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Why Southeast Asian Start-ups Need To Get Into Oracle’s Accelerator Program

For starters, how does access to 420,000 enterprise customers sound?

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BY Tricia V. Morente - 20 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

What are the two biggest problems every early stage start-up faces? It’s no secret. Customers and revenue.

Reggie Bradford should know. Having launched three successful technology start-ups, serial entrepreneur Bradford—now the Senior Vice President of Startup Ecosystem and Accelerator for technology giant Oracle—is no stranger to the challenges that come with building a start-up into a company viable enough to be bought or listed through an IPO.

Now that he’s among the chief instigators of the Oracle Cloud Startup Accelerator program, which seeks to fuel global cloud innovation, it’s exactly these two problems that his team has sought to resolve for the start-up cohorts seeking to join Oracle’s first accelerator program in Singapore.

With the call for applications announced recently, securing a spot in the accelerator is going to be tough as Oracle intends to grant entry to only five to six companies for the program.

But the good news is that, first, you have two shots at it each year (it’s a twice-yearly, six-month program), and, second, it’s fairly easy to qualify as an applicant. All you need is a defined yet malleable product roadmap, a focus on a big disruptive and scalable market opportunity, and you must have been together for at least six months.

“From a stage standpoint, we’re open to even early-stage start-ups as we feel we would really be beneficial for those just starting their business,” says Bradford, adding that he is excited to see the start-ups that will emerge from the first call for application. “We’ve been seeing fascinating trends happening in the region where there are more organic companies developing in the region that are growing very rapidly, versus international start-ups just coming in. To me, that’s very exciting,” he adds.

If you’re already looking to jumpstart that application, here are a few more things to fuel your motivation:

1. The Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator is not your typical accelerator program 

The Oracle accelerator is a next-generation initiative that focuses on reimagining enterprise innovation. Unlike most accelerator programs that are often sales and marketing-driven, Oracle’s is product development-led.

What this means, Bradford explains, is that Oracle doesn’t take equity as the program is managed by the company’s global R&D team. Start-ups have access to senior members of Oracle’s R&D organization, both in Singapore and globally, who will provide them with actionable insights into the industry. “They’re actual peers of start-ups, who are mostly led by an engineer or a product development person. Being managed and led from that perspective will grant start-up access to best practices learned from prior experiences—both good and bad,” says Bradford. 

2. You’ll Have Access To Enterprise Perks

Beyond the hands-on engagement from Oracle’s R&D team, start-ups have free Oracle cloud access, co-working spaces and amenities, investor connection and engagement, and customized curriculum and business development.

More importantly, the accelerator grants successful applicants access to a community of over 420,000 clients in virtually every sector and economy. “Start-ups will be encouraged to reach out to relevant businesses and markets through our wide network of customers and partners,” shares Bradford, adding if the start-up products complement Oracle’s, there’s a good chance Oracle will assist in their eventual marketing plans.

3. It’ll Be The Most Intense Six Months of Your Start-up’s Life

With only five to six start-ups accepted in every six-month program, successful applicants are going to be able to milk the most out of the experience.

“We want it to really be small enough so start-ups can interact with each other, and with us, on a meaningful basis. We’ll be able to provide proper nurturing, connections into our infrastructure and sales, and also give them product development leadership,” says Bradford.