Summit brings together investors, startups in efforts to boost SEA ecosystem

Summit brings together investors, startups in efforts to boost SEA ecosystem

MORE than 30 venture capitalists (VCs), 50 international angel investors, and over a hundred corporates and LPs will attend the Global Ventures Summit 2017 (GVS) on April 19 to 21 in Bali, Indonesia.

This event aims to boost the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem by bringing together successful entrepreneurs and investors to meet, fund and to nurture the next generation of startup founders.

GVS founder Ahmed Shabana on March 22 in a media gathering hosted by Kejora Ventures said that Silicon Valley and regional VCs really want to do business in SEA’s market.

“We want to make it big and the way we approach them is to be open to everyone. I believe that we are going to see some great companies that are growing. My point is it’s just not about the market in Indonesia but also the talent pool. We can have talent from all over the world here.”

The three days will be filled with approximately 30 keynotes and panel discussions, The GVS Pitch Battle, and a series of closed-door investor meetings with LPs, VCs, angel investors, and policy makers who manage approximately US$3 billion to US$4 billion in working capital.

Half of them come from the US with crowd funding sources hailing from Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Korea.

Stable SEA market

It is important to ensure that startups and entrepreneurs are ready to share their ideas with the international’s market.

“I think we are ready. SEA’s market is huge and I think most Indonesian startups are learning from the experience of Silicon Valley. At the same time, people from Silicon Valley might want to understand more about the local market. This makes it a win-win learning experience. GVS is where we bring big markets together,” said Kejora Ventures founding partner Sebastian Togelang.

Togelang adds that SEA offers a big population, growing GDP, and technology to attract international investors.

“This is the place with a big population where the power of buying is increasing. With the help of technology, these will create huge opportunities.”

The region has many different languages, cultures, people, and countries and to Togelang, it is a good to test selling products to different market. As an example, companies can sell their products in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand after that they sell it in Indonesia, which a very good test bed as it is vast and made up of many provinces and islands.

“Indonesia is an important market, but we need to collaborate with other SEA markets to enable us to grow regionally,” Togelang explains.

Impact on Indonesia’s ecosystem

According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs, the country has 57.89 million SME ‘business units,’ which account for approximately 99.99% of the total number of businesses. This shows that SMEs are powering the Indonesian market.

According to Convergence Venture partner Donald Wihardja, Indonesia with its new technology trends will bring individuals and SMEs together to craft new ideas that are uniquely Indonesian.

He feels that GVS will impact Indonesia’s ecosystem and hopes that it will be a full-circle relationship between international investors and local startups.

“We went to Silicon Valley to pitch Indonesia’s ecosystem a few years ago and back then, we maybe only had two or three potential unicorns. But now, we have several and we have to make these ideas uniquely Indonesian. Our startups have to focus on being Indonesian and we can then bring our ecosystem to international VCs,” Wihardja concludes.

Tips for startups

Wihardja, Togelang, and Kejora Ventures managing partner Eri Reksoprodjo have several tips for startups and entrepreneurs who will attend GVS.

“You must understand the ecosystem and elevate the pitch. You must also understand who the players will be and remember your unique selling point, which should be uniquely Indonesian,” says Wihardja

For Togelang, from an investor’s point of view, the biggest fear for startups is failure, so he encourages them not to be afraid of competition.

“You have to be open minded, passionate, go to the people, and talk. Now both investors and startups are trying to open up to each other and this create a huge chance to collaborate and to build something useful.”

Reksoprodjo tells startups and entrepreneurs to be prepared with a plan of how to use the investments once they receive it.

“Be prepared in detail. Do not be afraid to know your weakness. You have to be crystal clear on what will be the values of the investment.”

Original article here by Digital News Asia

Attributed to Yunnie Marzuki

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