A three-day Local Startup Festival opened in Jakarta on Friday (24/02), featuring industry veterans as well as novice startups and tech enthusiasts. (JG Photo/Ratri M. Siniwi)

'Local Startup Festival' Showcases Industry and Its Quirks

BY :RATRI M. SINIWI

FEBRUARY 25, 2017

Jakarta. A three-day Local Startup Festival hosted by local creative business communities Local.co.id and StartUpLokal opened in Jakarta on Friday (24/02), featuring industry veterans as well as novice startups and tech enthusiasts who shared insider tips and tricks on how to make it in the startup world.

The festival, themed "Tech for All," runs until Sunday. Its main aim is to create awareness about startups and the quirks of the industry. Startup companies in the festival's line-up include Elevenia, Bhinneka.com, GetCraft, UangTeman and Gojek.

According to veteran startup investor Shinta Witoyo Dhanuwardoyo, to make it in the fickle industry a startup founder needs to have a tenacious entrepreneurship spirit, a supportive team who shares the same vision and a strong business model.

"At the end of the day, investors are not looking at the product – we’re looking at the founders," venture capital firm Angel EQ Network co-founder Shinta said on Friday.

Shinta said good startups are always able to find solutions and make money doing it, not just rely on investors' capitals to bail them out.

"If your idea is solid and money-making, you don’t need an investor. Better to get partners. [Investors] will always be asking for returns," she said.

She believes Indonesian startups have the potential to go global if they embrace local content and make it relevant to the global market.

She mentioned the example of local game developer, Dread Out, which attracted the attention of online gamers around the world with a game featuring a high school student on the hunt for the legendary local female vampire, the kuntilanak.

"Now the developer is working with Oculus to create more impact for the game, like being able to stick scissors into someone’s eyes," she added.

The Bubu.com founder has been in the scene since 1996 and is desperate to improve startup ecosystem in Indonesia by providing mentorship and a chance to network with big players in the industry.

She said there are huge gaps to close for Indonesia to get to Silicon Valley-level of success.

"We have good developers but we don't get enough help to develop an encouraging startup ecosystem […] there needs to be more support from the government," she said.

Meanwhile, Shinta’s partner at Angel EQ Network, Sandiaga Uno, said that entrepreneurship is still not the prevailing culture in Indonesia.

He urged young Indonesians to take more risks and put away the fear of failure when starting up a business.

"We need to create a hub for entrepreneurs, so we can provide them with mentorship programs and help them prepare mentally for the challenges of creating a business," Sandiaga said.

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