Following Shinta Dhanuwardoyo’s digital footsteps
WSA is a strong ally to team up with. Its strength lies in the people forming this network. One of them stands out for making the Grand Jury meeting in Jakarta a success:
Shinta Dhanuwardoyo, a venture capitalist, founded Bubu.com in 1996 as a web development company, turning it into a digital agency in 2006. As one of Indonesia’s pioneer digital agencies, Bubu.com added several new divisions over the years, becoming a venture builder. One of these is startup-indonesia.com, a platform helping newcomers to connect with the startup ecosystem inside and outside the country.
Where did your paths first cross with WSA and how do you benefit each other?
Shinta Dhanuwardoyo: I started as a member of the Grand Jury Meeting in India in 2009. The whole WSA network has been a blessing to me, as I made friends all over the world – and this made my own network bigger.
The WSA network is a great opportunity to not only help startups in my country, but also outside of Indonesia. You can always ask your friends to assist, if a startup needs to find a network in a certain country.
Another advantage of being on the jury is to learn a lot about different business models. Some business models working in other regions of the world can also be applied to Indonesia. I can bring this knowledge to the startups that I am mentoring, and in return I learn a lot from them.
What are the greatest challenges facing the Indonesian startup ecosystem right now?
Shinta Dhanuwardoyo: When we talk about the startup ecosystem in Indonesia, one of the biggest challenges is human resources. There is a lack of high skilled ICT workers like programmers, data analysts, data architects, chief technology officers. These workers are very rare: they not only need to be experienced, but they also have to know the whole business. Often, we outsource, but ideally when startups turn into unicorns, highly skilled human resources are needed. This is not only a problem in Indonesia, but in the whole Southeast Asia region.
Another challenge is the right business model. Some startups are not mature enough to create the right business model or they are unable to adapt to a fast-changing environment. With COVID, for example, we see completely different business models before and after, and one of the main reasons startups had to close was their inability to adapt. It is not only about the funding, but also reputation – if venture capitals or other investors see that you are not making progress or you are not making money, they will not invest.
It comes down to what kind of business model you create and how it can adapt.
How do you see the balance between profit and social impact?
Shinta Dhanuwardoyo: The young generation is quite social impact-driven – sometimes you have to remind them to also make money. You cannot survive if you don’t create the right business model and earn money. So, the problem is balancing both interests.
Where do you see the potential in the WSA Grand Jury taking place in Indonesia?
Shinta Dhanuwardoyo: I am both honored and excited that the jury members are coming to Indonesia, one of the biggest markets in Southeast Asia. Indonesia is also one of the most exciting places for digital technology – right now we have 11 unicorns in the country. Of course, Indonesia is also suffering from “tech winter,” with a lot of startups dying, but others have emerged stronger after Covid, with a new post-pandemic business.
With the judges coming here – and although we don’t see all that much in the country – I am introducing the country to the WSA network and hopefully there will be more collaboration and joint ventures in the future.
At the Tech4Impact event in the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, all Indonesian ventures nominated for the WSA will pitch in front of the jury and get feedback.
Six ventures from Indonesia were nominated for WSA.
- Grouu is a gourmet baby food catering for babies aged 6 months and over. Grouu also provides various choices of food textures that can be adapted to the needs of babies at their developmental age.
- Swap is city-based infrastructure of battery swapping stations for e-motorcycle riders. No more cords, no more hassle, battery is being swapped with a fully-charged battery within 9 seconds.
- Kipin.id is an edtech B2B2C company that enables equal access to educational content and learning with or without internet access. The company enables schools to go digital in just 3 minutes and have access to a digital content library of over 60,000+ videos, books, literacy comics, and tryouts.
- Job2Go is a digital platform connecting the grey/blue collar workforce with job opportunities, whether it is full time, part-time or gig-works based on their skill, experience and location. Set out to be a fully automated job marketplace, Job2Go is leveraging its technology to provide a seamless experience for both workers and companies.
- GetWell is a Digital Healthcare Platform, providing end-to-end services where anyone can improve their overall health with our vast network health providers and our own proprietary Health and Monitoring Programs, a Well Beyond Healthcare.
- Livein is a digital platform that carries the concept of a Digital Tourism Village Mall which functions as a media showcase, inventory, directory & transaction platform for buying and selling holiday packages in tourist village destinations. Making it easier for both tourist village managers and users/markets to get an exciting experience on vacation in tourist villages.