Businesses are set up all over the world daily. But, regardless of the size or nature of the company, many flounder because their talent does not match the expertise necessary to be successful. In reality, only a small percentage of the population has the experience required, and even the most successful usually surround themselves with teams of people who have the skills they may lack. Southeast Asia is considered a hot spot for the talent required to build successful businesses, which is partly why a multitude of startup accelerators and incubators are popping up all over the region. Financial support is also available with Government and private fund investments likely to be in excess of $70 billion USD by 2024.  So if your business needs help, whether it is cold hard cash, connections or quality mentorship, there are many strong players already in the market to help take you to the next level.

Access to innovation, for anyone, anywhere: Plug and Play

Plug and Play has the broadest geographical reach of any innovation platform, with 29 offices around the world, including Europe, The Americas, The Middle East and of course Asia. Its offices in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, present an excellent opportunity for startups in Southeast Asia to plug in and play out a successful business. According to their Company Report, in 2018, they supported 1,107 startups, had 280 corporate partners, and raised more than $9 billion USD. The events they organise for startups and acceleration are an essential part of their business, and they hosted almost 800 of these in 2018. They pride themselves on bringing Silicon Valley to the world and offer more than 50 accelerator programmes each year, including the ‘GK- Plug and Play Indonesia’, instigated by an invitation from President Joko Widodo. 

A co-founder match made with intention: Antler

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Antler Singapore’s Third Demo day. Image courtesy of Facebook

Founded in Singapore in 2017 by Magnus Grimeland, Antler brought together bright minds and those with deep pockets, to create a platform for accelerators and incubators in the region. Antler identifies and values talent and what they refer to as ‘inner drive, grit and spike’. Once they identify your ‘spike’, they help to nurture and grow it by bringing networks of people together to mentor and support you. As an accelerator in Southeast Asia, they offer a 6-month startup programme, promising that you can go from nothing to a seed business. With offices around the world, you can choose which city you want to be based in, while still having access to global networks. They help you find a co-founder and also ensure you develop skills and resources to continue to be successful post-mentorship. 

Create. Grow. Disrupt: Tune labs

If you are looking for a co-founder to help build your business idea, Tune Labs is an option worth investigating. Running incubator and accelerators in Southeast Asia, they offer aspiring entrepreneurs, prepared to relocate to Kuala Lumpur for 12 weeks, a startup boot-camp programme, held three times every year. Participants are more likely to be accepted into the programme if they already have an idea and are committed to full-time immersion. Tune Labs prefer if your enterprise helps to develop travel, eCommerce, fintech or mobile, but will contemplate other genius offerings. If your business is up and running, but you need a boost, consider their accelerator programme. Non-time restrictive, it allows you to raise funds and test your product or service across a diverse, existing customer base, whilst receiving mentoring from experts in their vast network.

Supporting the historical transformation: Startupbootcamp FinTech Singapore

Startupbootcamp FinTech Singapore may be less prominent as an accelerator in Southeast Asia, but they meet a growing need for funding in the financial sector.   They are leading the way in an industry that is experiencing one of the most significant transformations in history. If you can commit to 3-months of immersion in their accelerator programme, you will have access to over 400 industry expert mentors, and essential funding from one of many Venture Capitalists and Investors committed to supporting growth. There are only 12 vacancies each year, for both FinTech and InsurTech, so get in quick and make your application pique the interest of potential partners.

From a spark to a flame: Spark Thailand

Thailand based startup accelerator, Spark Thailand, offers 12-week boot camps for startups that  are in the early stages of their development. They pride themselves on providing both local and international mentors for their programme participants. However, you can only apply for this accelerator if at least one of your co-founders is of Thai heritage, you have a high level of English proficiency, your business has revenue and is ready for growth. Not only do you have access to group workshops, but you also have the opportunity to model excellence by being mentored one-on-one by leading experts in the industry.


Regardless of what developmental stage your business is at, there are accelerator and incubator programs in Southeast Asia available to meet your needs. So why would you do it on your own when you have access to a wealth of knowledge, experience and money, waiting for your application?