‘The strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire’

This maxim might well turn out to be the motto for Surge 03 2020. 

This is a scrappy, ambitious and enthusiastic group of founders who have two things in common: an incredibly strong sense of purpose and relentless optimism. They’re building new companies in one of the most challenging periods in modern history; they know the road ahead will be rocky. But their eyes are fixed on the long-term horizon and they’re full of fresh, innovative ideas on how to solve problems that are relevant next week, next year and the next decade.

Surge 03 2020, which kicked off on April 13, is an incredibly diverse group. One-third of the companies in this cohort have at least one female founder. Surge startups are based in India and Southeast Asia, with founders of eight nationalities, including India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Italy, Canada, Barbados and Sweden. Their companies span a wide range of sectors, including SaaS, Dev tools, Consumer, Fitness, F&B, Education and Health.

We believe it’s important to partner with investors from across the ecosystem to serve our founders better. Eighty percent of Surge 03 startups are coming onboard with institutional co-investors, and almost half have Angel co-investors, too. Collectively, this cohort has raised over $39 million in their Surge rounds. (What’s more, Surge 01 and 02 startups have already raised USD 250M+ after completing Surge, in subsequent financing rounds.)

Making the right design choices is even more important for early-stage startups in a time like this. We’re excited to work closely with this group on everything from product, strategy and hiring to articulating their mission and defining their company culture.

We’re confident that this group of startups will thrive, despite the uncertainty ahead. Several have businesses that are providing essential, if not critical, services to make sure daily lives can go on during this crisis. They’re seeing a strong uplift in demand that will continue long term as consumer behaviour shifts, and new groups of emerging consumers become accustomed to doing more online. 

The biggest impact COVID-19 has had on Surge is on our delivery model. We faced a big cross-border challenge while trying to plan for this cohort. How could we ensure that companies were able to connect with mentors and other founders based all over the globe and still feel as though they had a personal experience?

Last week, we launched the program online, using Zoom, our Surge app and other digital tools to ensure the same high-touch, personalized approach. Despite the fact we’re all ‘zooming’ in from different places the cohort has quickly started to gel. They’re already sharing jokes, offers of help and hosting group workouts over Zoom. Surge 01 and Surge 02 founders are showing a ton of love to the 03 crew on various chats in our app. We’re looking forward to launching city and sector dinners, once it’s safe to meet again, to bring the community closer still. 

In March 2019, we launched Surge with the first group of 17 startups. In just one year, the community has grown to over 110 founders from 52 startups based in six countries. And today, we’re incredibly excited to introduce the newest members of this community. 

To meet Surge 03 2020, click here.