JFDI Asia: Southeast Asia's Leading Accelerator
(7 pages of text)
In 2010, two entrepreneurs launched Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI), Southeast Asia’s first start-up accelerator in Singapore. They aimed to help develop Singapore’s start-up environment through a structured program that provided access to early stage funding and mentorship. More than 70 start-ups had graduated from the program, and more than half had raised substantial funding. However, five years later, in 2015, JFDI faced challenges as a result of Singapore’s small market size, the more than 20 accelerators that had entered the market, and an uncertain macroeconomic climate. The founders wondered whether JFDI should open up new revenue streams by diversifying into advisory and consultancy services, such as in-house accelerator programs in established corporations. Alternatively, should the company expand geographically to broaden its access to capital, talent, and new markets? Or were there still other options that the founders should pursue?
The case is suitable for courses in the fields of entrepreneurship and strategy at the undergraduate and MBA levels. In an entrepreneurship course, the case can be used to introduce the topic of start-up acceleration, or it can be used in a class on the start-up ecosystem to illustrate the various players that are critical to the start-up ecosystem. In a strategy or strategic management course, the case can illustrate several themes regarding strategy formulation and implementation in organizations where success is contingent on the larger ecosystem. This case has the following three main teaching objectives:
- To analyze how start-ups can be guided on their path toward innovation via a structured program offered by accelerators.
- To analyze accelerators and their business models to determine the factors that make an accelerator successful.
- To provide students with the experience of formulating strategies for a fast-growing entrepreneurial organization that is embedded within a larger ecosystem.
Finance and Insurance
Singapore, Small, 2016
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