A SINGAPORE outfit that runs boot camps to get start-ups into business shape has received another funding boost.
Singapore's leading "tech accelerator" Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI) has raised $2.7 million to expand its operations here.
This round of investments is anchored by Infocomm Investments, the venture capital arm of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).
Other investors include two funds, Russia's SpinUp Partners and Fenox Venture Capital from the United States.
Private investors from the Philippines, Thailand, Britain and Germany also chipped in.
The investment is JFDI's first milestone towards raising $6 million by the end of this year.
JFDI runs a 100-day boot camp for start-ups, which fine-tunes their business plans and investor pitches, among other things. It has held three boot camps since 2012, each of which had an average of 10 participants. About 60 per cent of its graduates went on to raise follow-on funding.
The latest investment will help the company hire about five staff here and in South-east Asia.
Co-founder and chief executive Hugh Mason told The Straits Times: "We'll be appointing JFDI ambassadors around South-east Asia to explain what we do as well as support entrepreneurs in their ventures."
This year, about 40 to 50 start-ups will go through its boot camp.
- App to manage the Do-Not-Call Registry
Local company Appxcraft has developed an app to make it easier for marketers to comply with the Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry.
SearchDNC (searchdnc.sg) allows people to enter phone numbers or their contact lists to check if they have been registered on the the DNC list.
Co-founder Clement Yap said its app is linked to the DNC list.
"Just enter a number and our app will check if it's registered with the DNC. You can get an answer within a few seconds.
"The app will allow phone calls and SMS to be placed to only permitted numbers."
Appxcraft's service is targeted at small firms such as florists and small insurance and property companies. The service, available on PCs, iPhones and Android-based phones, costs about $30 a month, or 1.2 cents to check a single number.
Another company with a DNC management service is Spidergate but it also has services such as a blacklist management system which lets a property agency, for example, distribute its list of blacklisted numbers to its agents.
- InnovFest 2014
The crucial issue of how Asian start-ups can go global will be the central focus at next month's InnovFest 2014.
The annual event will look at four key related topics: Ageing and the silver industry, bottom of the pyramid technologies, next generation learning, and urbanisation and future cities.
United States-based management consultant Ike Lee will give the keynote address on how Asian firms can go global.
He has 25 years of experience advising companies on navigating cultural, political and social issues when they expand overseas.
Local entrepreneurs Darius Cheung and Wayne Tan will discuss how they grew their start-ups until they attracted foreign investor interest. Mr Cheung sold mobile security firm TenCube, which he founded, to software security firm McAfee, while Mr Tan sold digital marketing firm TechSailor to Indian digital services network To The New.
Mr Thomas Strodbeck of the National Business Incubator Association in the United States will discuss if the Silicon Valley model will work for Asian start-ups.