Sequoia moves third edition of Surge online amid COVID-19 pandemic

Photo: DEALSTREETASIA

With social distancing becoming the new normal worldwide in the light of the coronavirus outbreak, Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia has decided to take the third edition of its accelerator programme Surge completely online.

Surge, which was launched in January last year, is focused on nurturing early-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia. The programme claims to have supported 37 startups in the previous two cohorts.

In a statement, Sequoia said, instead of week-long in-country sessions once a month, the third edition will see day-long sessions held every week for 15 weeks starting April 13. All speaker sessions, office hours and deep dives with founders, speakers, and mentors will be conducted remotely. Besides, there will be no change in the content and speakers for Surge.

“The sessions are being designed to ensure we continue to foster a sense of community and encourage inter-geo collaboration amongst founders,” Sequoia said. “All our speakers and mentors will continue to engage with founders as before and we are grateful for how invested they are in helping our Surge founders at this time.”

Before COVID-19 the team was holding regular coffee chats with founders in Indonesia and Singapore. Those chats have now moved online, Sequoia further added. Founders based in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, India and other parts of SEA can now sign up for virtual ‘Coffee with Surge’ meetups at https://bit.ly/onlinecoffeechats.

“The coronavirus has created unprecedented levels of stress and challenges across the world. Personal and professional lives are being disrupted. In our ecosystem, we recognize that these are tough times for young companies – and we want to be able to extend our support as much as possible to ensure that they can continue to build their businesses in the best way possible,” Sequoia said.

The Surge team will use a number of online tools to find the best possible mix to maintain the quality of engagement and interactions. The founders will also get increased time in between sessions to focus on their business.

Surge 03 founders will be invited to join the in-country sessions during the next post-Covid-19 Surge, Sequoia said.

Meanwhile, Surge has also invited applications for its fourth edition from across consumer internet, deep tech, enterprise software, healthcare, fintech, medtech, blockchain and direct-to-consumer sectors.

Selected startups will get $1 million to $2 million at the start of the programme.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.