It is with great excitement that I announce also here on the blog that for 100 days starting January 26 I am resident anthropologist of the JFDI–Innov8 Bootcamp here in Singapore. This is the first tech accelerator of this kind to take place in Southeast Asia and it is put together by the absolutely amazing, frog loving JFDI team and supported by Singtel Innov8.
Why an anthropologist would want to study a tech accelerator program? This is a question I hear a lot. Well, there are multiple reasons. First, I am studying geek culture in Southeast Asia, and the BootCamp brings together participants from across the region giving me a unique chance to see geeks from Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and elsewhere not only in action, but also inter-action.
Secondly, I am researching how geeks in the region act upon the future- what do they aspire and dread. Many of the participants have taken substantial personal sacrifices and risks to be here (moving away from their families for 3 months, quitting their jobs, etc.), so clearly this is an environment filled with expectations and tensions they create.
Thirdly, I am especially interested in the complexities surrounding geeks trying to take the stage of global markets. And where else would I have a chance to explore it better than in a 100 day acceleration program that makes geeks into entrepreneurs?
You’ll be hearing from me more often since the BootCamp has started and I have agreed to inform e27 on a regular basis about what is happening at the Blok 71. This is going to be an amazing learning experience for me, so beare with me as I learn what it means to be geek and what it means to be entrepreneur. I’ll keep you posted as much as I can.
I am grateful to Meng and Hugh who agreed to have me on board and Erin, Nicole, Chiah Li, Alvin and Janice who welcomed me warmly in the daily routines of the office life. Now that the BootCamp has started I’m all excited about getting to know the participants more.