SINGAPORE— Golden Gate Ventures and JFDI.Asia today announced a new strategic alliance that could offer early-stage digital start-up companies a seamless transition from idea to substantial pre-series A funding. Key to that journey is intensive mentoring that accelerates the journey to market traction.
With immediate effect, Golden Gate Ventures co-founders Vinnie Lauria, Jeff Paine and Paul Bragiel join JFDI.Asia’s “bootcamp” accelerator program as mentors. Start-ups they nominate and which show sufficient traction through the bootcamp will be fast-tracked to follow-on funding up to $600k.
Vinnie Lauria, co-founder and mentor at Golden Gate Ventures said: “The next billion people are coming online in our region. It’s a huge opportunity and an equally huge pool of talent in the region is set to make the most of it. Golden Gate Ventures’ links to later stage investors and Silicon Valley can add most value once start-ups launch products and prove market traction. JFDI.Asia really proved itself earlier this year and working even closer together is the best way our two firms can help the ecosystem.”
Golden Gate Ventures will continue to fund start-ups that have already launched and shown traction, independent of the bootcamp. However, Golden Gate Ventures and JFDI.Asia have agreed to share their respective pipeline of pre-launch companies, working together to identify businesses that could benefit from a boost before their first major cash injection. Support from both teams of mentors will substantially increase startups chances of success.
Hugh Mason, co-founder and CEO at JFDI.Asia said: “Vinnie was amongst the most popular and valued mentors on the bootcamp we operated earlier this year. Jeff and Paul also both have great reputations for sharing their know-how. We hope that this will be the first of several alliances with key partners across the region who share our ambition to support the coming generation of digital success stories across Asia, for Asia.”
Golden Gate Ventures operates a seed investment program for digital start-up companies that have already launched a product and achieved market traction. With offices in Singapore and San Francisco, Golden Gate Ventures brings access to regional and international mentors, invitations to networking events across the region, and access to an active investor network across Silicon Valley and Asia. Since March 2012, Golden Gate Ventures has been accredited as a Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS) incubator by Singapore’s National Research Foundation.
Hugh Mason said: “Bootcamp participants run their own companies, so they are free to accept investment from anyone at any time. Most of the 2012 batch who have got funded were in discussion with more than one investor, so we encouraged them to wait until after Demo Day in order to be able to compare offers.
“A key point is that investment in early stage businesses is about a lot more than money. If you ask most entrepreneurs who have had a successful relationship with a business Angel about the experience, they will tell you that the cash was the least valuable element of the relationship. In retrospect, they realize, if they had had the balls they could probably have borrowed the money or got it from many other places. The real value in an early-stage investor relationship is frequently the advice, connections and support that the investor gives.
“The reason that many of our mentors give up their time to add so much value is because it gives them and our start-ups time to get to know each other. Golden Gate quite literally bridges Silicon Valley and Asia. Startups working with Vinnie and his colleagues as mentors see the value of that at first hand and make their own judgement on how it could help their future.”