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Intro to SEA Startup 
Ecosystems 
Isaac Souweine 
Head of Product @ Frank & Oak 
Presented at the October, 2014
I. Startup ecosystems
Startups are a specific species of 
business organization
But like any species, they exist in 
an ecosystem
Silicon Valley is considered the 
ultimate startup ecosystem
But there’s tons of other highly 
functioning ecosystems 
Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/20/startup-genome-ranks-the-worlds-top-startup-ecosystems-silicon-valley-tel-aviv-l-a-lead-the-way/
Here’s one way to think about the 
elements of a startup ecosystem 
STARTUPS!! 
CAPITAL* TALENT* PRESS EVENTS 
MARKET CULTURE REGULATION INFRAST. 
GOVT 
+ 
NGOS
II. Ecosystem Case 
Study - Singapore
Building Blocks 
● Market - small, wealthy, hyper-connected 
● Culture - narrow-minded, driven, global 
● Regulation - extremely business friendly 
● Infrastructure - excellent but anomalous
Capital 
Source: http://mengwong.com/sg/capital/mapofthemoney.pdf
Accelerators
Dev Support
Angel Investors
Early Stage Venture Capital
Later Stage Venture Capital
Govt Investment Schemes
NGOs
Co Working Spaces
Talent (Founders)
Press/Conferences
Events
Startups
Singapore ecosystem themes 
● Everything is connected! 
● Government as a crucial player 
● Global startup culture 
● Global flows of talent and capital 
● Products - local vs. global 
● SG as a launching pad
III. SEA Ecosystem 
Potpurri
Kickstart (PH)
Ardent Capital (TH)
Tokopedia (ID)
Grab Taxi (MY)
Vinagame (VN)
Catcha Group (SEA)
Rocket Internet (SEA)
SEA ecosystem themes 
● Global capital vs. local capital 
● The role of corporates 
● Products - local vs. global 
● Products - original vs. “clones” 
● Infrastructure challenges 
● Cultural challenges 
● Building an ecosystem is hard!
isouweine@gmail.com 
@sonofsarah

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