The two-year-old accelerator has appointed seven individuals as ‘Ambassadors’ to support the growth of startup communities in the region. These ambassadors are: Pitch Taniteerawong from Bangkok, Thailand; Timmy de Jesus from Cebu, the Philippines; Mukul Pasricha and Yatin Thakur from New Delhi, India; Ryan Chong, Lio Yi Jun and Keith Tan from Kuala Lumpur, and Penang, Malaysia.
Going forward, these ambassadors will be present at local startup events in Thailand, the Philippines, India and Malaysia, and help JFDI better understand the needs of the respective startup communities.
Hugh Mason, CEO, JFDI Asia, said, “Startup ecosystems across Asia are so diverse and often have language and cultural complexities unique to their own. At JFDI, we find it imperative to listen before we speak — and that is exactly what we are trying to do with the Ambassadors network: to first understand local startup landscapes, before thinking of how we can contribute.”
For example, Taniteerawong will be present at the upcoming Startup Weekend Bangkok (Women’s Edition) in Thailand this end-July.
All ambassadors were present in Singapore last week for JFDI’s fourth Demo Day.
Having graduated 38 startup teams since 2012, JFDI shared in a separate release that it has yielded 21 active companies. Collectively, these companies have raised US$7.2 million in seed funding, and are now valued at US$29.1 million.
Thakur shared, “It feels like there is an opportunity both to help build local ecosystems and also to form a pan-APAC ecosystem that will learn from Silicon Valley but be Asian in its values, located in Asia for Asia.”