As Singapore aims to become a regional tech hub, the city-state is reportedly facing a severe talent crunch with more firms moving in. Japan’s dire talent shortage is also known to all and the boom in the startup ecosystem is only making it worse. Talent crunch is a challenge faced by startups not only in Singapore and Japan but all over the region and even globally. According to a 2019 Robert Walters study, in Southeast Asia alone, close to 70 per cent of hiring managers took at least three months to fill an open tech position.
As technologies advance and we move towards a more high-tech digital world, a new skill set is required every day. The job scene has never been more dynamic and we are all struggling to keep up. This affects businesses in that they are unable to take off with projects due to the sheer lack of the right kind of engineers they need. After all, when starting a new business, one of the first things that companies look for is a reliable team of well-trained professionals. However, for startups, it is not easy to find industry experts to run their teams and help them with projects.
To address this global challenge, startup studios like Tokyo-based GaoGao are stepping up and creating platforms of experienced, well-trained professionals such as startup engineers that can help these businesses take off.
After working for over 10 years in the software industry as an engineer with reputed companies like IBM and LINE, Takuya Tejima decided to take the entrepreneurial route along with co-founder Kenichi Mizuhata. Mizuhata brings in over 11 years of experience in securities and financial services. Together, they established GAOGAO: a startup studio that matches startup engineers to innovators in Japan and across Southeast Asia. Today, with 48 studio members, 25 studio projects. and four startup investments, GaoGao has clients all over the world, including Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Tokyo, and the USA.
Bringing in industry experts to help out new businesses take off
GaoGao is helping companies in Japan and across the region take off by basically building a platform of startup engineers for companies looking to start a new business or seeking to undergo digital transformation.
GaoGao is a community-driven ecosystem with coliving and coworking spaces in four different countries across the region. They regularly conduct tech events — both online and offline — to promote networking and partnerships within and across different sectors. To facilitate better collaborations and encourage interactions within key stakeholders, GaoGao has 24/7 online communication channels.
Studies have proven that the right training and good mentorship are key to business growth and scalability. With a knowledge-centric approach, GaoGao conducts internal training programs and team-building seminars. What further makes this startup studio unique is the fact that most of its members come with startup experience. From CTOs to CEOs and founders to investors, they have quite the talent pool when it comes to startup engineers.
GaoGao’s startup engineers offer end-to-end support to projects by getting involved right at the conceptualisation stage and sticking around till the execution stage. With a rich background in product development and accumulated assets, GaoGao’s engineers are able to deliver an operation-level quality product within three months starting from the specification development phase.
To provide maximum flexibility and support, especially to early-stage startups, GaoGao also offers equity-based payment options. Under this model, companies that do not have the cash but are in need of the studio’s resources can pay them in shares instead.
Ushering towards a digital tomorrow and enabling businesses to future-proof
GaoGao also helps companies in the journey of digital transformation. Led by senior engineers with extensive experiences in enterprise development, this is a dedicated team called GaoGao’s Dx Studio.
From the user hearing stage to implementation, their engineers stand by a startup and help them embrace digital solutions so they can be future-ready. They offer a wide range of services, including CRM development, as well as data infra construction and analysis. This not only helps digitise the operations but also enables companies to leverage data to offer better customer engagement, personalised services, and more.
GaoGao also offers AI and machine learning solutions to help startups drive business operations and improve value more efficiently. Additionally, GaoGao has a dedicated creative design team that offers a wide range of services and solutions, such as website designing, UI/UX and more.
With this suite of expert solutions and services, GaoGao is aiming to help businesses not only in Japan but all over the region, realise their dream projects and take a step closer to the future. Startup founders and other stakeholders are already seeing a lot of value in what GaoGao has to offer and it is evident through their multiplying revenues. Their monthly sales value is expected to cross 200K USD in just two years of business.
Currently, they are looking at expanding into Singapore and seeking partners there. They are also planning to invest in startups starting this year. If you want to learn more about them or connect with them, visit https://e27.co/investor/gaogao/
This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by JETRO
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