where startups got access to signature startup events like SWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation and Tech) where the ecosystem gathers. On top of that, Hauzd also got to attend the PropTech Asia 2018 and Marymond, the Social Inno Fest.