As the year comes to close, here’s a look at some leading trends that have shaped the startup scene in Asia during 2013.
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1. The emergence of tech hotspots in a broader group of markets, including Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong to supplement the Asian strongholds of Shanghai, Beijing and Bangalore. A resurgence of Japan as a venture capital base. See Kiwi, Aussie, and Silicon Harbour write-ups at Forbes.com.
2. A huge growth in accelerators, incubators and crowd-funding sources throughout emerging markets – and globally. The increased prominence of angel investors as funding sources for startups and an alternative to venture capital.
3. Continued consolidation among the large and established Internet players in China. Plus the outward reach of mega Chinese companies buying up established businesses and startups in the U.S.
4. Survival of the fittest times for venture capital firms in China as the weak getting weaker and the strong get stronger. Industry specialization has become the norm among in-the-know venture capital partners. See Forbes post, Turning Up The Heat.
5. The emergence of frugal innovation in China in the next wave of Chinese tech. The era of copycat entrepreneurs looking to the west for ideas is over. It’s all about localization for the market, sometimes with more tech advancements than elsewhere.
6. A growing impatience in India for the entrepreneurial heroes that have marked the success stories and big IPOs and deals in China and Silicon Valley.
7. A continuing deep and widespread move to the mobile Internet for commerce, communications and gaming. The PC, voicemail and email are going away — or gone!
8. Increased concerns about privacy, cyber security and censorship with continued incidents and not enough solutions.
9. A stall in the momentum of the China entrepreneurial, tech and venture capital as exits dried up in the wake of the closure of the IPO market within China. SEC investigations, allegations and concerns about fraud among U.S.-listed Chinese companies narrowed the window for going public in the U.S. Privatization of such large players as Focus Media and 7 Days became the trend as stock prices dropped for publicly traded Chinese companies in the U.S.
The going public route for Chinese companies is only starting to open up again, with 8 successful listings in the U.S. this year and a reopening of the domestic China market in 2014. See Forbes story: Improved IPOs.
10. Pollution and lifestyle challenges in China lead top venture capitalists to flee the mainland and seek sun and solace in the Valley and other temperate spots. See Forbes story: The Valley Sure Looks Better. The impact on deal making could be pronounced as some of the best and brightest work their talents outside China.
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