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Endeavor and Linda Rottenberg Profiled in The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor, a U.S.-based international news publication, recently profiled Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg and the story of Endeavor, spotlighting the organization’s journey and its rapidly growing global impact. In particular, the article calls […]

April 16th, 2014 — by admin

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2013 Impact Report

  The 2012-2013 Endeavor Global impact report is now available. This year’s report features updated profiles on the global offices, vibrant new visuals of Endeavor’s impact, and highlights of key milestones from the past year. View […]

November 13th, 2013 — by admin

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How to develop your fund raising strategy

Reprinted from Both Sides of the Table. Original article here.

By Mark Suster.

Raising money is hard. And when you’re relatively new to the process it’s easy to be confused by the process. There is all sorts of advice on the Internet about how to raise capital. Of course much of it is conflicting.

I’ve raised money as a “hot company” and I’ve raised capital when no one would return my phone calls. I’ve raised in boom markets and when everybody thought the Internet was a fraud. I’ve raised seed rounds and A-D rounds. I raised money as an entrepreneur, like you, in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005 for two different companies.

And of course I’ve sat on the other side of the table: As a VC. I now observes the fund raising process as a profession. And I also now have to raise money myself, but this time from bigger institutions that our industry calls LPs (limited partners).

I’ve tried to make this advice as well-rounded and biased free as I can. This is not just the perspective of a VC although I can’t say I have zero VC bias. This is the fund raising perspective from both sides of the table.

Executive Summary
For those that want the answer without reading a long post – here it is. Fund raising (as is much of life) is a sale – pure and simple. The sooner you understand that the sooner you can plan your campaign.

As with any sales campaign you need to:

• Qualify your buyers early so you focus your scarce resources on people likely to buy your product
• Spend time researching your buyers and not just pitching them
• Call high. Partners make investment decisions.
• Meet in person. They’re not buying a book on Amazon or shoes on Zappos. They’re buying you. And that doesn’t work remotely.
• Build a relationship with your investors over time. “People buy from people they like, trust, respect and … believe.” (Zig Ziglar). Trust doesn’t come from one 45-minute Powerpoint pitch or 30-minute demo.
• Create scarcity. Three rules in sales: Why buy anything? Why buy me? Why buy now? If you haven’t read my post about that, you should. The hardest is the last: Why Buy Now. People avoid difficult decisions until they have to make them.

Every company is different so it’s hard to listen to advice from the uber-successful fund raisers. Their story will likely be very different from yours. Fund raising is bloody hard. It takes a lot of work. Don’t believe otherwise.

If you want to watch the video version summary of my advice on fund raising it’s here. It’s an hour and has tons of insights on the process. Tell a friend! ;-)

And now, the details … (more…)

Five reasons to anticipate more BRIC brands

they'll make you feel brand new, inspire youuuuReprinted from Emerging Markets Blog. Original article here.

By David Gates, a senior strategy consultant with 10 years of experience in defining strategy for leading companies in the telecom, media, payments, and insurance industries.

Emerging-market multinationals have become more prominent in the last few years. Last week I reviewed a book that documented the rise of some of these new firms. Business publications, consulting firms, and others also have published reports on the topic.

A lot of this attention is based on anticipation for the future. Currently, only a small percentage of the world’s leading firms are based in emerging markets.

Consider the share of Fortune magazine’s Top-500 global corporations (by revenue) in the four BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China): China has 46 (of the Top 500) firms. India has eight. Brazil has seven. Russia has six. Many of these firms are commodity producers, operating on the traditional comparative advantages of their home countries.

The BRICs (as well as other emerging markets) have a long way to go. Developed countries are home to the vast majority of the world’s largest corporations. Spain (40 million people) has 10 of the Top 500 corporations. Switzerland (8 million people) has 15.

Even more glaring is the near-complete absence of emerging market countries from the world’s top brands. They are home to only three brands in Interbrand’s ranking of the Top 100 Global Brands: Samsung (Korea), Hyundai (Korea), and Corona (Mexico).

I believe emerging-market brands will become more common in future lists. They may follow the example of some foreign-based brands that expanded in the US market in recent years. As recently as the 1990s, US-based companies dominated US clothes and furniture sales. Today, H&M, Zara, and IKEA are well-known brands in the US.

Several factors will drive the rise of global emerging-market brands:

1. The rapid growth of emerging-market consumer classes will translate into more clout for local consumer brands. Twenty-plus years of strong economic growth in Chile is contributing to the emergence of an increasingly active consumer class. This transformation has fueled the rise of several Chilean retailers, which are now expanding in several other South American countries. Chile’s example will be repeated on a vastly larger scale in other countries, such as China, India, Brazil, and Turkey.

2. People are younger in emerging markets. Median ages in the West trend above 35 years, compared to under 30 years (and sometimes 25 years) in emerging markets. The West will be home to an ever smaller share of people in their economic prime (ages 25-49). New brands will rise to serve this demographic shift.

3. Access to capital for emerging-market firms is easier than ever before.Many developing countries have built functioning capital markets in the last 20 years. Governments are enabling lower interest rates by keeping inflation in check.  Western investors are increasing their capital allocation to emerging markets.

4. Regional demand patterns exist. The developing world’s regions (East and Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa) tend to share some broad commonalities in taste that are not well-addressed by Western multinationals. Korean pop music, Mexican telenovelas, and Nigerian “Nollywood”films have regional appeal. It stands to reason that we will see home-region multinationals emerge in other “taste” industries, including fashion and food products.

5. Competitive pressures and scarcity of capital will cause some Western multinationals to retrench. If forced to choose between bolstering home operations or expanding in emerging markets, many Western multinationals will opt for the former. US and European telcos bought up most of Latin America’s wireless licenses in the 1990s and early 2000s. By 2007, however, Verizon, BellSouth (now part of AT&T), and Telecom Italia had sold most or all of their Latin American wireless operations, which included Top 3 players in most key markets.

These and perhaps other factors will fuel the rise of new emerging-market brands in the coming years. It’s probably sooner than later that you’ll find yourself standing next to your (Chinese) car, filling up the fuel tank at the local (Russian) gas station, while en route to the mall to buy that new jacket from your favorite (Brazilian) apparel store.

Entrepreneurial lessons from Chris Dixon

Reprinted from Chris Dixon. Original post here.

Today, I wanted to talk about some of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the years from my experiences as an investor and entrepreneur.

1. If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, your goals aren’t ambitious enough

My most humbling and educational career experience was when I was starting out in the tech world.  I applied to literally hundreds of jobs:  low-level VC roles, startup jobs, and various positions at big tech companies.  I had an unusual background: I was a philosophy undergrad and a self-taught programmer. I got rejected from every single job I applied to.

The reason this experience was so useful was that it helped me to develop a thick skin.  I came to realize that employers weren’t really rejecting me as a person or on my potential – they were rejecting a resume.  As the process became depersonalized, I became bolder in my tactics. Eventually, I landed a job that led to my first startup getting funded.

One of the great things about looking for a job is that your payoff is almost entirely a max function – the best of all outcomes – not an average. This is also generally true for lots of activities startups do: raising money, creating partnerships, hiring, marketing and so on.

So, every day – to this day – I make it a point of trying something new and ambitious and getting rejected.

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Tricks of the trade for recruiting and culture, by the CEO of Etsy (with audio)

Reprinted from Fred Wilson’s A VC blog. Original post here.

By Chad Dickerson. Chad is the CEO of Etsy.

Recruiting & Culture

When Fred asked me to write a guest blog post, I told him initially that I was going to write about recruiting and culture. Both are topics that I’ve learned a lot about in nearly twenty years working in companies of all kinds and contexts: public and private, large and small, struggling and ascendant, on the east and west coasts. As I sat down to write, I realized that how you recruit people and your recruiting approach defines and continually reveals the culture of your company, and it quickly became clear to me that recruiting and culture are yin and yang. In recruiting, a successful outcome usually means a candidate saying yes to your company, and at that moment, the candidate becomes part of the company culture. Below are some of the things I’ve learned to do over the years when it comes to recruiting and culture.

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10 tips to improve your SEO results

straightforward graphicReprinted from Drew’s Marketing Minute. Original article here.

By Brad Shorr, Director of Content & Social Media for Straight North, a Chicago marketing firm

Don’t be daunted by the complexity of SEO – especially now. Google has introduced a ton of changes to their ranking formula recently, most of which penalize complicated, manipulative SEO tactics. As a result, SEO has become simpler. Today the keys are:

• Having a clean site that communicates well with Google

• Creating great content that naturally attracts backlinks

Here are 10 crucial items for a 2012 SEO tune-up. The first five are onsite SEO activities, and the next five are offsite activities.

1. Update keyword research. Popular search terms change. Your business model may have changed as well. If you’re ranking well for keywords that have lost strategic value, all you’re doing is attracting visits from the wrong prospects.

2. Update title tags and content. Once your keywords are updated, put them in meta title tags and on-page content. Don’t just cram the keywords in: if necessary, rewrite pages to make the new keywords completely relevant.

3. Add new pages for additional keyword terms. Google loves fresh content. Add pages or blog posts steadily over time, using less popular (“long tail”) terms with strategic value.

4. Run an SEO diagnostic. Google’s Webmaster Tools is a great, free online resource that itemizes your site’s SEO issues making cleanup easy for you or your developer.

5. Set up a good internal linking system. The pages you link to most often on your site are the ones Google thinks are most important. We often recommend displaying links to your top lead-generating pages in the footer of the site, using keywords in the anchor text of the links.

6. Update good backlinks. Let’s move to offsite SEO issues. If you know of links coming into your site from popular sites/blogs, check the anchor text on those links. Ideally, anchor text should include keywords. If not, ask if they can change it.

7. Remove bad backlinks. If you know of links coming into your site from content farms, ad sites, and other sources with bad online reputations, remove them. These links could lower your rankings.

8. Do guest posts. A great way to create valuable backlinks is to write useful content on high quality blogs. Guest posts normally include a link(s) back to the writer’s site.

9. Update directory listings. Many people list their site in directories when it launches and never look back. Make sure those directory listings are up-to-date in terms of keywords and pages you’re linking to.

10. Update social media profiles. Along the same lines, keep keywords and links current for your profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter – and Google+ if you’re there. People tend to forget about their profiles on peripheral social sites such as Twellow andFriendFeed, so keep those on your SEO radar as well.

Save the date for Endeavor Gala 2012 (Nov 8!)

Save it or else : (

Celebrate 15 Years of High-Impact Entrepreneurship at the 2012 Endeavor Gala in New York City!

Celebrate Endeavor’s 15th anniversary with 600+ global business leaders, game-changing entrepreneurs, and Endeavor network members – join us for the 2012 Endeavor Gala in New York City on November 8th!  Enjoy delicious food and drink, a fabulous musical performance, and great company while supporting High-Impact Entrepreneurship around the world. To purchase individual tickets or a table, contact gala@endeavor.org

 

The different types of angel investors

straight outta the 16th centuraryReprinted from NextView Ventures. Original article here.

By David Beisel, Cofounder and Partner at NextView Ventures, a dedicated seed-stage venture capital firm making investments in internet-enabled startups.

We at NextView Ventures often invest in a startup’s first round alongside other funds; either seed stage focused ones like ourselves or larger traditional firms.  Just as often, however, we’re investing alongside individual angel investors who are participating in the round as well.  Angel investors come in many shapes and sizes, however.  And it’s not always easy to recognize the pros and cons of taking money from individual investors, or how to even seek them out in the first place.  Addressing both of those issues can stem from the motivations as to why someone would want to put their hard-earned cash into a risky early-stage startup in the first place.   Along those lines, the world of individual angel investors is easier for entrepreneurs to navigate when you can recognize the category which he falls into based on their incentives and actions.  The choir of angel investors out there is comprised of a number of players which sing different parts:

The Super Angel.  Much has been written about this category, so I won’t belabor the description beyond that the defining characteristic is the large number of investments that he makes.  PROs of taking his angel money are the feeder system to venture financing of the next round and the vast network of portfolio CEOs which can be tapped into for connections and help.  CONS of an investment from a Super Angel include potential lack of “value add” because his time is spread so thin amongst many portfolio companies.

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7 essential stages of building a total online presence

intern is heating upReprinted from Duct Tape Marketing. Original article here.

by 

There are many moving parts involved in marketing and the online elements increase in importance with each passing day.

But, marketing is a system, and to effectively operate this system you must assemble and integrate each of the important parts into something that looks like the whole.

Your online presence is your key to success no matter what your business sells – no matter if all of your transactions are done face to face – no matter if you don’t yet see a way to get a return from your Facebook page – no matter if you’ve never bought an online ad.

The key, however, is to build a Total Online PresenceTM, much like you would a tall, sturdy building, by constructing floor by floor in specific order or in stages. Your stages may differ just a bit based on where you are today and you’ll surely come back and revisit, add on and revamp each stage as you grow, but I believe the following model is the surest way to view your online marketing as a system.

Below are the seven stages of building a Total Online Presence.

7 Stages of a Total Online Presence

Content Platform

So much of what happens online revolves around content. It’s how you get found, why people pay attention and how you start to exchange value. Without a content platform to build from a great deal of effort in other stages will be wasted.

To me the content platform starts with building a listening station with tools like Google Alerts, TweetDeck, TrackurSocial MentionSprout Socialor Radian6. From this point you can you can gain insight into your market, your competitors and important groups, such as key journalists, while starting the work of better understanding your most important keyword phrases.

Keywords are like chapters in your total body of content plan. Doing research, using tools such as Google Keyword Tool or Wordtracker, on the most important ways to show up when people search for a business like yours and creating blog posts around these chapters, using an editorial calendar approach, is how you fortify your content platform.

Once you start consistently creating content, you can produce valuable eBooks that will be the pivotal element of your email lead capture stage.

There’s really very little reason to play this game if your don’t put the effort in at this stage.

Organic SEO

Having someone type a search phrase that is key to your business and finding a blog post or page from your site on page one of the results is the ultimate payoff and, long-term, may be the difference between success and failure.

Search Engine Optimization can be complex and time consuming, but most businesses can generate significant results without making it so, if you simply focus on the following three elements.

Produce keyword rich, educational content – we covered this above, but search engines live on blog posts and other educational content. Use a tool like Scribe from Copyblogger to help you write more search engine friendly content.

Make it easy on the search engines – Make the on page elements such as your blog titles, URLs, ALT image attributes, subtitles and internal links work for you and use XML sitemaps that make it easy for search engines to grab your latest. Check out Search Engine News for great primer.

Draw lots of links naturally from other sites – Simply writing great content will start this process, but so will writing guest posts, uploading content to places like YouTube and Slideshare, making thoughtful comments on other blogs, submitting online press releases and amplifying your content in social networks. (Covered below)

Email Marketing

An engaged email list, eager to hear from you, is the most valuable asset your can build. 1000 responsive email followers trumps 25,000 Twitter followers every day when it comes to actually promoting the things that make your money.

Focus on building a list of email subscribers that want to hear from you and social media will become a tool set to help you do more of that.

Choose an email service provider (ESP) such as Constant Contact, GetResponse, AWeber, MailChimp or Infusionsoft and go to work on building email capture forms with the offer of your free eBook or weekly newsletter before you move on to social media.

Social Media Marketing

This is certainly an area where you should consider strategy before tactics.

The first step is to understand how your current customers are using social media and how you can use social media to somehow serve them better. If you do that, you’ll get immediate value.

Create Twitter lists of customers and add their social profiles to your CRM tool. Add a tool like Rapportive to your email.

Then claim and build your profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Picasa, Slideshare and Pinterest.

Your plan to work and engage prospects in all of these networks may not be clear yet, but the first step is to claim the free real estate so you can start exploring.

Once you start to share content, build connections, reshare other people’s content and discover best practices in each individual network, you can begin to amplify your content and start finding ways to drive prospects to your eBook and newsletter in an attempt to start a relationship headed towards conversion.

Online Advertising

Many people waste advertising and then conclude it doesn’t work. Pay per click advertising can be very effective when done right. One of my favorite things about it is that a platform like Google AdWords allows you to test your thinking a dollar at a time.

Here’s my take on how to make ads pay – Use your ads to drive content awareness instead of simply to sell. Drive Facebook users to sign up for your eBook first and then you can sell them over and over again.

The basics of PPC are this: Use lots of punchy, dramatic ad copy, but test, revise and test. Create tightly focused ad groups with highly relevant ad copy, work negative keywords out of your list. Test some more.

Mobile and Location

Mobile is more of a behavior than a tool. The first step is to analyze what behaviors your customers are exhibiting before you dive into or dismiss Foursquare or text messaging.

I can assure you this however, your customers are reading content, searching for things to buy and using reviews to make decisions on mobile devices. Claim your location based profiles in places such as Foursquare andYelp.

Create mobile and tablet friendly viewing options with tools such asWPTouchTekora or GoMobi. Start creating mobile specific ads, landing pages, coupons and offers that take advantage the growing use of mobile devices as a major part of the purchasing process.

Analytics and Conversion

Like many stage-based processes there is a cyclical aspect as well. For some, creating benchmarks and key performance indicators is really the first step. So, if you’re one of those folks you can start here, because no matter where you are in the process this stage will always evolve.

Many people can’t start the process of measuring success until they are measuring in real time or can’t start the process of tweaking and testing until all of the elements are in place.

As you build make certain you install tracking code from a tools such asGoogle AnalyticsSpring Metrics or KissMetrics so you can begin to build the data to test and refine from.

Then you can start building conversion goals, funnels and events, tracking your ads and split testing your landing pages, opt-in pages and sales pages to discover ways to increase conversion.

Even something as overwhelming and complex as the changing face of marketing online get just a bit more manageable I think when you start to view it as a system.

 

7 subtle but deadly sins of entrepreneurship

>> << Reprinted from Under30CEO. Original article here.

By Francesca StaAna

Often, our biggest mistakes are the ones that we learn most from. Committing pricing errors, picking the wrong vendors, or failing to identify the right markets are examples of blunders that hit us hard but we learn quickly from. These mistakes are obvious, so we know not to do them again in the future.

However, there are certain types of mistakes that are more subtle and aren’t as easy to learn from. These insidious errors may look harmless because they seemingly don’t have any effect on your business, but the truth is, they are just as deadly as the above-mentioned mistakes.

The list below identifies 7 subtle (but deadly) mistakes or sins that entrepreneurs commit.

Letting yourself off the hook just because you’re the boss – When you’re your own boss, it’s all too easy to let go of your own little mistakes. So what if you overslept today? You’ll just work extra hours later. Forgot to follow up on a client? There’s always tomorrow, right? Wrong. Continuously letting yourself off the hook for small errors simply because you can is a recipe for personal and business failure.

You know how people who let themselves off the hook for skipping the gym end up overweight and sick 10 years later? Well, overlooking and tolerating the mistakes that you know you can correct can lead to a sick (not the good kind) business in the future. Be sure to develop the discipline to “catch” yourself while you can.

Staying too long on a plateau – We’ve discussed business plateaus before, but they’re worth mentioning again. You know that you’re on a plateau when your business has “reached a respectable level of success”. Your sales aren’t bad, and maybe you’ve even paid off your investment.

The “plateau stage” can be a comfortable one, mainly because it’s pretty steady. And while you’re allowed to hang around there for a while, be sure to not stay on a plateau for too long. Being comfortable for an extended period of time leads to complacency and incompetence. Avoid this by always striving to learn and be better. Take the leap off that plateau and bring your business to the next level.

Not being grateful for “small” mentions – Think those “Thanks for RT!” or “Thank you for the shout-out!” messages don’t matter? Think again. Spreading messages of gratitude returns a lot of good social media karma, and the best thing is, doing so won’t cost you a thing.

Whenever someone mentions your business on their blog or social media page, take the time to express your gratitude. They’ll be more inclined to mention or even feature you again in the future. And who knows? You could even gain a new friend or possibly even a contact that’ll vouch for you somewhere down the line.

On the other hand, NOT thanking others will make you look like a snob and people might refrain from giving shout-outs or doing business with you. It’s easy to ignore mentions or Re-tweets and just go about your day. But the fact is, disregarding small things like that can cost you big opportunities in the long run.

Not thinking outside the box – Always going by the book is nice, safe, and EASY. It’s also a good way to get left behind. Sure, you’re exerting marketing efforts and performing proven sales tactics that have worked for years, but are you really getting results?

If not, then it’s time consider some reinvention. Think outside the box and do things that other people haven’t done before. Look for new opportunities outside of the safe and proven ones. If you don’t, then some other CEO will, and you could just end up following their footsteps instead.

Not keeping up with technology – There are plenty of apps and tools out there that will allow you to be more productive or reach more people. Avoid falling behind and be sure to keep yourself up to date with the latest developments in tech and in your industry as well.

Exerting no networking efforts – Targeting potential customers or clients is a given when it comes to doing business. On top of this though, be sure to connect with colleagues and collaborate with other businesses so that you can promote each other.

Don’t make the mistake of avoiding connections with other businesses in fear that you’ll lose your customers. Instead, be more open to partnerships and help each other grow. There’s plenty of business to go around.

Not following up – I can’t even tell you the number of times that I’ve sealed the deal with a new client simply because I took the time to send them a follow-up email. A lot of entrepreneurs drop a sale or just give up and move on when a potential client doesn’t respond. Big mistake. For all you know, these “unresponsive” users were simply too preoccupied to reply. But it doesn’t mean that they’re not interested.

To make sure that you never miss a chance to successfully reel customers in, create a list of people that you’ve reached out to, and be sure to call or send them a follow-up email after about a week or so. A simple “friendly reminder” should do the trick. If you still don’t get an answer, take them off your list and move on.

Think big, think Asia

ssshhhh I'm the new internReprinted from GrowVC. Original article here.

By Vinay Dora K. A digital native, Vinay has seen web technology and its business development from close quarters through his experience with startups and corporations like Yahoo! Inc. A learner for life, Vinay is active in the student community circles with recent stints at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm School of Economics, Peking University China and as a media panel delegate at Harvard University’s HPAIR conference.

Asian economies in the last two decades have witnessed a meteoric rise, in particular the Chinese, Indian and the South-East Asian economies. Though the recent crisis in the West had had its rippling effect on Asia, many believe its only a matter before the animal spirit of the dragon (China) and the tiger (India) reemerge. China and India aside, there’s an exclusive four, together known as the Asian Tiger and Dragon economies – Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, who have established themselves as world-class destinations for business.

While most economists and analysts are upbeat about Asia’s prospects, startup companies and the media have showed disproportionate interest in Asia. Take the case of European tech startups, most of whose expansion plans invariably end with either the Silicon Valley or the alleys of New York City. However a positive consequence of such a move is that there’s substantially lesser competition in many regions across Asia than in the West.

Why this indifference or deliberation when it comes to expanding to Asia? Some say it’s the cultural difference, while others just haven’t given it a thought. Well, if you haven’t given it a thought, consider these numbers:

# 4 billion or 60% of the World’s population live in Asia
# Asia will be the largest economic region in the next two decades
# 18% of Asian web traffic are on mobile, a growth of nearly 200% since 2010
#262 million Facebook users in South-East Asia & India, with another 200 million in Renren, the Chinese equivalent
# Chinese & Indian economies are the 2nd & 3rd largest in terms of purchasing power parity

Asia, despite its massive diversity, longstanding traditions and contemporary challenges of inequality, is still surging ahead and pretty fast. No wonder many of the world’s leading entrepreneurs are exploring ways to establish themselves in the region, especially in China and India. And here’s where South-East Asian nations have a massive advantage. Not only are they proximate geographically to both China and India, but they themselves are a combined strength of 613 million, becoming the 3rd most populated region in the world, and offering another lucrative market for entrepreneurs.

So how do South-East Asian countries score on the tech and social media front? Well, here are some numbers, courtesy Bernard Leong’s research. They include:
# 550 million total mobile subscribers
# 139 million Internet subscribers
# 3 million LinkedIn users
# 11.4 million Twitter users
# 6 million Foursquare users
# 54% of Singaporeans use smartphones
# 90% of Indonesia’s web users are on Facebook

Further according to the same report, Singapore seems to be the preferred regional headquarters for IT and Media companies, especially for sales, business development and marketing. The government agencies there seem only too happy to offer their support to entrepreneurs.

So the next time you think big, think Asia. And remember the route from Europe to Asia need not always be via the US.

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