In this video interview on ‘Integrating Your Startup Ecosystem' from FI’s October 2020 Accelerate Asia digital conference, Andy Zain speaks with Founder Institute CEO Adeo Ressi, and explains how the integration of accelerator programs, venture builders, and investor networks work in tandem to develop and mature a startup ecosystem.
Andy Zain started out his career, transitioning from a startup ecosystem-builder to becoming an institutional investor, as a mentor for the Founder Institute in Singapore. He then went onto run the Indonesia Founder Institute accelerator in Jakarta, beginning in 2011.
Zain is also a previous serial entrepreneur himself, and a dedicated startup ecosystem builder, who has fostered cross-collaborative startup community through running pre-seed accelerators, venture builders, co-working spaces, and more. Zain has also personally built both seed and venture-stage funds to support growing businesses across southeast Asia.
Asked by CEO Adeo Ressi about the advantages in developing a ‘full stack’ of companies at all stages across a startup ecosystem, Zain replied this way:
If you don’t start early, it’s very hard for you to get good companies at the growth stage—you have to compete with all the other VCs. So you have to pay your due: working in the ecosystem and helping all the young founders—then they get to know you, so when later on when they need more funding, they say, ‘I’d like to work with that guy, that team, because I know they have a track record, are founder-friendly, and supportive of the ecosystem—let’s go with them.’
Andy offers advice for those startup community-builders working to help grow their own entrepreneurial ecosystems,
I think the thing is not to just enter the startup ecosystem, but you need to stay in the startup ecosystem. You need to be there, and be really available… When founders have problems, they come to us—and that’s good. I think those experiences are really rewarding.
Prior to launching Kejora Ventures, Andy Zain held positions as Director in Skybee, migme, and worked alongside large global brands on go-to-market entries into southeast Asia. In addition to being the Director of the Jakarta Founder Institute, Zain also runs Ideabox accelerator, is Chairman for MobileMonday Indonesia, and is a member of the Myanmar Innovation Council. He holds an MBA from Monash University Australia as well as a Post Graduate in Business Law and International Business.