Be you a potential investor or an aspiring startup this is your chance to hop on board – plus there’s another Happy Hour!
MOX Team close up a presentation at a Happy Hour, July 2017. (Right to left: MOX mentor Grace Ng, Managing Director William Bean Bao, Community Manager David Frasier)
MOX mentor Grace Ng (Javelin.com and Lean Startup Machine) takes questions at a MOX Happy Hour, July 2017.
Words and photos by Cat Thomas
This summer many Taipei-based entrepreneurs have been taking advantage of MOX’s program of free seminars. Aspiring and well- established entrepreneurs alike have gathered to enjoy a wealth of tips and experience from world-class mentors (as well as the excellent free sausages and beer). Friday evenings have been thoroughly enjoyable with the MOX team on hand to chat to and learn from. As MOX’s Batch 3 nears completion and applications for Batch 4 are currently open we decided to take a closer look at MOX, the people and company behind it. Could MOX be the accelerator that helps you achieve your startup dream?
MOX was the first international accelerator to launch in Taiwan. They set up independently – with no government assistance or invitation – in 2015. It is part of a much larger Silicon Valley enterprise SOSV – The Accelerator VC which was recently rated the most active global seed investor for Q2 by Tech Crunch1. There are 700 companies on the SOSV portfolio and they boast US$300 million in assets under their eight programs based out of six accelerators around the world. They invest in over 150 companies a year. So we’re talking big guns here.
As a Mobile-only accelerator MOX invests in mobile-technology startups from around the world and provides them with free marketing to millions of mobile users globally. What sets MOX apart is that they focus on the emerging markets in Southeast Asia, India, Eastern Europe and South America. Because of the nature of these markets the usual dominant players Apple Store and Google Play don’t have a stronghold. So, startups are on a playing field where they can freely compete for marketshare. MOX estimates there are 4 billion and rising new mobile users in these markets. According to their latest press release MOX’s market penetration has increased by 30m in the last six months to reach a total of 160 million mobile device users in these developing markets. Startups who get a place in MOX’s three-month acceleration program are able to ‘rapidly acquire users to test and monetize at no cost to themselves’. This model means that the developers can have a real chance at making revenue.
Enigmatic MOX founder and managing director William Bao Bean – who heads up both MOX and Chinaccelerator in Shanghai and is an investment partner in SOSV – calls this marketing reach his “unfair advantage”, and he achieves it through strategic partnerships with leading handset makers, carriers and software vendors around the world.
If this piques your interest – either as a potential investor or an aspiring startup – now is the time to act. MOX’s Batch 3 demo day is coming around this Tuesday 22nd August in Taipei. This is a great chance to see the type of mobile-technology startups MOX has supported through their program over the last three months. You’ll also get the opportunity to chat to both members of the batch who have been through the program and to meet some of the main players in MOX (who are without fail enthusiastic, knowledgeable and approachable). This insight should stand you in great stead when filling out the application which includes a question on how you think MOX can benefit your startup.
While applications are open to startups from anywhere; as we can see from the summer Happy Hour program (see below for details of this week’s event) MOX is strongly community-focused and they welcome applications from within Taiwan. The current MOX batch includes three startups are based in Taiwan: Screea, a shopping app already in five countries, Tomoto which has produced some of Taiwan’s most downloaded celebrity apps, including those for internet stars Tsai A-ga and HowHow, and BigGo a Taiwan price comparison platform that has gained 6 million unique monthly users (that’s more than a quarter of all Taiwanese!), in less than a year after launch. The remaining current batch startups are Ulike, a mobile advertising startup from Israel; Cashfi a Korean app which aims to provide universal free Wi-Fi to data famished emerging markets; and Pixtory a social network for sharing photo stories.
The MOX accelerator program runs for 2-3 months with the startups accepted into each batch sharing a common workspace in the hip MOX headquarters in Yuanshan, Taipei. The program includes mentoring and training from some of the best in the business with a sharp focus on a mean-lean approach. This not only provides ‘rocket fuel’ for your startup it also sets up the successful applicants with excellent connections in the global startup community. The terms and benefits are laid out clearly on the MOX site – but broadly speaking all of this comes in return for 6% equity – plus an optional US$30k in funding.
Applications for Batch 4 are open until November 30th. The initial application form is completed online. If you’re thinking of applying we recommend you take a look at the information required and, to whet your entrepreneurial appetite, perhaps check out some of the 250 mentors MOX has in its network or view testimonials from some of the startups that have already gone through the program.
As program director Ryan Shuken said at a recent event while encouraging the 100-strong crowd to spread the word about Batch 4, “we depend on everyone in the community to help us make Taiwan go international”. So, feel free to share this article to any aspiring startups (or investors) who you think might be interested and, of course, to pop along for the Happy Hour on Friday.
MOX Batch 3 Demo Day, Taipei
Tuesday Aug 22nd, 1-5pm
Futureward, B1, #343, Changchun Rd, Taipei (台北市長春路343號B1)
Nearest MRT Nanjing Fuxing (exit 7)
Register for the demo day – This also includes a link for the live stream if you’re unable to make it on the day.
Next Happy Hour
MOX program director presents and takes questions on How to Growth Hack Facebook, a subject which has wide application for all kinds of business in Facebook-heavy Taiwan. Plus, free Redpoint beer and Churchill’s sausages!
Friday 18th August, 6.30-9.30 pm
MOX @ CIT Lobby, 1 Yumen St (台北市玉門街1號) Nearest MRT: Yuanshan (exit 1)
Register for the Happy Hour
1: Crunchbase Investor leader board (select year to date)