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A Quick Guide to the Asian Startup Scene [Infographic]

quick guide to the asian startup scene

I’m back from 6 months in Asia, which I was scorched by spicy foods, overwhelmed by the sensory overload that is China, traveled on 16 flights, and wandered all over Hong Kong, Korea, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia (whew).

But most inspiringly, I spent my days interviewing over 100 entrepreneurs, investors, and organizers. I heard youthful naiveté and mountainous dreams, shyness and discouragement, laughter and camaraderie – but mostly I heard the passion of a new generation of entrepreneurs who are taking cues from Silicon Valley and stepping outside the norms of their culture.

One of those entrepreneurs is Ai Ching Goh, the Malaysian cofounder of infographic startup Piktochart (covered here). She led her team through a 3-month accelerator in China and was professional and poised at demo day in Beijing. She’s also been generous: Goh helped coordinate the production of the infographic below, which summarizes my impressions of the startup scenes I visited. Feedback is welcome; I’ll be writing more about Asia in the future.

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About the Author

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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13 Responses to “A Quick Guide to the Asian Startup Scene [Infographic]”

  1. @richardmin

    I sooo got a new avatar/profile pic otw. lol.

    As a (more) serious note: I have to say for the record, Korea is DEFINITELY riding the rising tide and seeing the coming wave here in Korea (and the area).

    In fact, I've been saying lately that "Hallryu" or "The Korean Wave" –which has fondly referred to Korean pop Music (Kpop) till now–will see a shift soon enough towards Korean tech. ie: "Hallryu 2.0" is Korean startups and innovation. Cheezy, but true.

    Its not just an outbound tide either. Its inbound as well — We are now getting on the radar of notable Valley VCs and seeing organic growth of "international born" startups, which is definitely a new precedent. Smartphones and social networks have been the trojan horse for those wanting into the previous unbreachable Korea walled-garden market.

    In other words… you are covering the right market Kira! Its going to be a very interesting, and exciting year for sure… ;-) Can't wait.

    Reply
  2. Kira M Newman

    Indeed, I didn't make it to India. But we'd love to hear what's up there – kira [at] techcocktail.com. Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Drake Pruitt

    Kira, great job. I know from direct experience that Singapore via their EDB is investing aggressively to support startup incubators. And, it's a gateway location of sorts between China and India. We're keeping close tabs on developments there.

    Reply
    • Kira M Newman

      You're right! As I've told a few others, we'd be happy to hear what's up in India – see our Submit News Tip page.

      Reply
    • Kira M Newman

      Thanks! I haven't planned another trip yet, but Singapore was one of my favorite cities

      Reply

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