In early April 2018, Yansen Kamto, CEO of KIBAR and initiator of the 1000 Digital Startups movement in Indonesia, traveled to Beijing, China, where he had been invited to speak at a digital innovation conference organized by the Indonesian students association in Beijing (PERMIT). He was accompanied by Nicole Yap, VP of Strategy for Digitaraya, a KIBAR company focused on developing Indonesia’s digital startup ecosystem, Prasetyo Andy Wicaksono, Founder of Code for Indonesia, and Olivia Maria Brigitta, People Operations Officer at KIBAR.
The conference’s opening keynote was delivered by Pak Rudiantara, Indonesia’s Minister of Communications and Informatics, who joined by video conference. He spoke to the 150 students about the government’s initiatives to support the development and acceleration of Indonesia’s startups, namely the 1000 Digital Startups movement, and Next Unicorn, also referred to as ‘Nexicorn‘. He also expressed hope that the Indonesian students in Beijing would learn from the digital industry and startup ecosystem in China, and then bring that experience back to support the development of their home country.
Yansen then delivered a powerful message to the students about the potential for digital and entrepreneurship to move Indonesia forward, and why the time for their country to become a global player is now. He emphasized the importance and opportunity for entrepreneurship to solve the biggest problems facing his country in agriculture, education, health, tourism, energy, and logistics. He and his team also had the opportunity to mentor several participants who were thinking about becoming entrepreneurs themselves! The students left feeling energized and empowered to change their country for the better.
During the trip, the team from KIBAR also had the opportunity to meet with several local startup ecosystem builders. They toured one of the newest coworking spaces of fellow Google for Entrepreneurs partner People Squared (P2), a network of over 20 spaces in Beijing, Shanghai and Ningbo with over 300 startups and 10,000 active members. Their newest space, which focuses on engaging the music community, also featured recording studios and rehearsal rooms! The team also met with leaders at Innoway, a government initiative to support over 40 local incubators in the ZhongGuanCun area of Beijing. They toured the spaces and initiated collaboration talks between Indonesia and China to support and collect startups in both countries. They were also accompanied by several PERMIT students, eager to learn more about the local Beijing startup ecosystem.
With it’s rapid and focused development, China serves as an inspiration and sets an example for Indonesia to follow. The team left Beijing feeling motivated to bring their new learnings, experiences, and connections back to their home country.