(...) Let’s not be simplistic, Southeast Asia is a hugely complicated market thanks to its diversity. Language, culture and ethnicity vary across the region, even if you just assess the biggest countries. Yet, a new wave of successful startups have shown that employing a regional mindset from day one can reap big rewards.
(...) Irrespective of big company involvement, Internet access rates and regional thinking, Southeast Asia’s startup scene has grown at a fast clip, and that’s certain to continue on in 2013, regardless of any other factors. One big reason behind that is the grow in opportunities.
(...) Much as I despise the word, ‘startup hubs’ have emerged across Asia. Bangkok, for example, now boasts at least three top co-working spaces (from around zero a year ago), while TNW regularly hears from startups in thriving communities in places such as Vietnam, Cambodia and other off-beat areas.
Unfortunately, Laos isn't playing any role in it, and that's not Jon's fault. The country still lacks inspired and passionate people, in particular in the tech business. Although it offers at least some key features: Young workforce, two campuses to study IT, cheap office space in houses, affordable internet connection. And for Lao citizens it is quite easy to set up a business and keep taxes low. But JICA is still failing with it's incubator concept at NUOL, and meetups like the Google Developer Group have quite low response. It may take more time for Laos to keep up with neighbors, but it needs to hurry. I haven't seen much progress here in the last two years.