A man browses the internet on his cellphone in this photo illustration. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Iqbal)

Born to Help During Pandemic: Three Startups to Represent Indonesia in Int'l Competition


APRIL 27, 2020

Jakarta. Three Indonesian startups established on a shared initiative to help tackle problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic were declared winners of a national competition and will now represent Indonesia on the global stage.

The winners of Startup Weekend Indonesia Covid-19 Online were selected from 1,490 participants from 29 provinces in Indonesia.

The virtual event from April 24 to 26 aimed to discover startups that can resolve issues that have arisen during the global pandemic.

First-place winner MediKatalog is a marketplace platform for medical equipment and medicines initiated by Azhar Rafiq. It also provides automated stock inventory for hospitals.


Azhar hopes the platform could help medical workers and health facilities acquire personal protective equipment (PPE) and maintain a stable supply of the gear.

"The idea came to me when I became aware of doctors and nurses running out of PPE. This has put our medical workers on the frontline – many of which are my seniors – at great risk of contracting coronavirus," he said.

Runner-up Cook Like a Chef offers a grocery delivery service and food recipes for its users.

Third-placed MentorKU is an interactive education platform that offers career mentoring and consultancy.

The startups will represent Indonesia in the Top 20 Global Winner Startup Weekend to compete with winners from other countries in coming up with the most innovative ideas to help solve problems caused by the pandemic.

Support From Communication and Information Technology Ministry

Startup Weekend Indonesia Covid-19 Online was organized by Kumpul, a development program to build a startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Indonesia, and several local co-working networks.

Chief executive and co-founder of Kumpul Faye Alund said as en ecosystem builder, the involvement of co-working networks is essential in this competition and other similar events because it has the power to move communities.

For Startup Weekend Indonesia Covid-19 Online, at least six networks from across Indonesia took part, including Impala Network from Semarang and Startup Borneo from Banjarmasin.

During the competition, all participants were given training on canvassing business models, market validation, prototype development and pitching – assisted by 50 experienced mentors from various business backgrounds and expertise.

The event was also supported by the Communication and Information Technology Ministry.

Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the ministry's director-general for informatics applications, said in a statement the ministry will continue to support similar events in the highly potential digital economy. 

"[I encourage] startups that didn't win this time to continue developing their ideas," Semuel said.