Analyse Asia with Bernard Leong

In episode 323, Charles Reed Anderson, our long time guest of the show and host of TechBurst Asia joins us to discuss his latest venture, SparkLabs Connex, a new accelerator program for smart city technologies under the SparkLabs Group. Before diving deep into the new venture, Charles discuss the challenges of smart city rankings and how they did not reflect the reality of what is happening on the ground. Then he began to discuss the rationale of SparkLabs Connex and why it is time to start an accelerator program specifically on smart city technologies. Last but not least, he break down how the global program works, offered his perspectives on what types of entrepreneurs he would seek to fund and address how SparkLabs Connex will operate in a COVID-19 world.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Charles Anderson (@CRASingapore, LinkedIn), founder of Charles Reed Anderson and Associates, host of TechBurst Asia (iTunes, Spotify, @techburstasia) and now general partner for SparkLabs Connex. [0:24]
    • What have you been up to since we last spoke? [1:10]
    • You have recently written an article about smart city rankings and why the rankings do not reflect reality. Can you talk about why this is the case? [1:40] 
  • SparkLabs Connex [5:45]
    • Can you briefly introduce your new venture SparkLabs Connex from the SparkLabs Group? (Source: TechCrunch) [6:00]
    • There are already a lot of incubators and accelerators across different geographies, but very few have succeeded. Why do you think that this is the time to start another one? [7:57]
    • What are the industry verticals or technologies that SparkLabs Connex is looking into? (5G, IoT, Smart Cities)? [9:15]
    • How does the model work for SparkLabs Connex and how does it work with the ecosystem, for example, partners? [10:50]
    • Why are the vendors willing to work with you as many accelerators have been building partnerships across industries? [13:44]
    • How does SparkLabs Connex work for entrepreneurs? [15:05]
    • What are the traits of startup founders that you will seek to invest in? [17:05]
    • What are the types of technologies which you will specifically look into as you invest in the space? [22:00]
    • Omate: elderly care watch from Shenzhen and expand in France [22:40]
    • Can you share the stories of early applicants into the program? [24:40]
    • Can you share the geographical profiles of startups in SparkLabs Connex and whether there are preferences over some geographies? [25:40]
    • Are there any additional things which you want the applicants to know? [27:40]
    • Given the recent coronavirus outbreak, do you think that it will slow down the growth of IoT and 5G in the market? [28:25]
    • How about technologies in IoT and 5G which might have come up during the COVID-19 outbreak? [29:55]
    • Press releases:
  • Closing [32:30]
    • Charles recommendations: Parag Khanna's "The Future is Asian"
    • Where can we find him?

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted and produced by Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin) and originally created by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin).  Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack.

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