SeedStars on worldwide tour to discover the best startups in emerging and fast-growing startup scenes

This is a promo guest post by Michael Weber and Pierre-Alain Masson from SeedStars. I was in touch with Michael when they were just working on the concept of SeedStars World (moment when I was interviewing startups from all over the world for my book, Customer Seduction) and now I am happy to see they already went in their worldwide discovery.

Below you can find some details about how SeedStars World works, plus some impressions from their recent visit in   Thailand.

About SeedStars World

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Seedstars World is an exclusive worldwide competition to discover the best startups in
emerging and fast growing startup scenes.

The competition takes place from March 2013 until December 2013 in cities from 20 different countries, and the final global competition will be held in 2014 in Switzerland.

The chosen cities are: Moscow, Dubai, Baku, Accra, Kigali, Lagos, Nairobi, Cape Town, Bangalore, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, Sydney, Mexico City, Santiago, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

The SeedStars team usually shares the experiences during these visits on the official blog.

How does it work?

A list of up to 100 startups is made for each country with the expertise and support of local Advisors and Regional Partners (e.g. accelerators, incubators, startup organisations, VCs, etc.). These startups are then invited to apply to the competition. Based on these applications 20 startups are then selected and invited to participate to a pitching event.

One winner per country (20 startups) and five startups chosen “on top” by the Seedstars
World viewers are invited to participate to the Final in Switzerland in 2014. The winners will receive different prizes such as a 3 days boot camp with intense mentorship from the best entrepreneurs and investors, equity investments, coaching and initial diagnostic from professionals and entry into acceleration programs all around Europe and more than $500k worth of deals.

About SeedStars visit in Thailand

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The culture here is really different. People are extremely mild-mannered and respectful and I gather they would be expecting the same behavior from me. The local customs would probably make you wonder about the norms in the local startup industry.

the IT sector in Bangkok is rapidly developing. This can be attributed to the fact that Thailand draws millions of visitors every year: it is a major tourist destination, after all. I can see the attraction, say, for a visiting investor or a skilled worker or startup entrepreneur to stay in the long-term: it would be like combining work and pleasure. Take the case of Joseph Finkenbinder. He chose to settle in Bangkok and found Pombai, which is now transforming Thailand’s transportation system. There is sizable pool of talent, hence, mainly coming from foreigners setting up shop. This prompts investors like Golden Gate Ventures and Ardent Capital to take a close look at Bangkok (particularly as an alternative to Singapore) and what it can offer when they invest in Southeast Asia.

This is not to say that there is a dearth in local technical talents.  There are good universities in the city that can provide fresh waves of IT workers. And  Bangkok has never experienced a lack in creative talent before, particularly in design and in the media industry.

Certainly, Bangkok’s startup sector is still trailing behind those of its neighbors, especially Singapore’s. This is evident, for example, in the low angel investor population. However, recent developments depict a bullish trend such as in mobile and social media application development. I believe that our event on 7th June will be an indication of Bangkok’s bright prospects. I couldn’t wait for what is in store.