The flourishing start-up culture is not longer just confined to the Valley or even to the Southeast Asia big, capital cities.
Most entrepreneurs get caught up in Silicon Valley envy and decide to place their startup headquarters there without a second thought.
The Valley certainly remains the mecca of the tech world but it has become extremely noisy and hyper competitive for talent and for most startups.
In fact, more and more investors are flocking to the Southeast Asia region from around to capitalize on the growing entrepreneurial activity and local talent.
In countries like Singapore where the personal income tax rate is one-fifth of that in Silicon Valley and usually less than five percent, it’s easy to get top-notch talent for a lot less cash compared to the Valley.
People think of Thailand as a country of beaches, backpackers, temples, elephants, and full moon parties : pictures that draw millions of tourists to the Southeast Asian nation each year.
But recently Forbes promoted Thailand as Southeast Asia’s Next Fintech Hub
members of Thailand’s fintech community see the country as a place ripe with opportunity for making its mark on the regional–and global–startup scenes as well.
TechGrind, an organization striving to create the next Silicon Valley in Southeast Asia, sees Thailand as a primary hub and launchpad for its companies.
Funding Activity is Rising
Another benefit of launching a startup in Southeast Asia is that it is easier than ever to raise funding for a startup in the region, and only continues to get easier.
In the Tech in Asia article, “Startup funding in Southeast Asia has broken the sound barrier. And that’s for starters”, Terence Lee discusses the rapid increase in overall startup funding in the region in recent years, with more and more companies raising $10 million+ rounds each year.
Recently, the Singapore government announced five more major early-stage VCs arriving in the country and new plans for government matches to their funding.
Extend your runway
These five cities have become hubs for digital nomads and start-up companies, thanks to a combination of low cost access to talent and strong government support.
The island paradise has been nicknamed “Silicon Bali” for producing several significant start-up successes such as Labster, Mailbird and Smart Launch.
Bali’s popularity with digital nomads has led to start-ups like Roam and Wifly Nomads creating products and services catering to this growing market.
This heritage city has charmed its way into the hearts of start-up founders and entrepreneurs, sprouting award-winning companies such as Piktochart.
There is also strong state government support. An accelerator called @CAT for Creative, Analytics & Technology was launched to boost the scene and is housed at a historical building, no less.
Da Nang is quietly building its start-up scene with major investment from companies such as Viettel to turn the city into an “innovation Hub by the Sea”.
Hosted the first Startup Fair 2016 to build the city’s technological capabilities. Anew USS 1.3m incubator has also been set up last year to empower start-ups.
One of Indonesia’s most creative cities, Bandung’s young population and friendly eco-system make it a fertile ground for incubating start-ups.
Under the leadership of the city’s mayor Ridwan Kamil, Bandung is piloting education reforms with a local app, Edu box, and constructing Teknopolis to be a mini version of Silicon Valley.
Dubbed “the capital of digital nomads” thanks to its affordability and high quality of life, it is impossible not to mention Chiang Mai, the virtual capital for digital nomads.
Southeast Asia is a top region for digital nomads, known for “affordable lodging, abundant inexpensive food, and a sense of adventure…,” according to Nomad Capitalist.
The city has steadily grown in clout worldwide with brands such as BBC and Amazon holding events at homegrown popular co-working spot PunSpace.
Oon IT Valley, an innovation centre to promote social enterprises and information technology know-how projects, is in the works.
Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand
Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.
Vietnam: Manufacturing to remain the key driver of growth
We expect robust exports, led by strong global demand for electronics, to continue to underpin solid economic growth over the remainder of this year with GDP forecast to rise close to 8%.
GDP growth was unchanged at 4.5% y/y in Q1. Manufacturing activity surged, while the recovery in service sector activity and construction continued albeit at a more subdued pace as some localised social distancing measures were reinstated.
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