From deeptech to fast-moving consumer startup plays, the depth of the startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia is astounding. What has become a staple of the industry is the complementary industries that have grown within the ecosystem, which includes accelerators.

Startup accelerators are also known as seed accelerators, which offer fixed-term, cohort or group-based programmes that include seed investment, connections, sales, mentors, education and most often end with a pitch event to secure funding for their graduating startups. Most accelerators tend to be focused around different themes or industries, as they are able to build highly focused networks and gather expertise that is crucial to growing the business.

The impact of startup accelerators in Southeast Asia is quite strong and has become an integral part of the community. We take a look at startup accelerators from around the region.

Techstars

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Rakuten Accelerator power by Techstars. Image courtesy of Techstars

This US-headquartered accelerator has setup two programmes in Singapore focused on building a strong ecosystem within the region. They recently raised US$42 million to boost their expansion in the region.

This large-scale startup accelerator has over 1,900 companies in its portfolio and manages over US$500 million in assets. The two programmes they run in Singapore are partnered with Rakuten – focused on Communication, Data Marketing and Digital Commerce and with Eastern Pacific Shipping – focused on the global shipping industry.

Impactech

Founded in 2015, ImpacTech focuses on startups that create social and economical impact. This accelerator has now expanded its programmes to Singapore, Thailand and Japan.

The startup has already mentored and graduated dozens of startups in the region and continues to look at how they can help grow the social impact industry.

EduSpaze

Recently launched, EduSpaze is part of Spaze Ventures and is focused on the fast-growing edtech industry in the region. The startup accelerator will be based in Singapore, but is accepting applications from across the region.

According to their press release, this accelerator “will support early-stage edtech companies with up to S$500,000 funding in order to help them go to market, accelerate their growth and co-innovate with other stakeholders in the space.” The programme is accepting up to ten companies and slated to start in February 2020.

Tunelabs

This AirAsia-backed startup venture builder acts as both an incubator and accelerator. Focusing on mobile, travel, e-commerce and fintech, they are based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and provides support for early-stage startups including funding and business infrastructure.

The accelerator was founded in 2015 by the three main entrepreneurs behind AirAsia and its parent group – Tune Group.

GnB

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Startup Challenge organised by GnB. Image courtesy of Facebook

GnB is an Indonesian-based startup acccelerator that has so far invested into 27 startups and is focused on a wide variety of industries.

The accelerator was started by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Fenox VC and Japanese IT service provider Infocom Corp. The accelerator aimed to bring tbe Silicon Valley startup experience, Japanese corporate business network, and local expertise in the region to the startup community in Indonesia.

BlueChilli

BlueChilli is an Australian tech startup accelerator that just launched a Singapore-based healthtech accelerator supported by Enterprise Singapore. The accelerator programme is focused on identifying new health tech ideas, both within corporates and startups and bringing them together to foster innovation.

BlueChilli has stated that they have a three-year commitment to boost the growth of healthtech in the region.

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