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SME first venture program

Driving innovation and business growth for our beloved Small Medium Enterprises

· SMEs,financing,venture

Are you an SME? Join us and leave with more businesses.

theAsianIR (AIR) is the best place in the world to help Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) fund their capability building projects, in areas such as branding, marketing, productivity and automation. It is a highly effective environment designed to bring Small Medium Enterprises together and help them realise their business potential in the new digital economy.

We pioneered this model, and over the past 2 years, helped realise capabilities in many Small Medium Enterprises in Singapore and around the world.

Our cohorts run every 3 months in Europe and Asia. The programme requires commitment from a representative of the Small Medium Enterprise, as we believe alignment is the only way to build a sustainably accretive businesses.

The programme has two stages: MEET one of theAsianIR’s management consultant and explain your idea to realize the business capability. LAUNCH is when the SME get their solution funded and begin building the solution for the capability.

Application

The application form is the first step towards joining AIR. It is designed to get an insight into the SME’s past business achievements and the suitability of the SME to realize the capability under the AIR programme.

You should hear back from us within two weeks, but if you have applied close to a deadline this can take longer. In some cases, we may ask you to have a short phone call with us after reviewing your application.

AIR INVESTS IN AMBITIOUS AND COMMITTED SMALL MEDIUM ENTERPRISES WHO KNOW THEY CAN DO SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY.

Interview

Successful applicants will be called up to interviews, where they will meet a member of the AIR team. The interview will focus on the Small Medium Enterprises's past business performance and commitment to the cause.

We will normally be able to confirm whether we will be offering you a place in the financing program within 2 days of the interview.

Companies which exhibit a good six figure turnover and believe they can use technology to expand greatly will usually be accepted.

If you have been selected, you will be sent an email confirmation/acknowledgement, as well as documents which need to be provided before the programme starts.

Programme Start

The SME will get an introduction to AIR and the programme during a face-to-face meeting in person or on zoom. It is required to get the SME aligned completely during this phase, but a fun and motivating way to hear directly from us as to how the SME will benefit from the solution or capability that AIR is investing in.

Funding from day one

At AIR, we scope and finance your solution from day one. We also secure co-financing from other sources including Enterprise Singapore and other government-led grant schemes. You physically can see the funds being deposited into an account as an insurance that we are committed to fund the solution/capability (anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000).

Relationship Building

We apply the personal touch more than many companies like us, as we believe no technology can replace the human interaction. By continuing to visit your office, we recommend businesses to you, and help you implement smaller technology capabilities while we continue to work on the big one.

Capability refining

As you go about with your everyday business, we will keep updating you as we continue to develop and refine the business capability. Some SMEs join us with a clear sense of what they want to build; others join us while they are still exploring. Either way we help you and your SME to find an idea which exploits your own personal competitive advantage – your “Edge”.

End of "getting to know each other"

At the end of Week 12, typically around 80% of the SME cohort have or will nearly have received the bulk of the financing for their solution. While AIR will be way into their way into preparing for the solution to be launched to the Auditing Committee. SMEs who have not found fully defined their solution/capability or have not received full financing for their solution/capability at this stage leave the programme.

Audit Committee

At completion of the solution/capability, SME will pitch to a third-party Audit Committee to receive the actual funds and join Launch, the second part of the programme. Although it's highly competitive and we don’t fund every SME – only those that have the potential to become sustainable technology-enabled businesses, our KPI is still to fund as many aspiring technology-enabled SME as possible and help them use their new solution/capability to generate dollars for the SME and AIR.

If we don’t fund your SME, we will continue to support you to find the right next step for you. Many SMEs stay with AIR to benefit from our management consulting, or even joint-venture with us to explore other businesses.  

LAUNCH

Once your SME join LAUNCH, you will receive the first investment in your company. Over six months you take part in structured training and work with our dedicated management consultants, who ensure you are committed to accelerate your growth. The highlight is a country-wide Demo Day, where teams present their new technology-enabled spin-off to investors from around the world. This is followed by several weeks of fundraising office hours, where we bring investors to you, with the goal of raising a seed round that puts you on the path to scale.

Pre-Seed Investment

Here we make further investments in your company. We invest more dollars in your SME enabled technology startup, spin-off, SPV, company or whichever way you like to call it. This aligns our interests.

More importantly, at this stage, we are fully driving the business growth at this stage along with you, because we have to help you to make money as we only profit when you do.

Experienced Management Consultants

Each team will work closely with a dedicated Venture Partner. Our VPs are successful consultants, investment bankers and entrepreneurs who have already scaled and sold technology companies worth hundreds of millions. They will push you towards growing your business, and advise on products, services, customers and investment.

Dedicated AIR Representatives

Each SME also has a dedicated member of the AIR team who is responsible for making sure you get the full benefit of the financing, resources, networks and experience we offer.

Demonstration Day

After months of hard work comes Demonstration Day, where every team pitches its solution/capability to a room of like-minded investors or corporates. AIR is uniquely able to bring together corporates whom will like to engage with the SME's new technology, some early stage investors, from across Europe, the US, and Asia. Demonstration Day kicks off your seed fundraising. AIR companies can raise more money, on better terms.

Office Hours

Some of our SMEs at this stage may like to sell their technology-enabled spin-off for various reasons, such as focusing back on the core business, or like us to broker their new spin-off to other investors. Here we understand the SMEs requirements and start to streamline the sales process. We always commit in advance to buy back the spin-off or broker the sale of the spin-off, giving the SME the opportunity to receive a sizeable exit package.

This is only the start

We will continue to be at your side and advise you on your journey long after your time on the programme itself is over.

Everyone who joins our SME cohort programme becomes part of our exclusive, like-minded, albeit old-fashioned business community. After all, we are also an SME.

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