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.