Many investment firms partner with global tech providers solely for social proof. Once they partner on paper with Amazon Web Services, Hubspot, Google Data Cloud, or another global tech provider, the investment firm will slap each of these organization’s logos onto a website carousell, and call it a day. Their leaders or staff may mention these offerings in passing to startup founders, but never meaningfully explain how to best maximize their use.
This trend is unfortunate. These tech providers became such household names in the first place because they can help enterprises scale almost any part of their business, from their web hosting and customer relationship management to their accounting and marketing operations.
As an early stage VC accelerator, Accelerating Asia takes on a different approach: We carefully select what tech providers and perks partners we work with, based on our own first-hand experience using them. Those that pass this precheck are onboarded as official partners, who we then promote extensively. From then on, we make it a point to integrate them into all our different touchpoints with founders.
This deeper integration with our tech providers and perks partners ultimately benefits investors. Since we typically work with very early stage startups, many of the founders are still fresh from building a prototype, getting product-market fit, and nabbing early customers. Their tech stack at this point may be cobbled together, with no consideration for whether it can properly scale as they grow.
By connecting these founders with the best enterprise tools in the world in four different ways, we provide investors with startups that are enterprise-ready, increasing their chances of securing market leadership and reducing the investment risk that comes with backing them.
Startup founders will never use the tech providers in your stack if you leave them as logos on your website. Like any customer, founders need multiple interactions with a brand before making an effort to learn more. We thus promote our tech providers at every step of our program, beginning from the initial application process and going into the program proper, where we mention them during our master classes, on-demand modules, 1-on-1 Entrepreneur in Residence sessions, official communications, and more.
At this top-of-the-funnel stage, we try to make founders aware of all the tech providers we can connect them with, rather than push them to any particular one. That way, rather than simply adopt what their investors or mentors are accustomed to using, they can truly choose the tech providers that will work best for their own growth.
Even if founders are aware that you have partnerships with various tech providers, they will still often stay with their existing resources. This is the momentum of the status quo: It’s easier to stick to what they’ve been doing - even if this software may prove troublesome down the line - simply because that’s what they’re already using.
To incentivize change toward more scalable, enterprise-level tools, we have leveraged the collective buying power of Accelerating Asia (we represent over 50 portfolio companies across Asia Pacific) to negotiate various offers from tech providers. These include everything from generous discounts not available anywhere else to free trials or usage so that founders can test the waters before committing to an official deployment.
By packaging best-in-class tools with incentives, Accelerating Asia minimizes the cost of switching over. Like any good mentor, we make it easier to change for the better.
Navigating new tools as a growing startup is never easy, much less when you go it alone. Fortunately, Accelerating Asia has tech-savvy leaders across all our programming, including master class facilitators, entrepreneurs in residence, limited partners, and more. These are all-stars in their industry: As an example, our current entrepreneur in residence is Alex Miller, an entrepreneur with multiple exits and the former CTO of GetCraft.
These tech leaders at Accelerating Asia are experts in two key areas. One, they may have tool-specific advice for our founders based on their own experience deploying, maintaining, and building with a particular tool. Two, even if they may have limited experience with a given tool, they are still knowledgeable about the general category.
For example, perhaps a mentor has never worked with Hubspot, but they have worked with other, similar enterprise-level marketing and sales tools. In this instance, the mentor can still provide valuable advice on how to develop world class marketing and sales operations, which can then be facilitated by a startup’s chosen tool. Our advice, in short, is always agnostic, so that founders can grow their startup no matter what enterprise tool they choose from our stack.
Connections matter, and the world of enterprise software is no different. While the tech leaders in our own ecosystem are experts, there is still only so much they can know. The most knowledgeable people about any given tool will always be the in-house leaders from the companies that built them.
Because we’ve struck partnerships with these tech providers, we can connect our founders with their team when needed. Perhaps they may have a hairy issue to solve and need white glove account management, or want to upgrade their usage, but still get a friendly rate from their business developer. In some cases, the tech provider may have an innovation program that our founders want to participate in, so we would connect them with the responsible team.
Accelerating Asia, in other words, doesn’t only bring the tech, but the talent - both of which will be needed to maximize a given tool for a startup’s growth.
If you want to work with an early stage VC accelerator that produces startups poised for scale through enterprise-grade technology, consider working with us at Accelerating Asia. You can co-invest into any of our individual startups, or invest directly into our latest fund.
Accelerating Asia invests in startups with scalable technology solutions and revenue generating business models that combine purpose with profit.
In making an investment decision, investors must rely on their own examination of startups and the terms of the investment including the merits and risks involved. Prospective investors should not construe this content as legal, tax, investment, financial or accounting advice.