[UPCOMING] K-Content EXPO Thailand 2018

In K-Content EXPO Thailand 2018, 42 companies representing the Korean creative industry in various genre will participate as well as 9 startups. They are in the fields of broadcasting, game, VR, animation, character licensing, comics(webtoon) and edutainment materials. They are all ready to meet and show you their latest and finest content,
expecting new partnership and business opportunities.

 

About KOCCA

KOCCA is a government agency under the MCST, supporting the advancement of creative industry in Korea, which encourage global business and enhance cultural exchanges, MCST and KOCCA hold K-Content EXPO around the world yearly.

[UPCOMING] Echelon Asia Summit 2018

Join ANGIN at the Echelon Asia Summit 2018 to gain insight on South East Asia from over 130 speakers, showcase your products to thousands of potential customers, pitch and get funding from over 400 early growth investors and more! We have one ticket for an angel investor to attend – email meredith@angin.id for more information. And of course if you are in attendance, let us know. We would love to catch up and hear from you! 

Date: June 28 9:00 AM  – June 29 1:00 PM

Location: Singapore EXPO

Echelon Asia Summit brings together the key stakeholders in Southeast Asia’s tech ecosystem. Why? Because for truly impactful innovation to happen, we cannot operate in silos. Startups, entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators and incubators, and corporates need to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other. And we’re happy to provide the platform for that.

You can expect:

  • Presentations from top founders in Southeast Asia on their futures strategies, lessons learned and how they are going to be the next SEA unicorn
  • Hands on workshops sessions where founders can get deeper knowledge, how-to and strategies on some of the biggest startup challenges.
  • Pitches from 150 handpicked promising startups from APAC
  • A marketplace bringing together the best tech products and services in the region
  • 400+ early growth investors ready to get a slice of the next SEA unicorn
  • Country hosts from all over SEA to share about exciting opportunities in their markets and how you can bring your startup to a new market and go regional

Register here: https://e27.co/echelon/asia/register

Merlina Li: Founding Member of Indonesia Blockchain Network & Head of Partnerships at Triv

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Merlina Li and I’m a founding member of the Indonesia Blockchain Network. The reason why we founded Indonesian Blockchain Network is because we want to educate Indonesia on what blockchain is, and to eliminate scam projects from this industry, making it as positive as possible. I am also the Head of Partnership at Triv, the second-biggest cryptocurrency exchange in Indonesia.

How did you get to where you are today?

Actually, that’s a bit of a wild ride. I’ve been interested in technology since college. I majored in computer science because I wanted to play games (laughs). That’s the only reason why I got to technology, but then like I fell in love with it. It isn’t just about playing games; it’s about believing in the system, running the system, making the system more efficient without having to depend on a single identity. From there, I worked as a business analyst for Asia Pulp & Paper for five years. It was quite a good journey because I learned a lot of things about the industry, especially how the manufacturing and supply chain industries works. It really enhanced my current experience in blockchain.

Afterwards I worked for GO-JEK as the IT project manager for the core background team. In GO-JEK, they wanted to develop more females in the engineering side, because when I joined them, there were no female developers or female project managers in the core background team. So GO-JEK wanted to give more chances for women to perform in the engineering side.

GO-JEK was a pretty nice experience, but after awhile I felt that I should go deeper into blockchain. Because if I only stayed on one side, then I wouldn’t be able to see the whole side of the blockchain industry. I saw how blockchain is able to make people’s lives better, making things much more positive. That’s how I got into this industry.

What was it like being one of the first female project managers on the core team at GO-JEK?

Some of the guys really appreciated me, but some didn’t give appreciative looks because they thought females did not belong in the engineering side and aren’t able to work as developers. People really underestimate females in the technology industry. For example, if they know that you’re female, they say it’s not your field and it’s not what you should do. According to them, a female’s role is to be a housewife – cooking, cleaning the laundry, going to the salon, and putting makeup on. While there are some male counterparts that really appreciate females in this industry, some only think of females as the sidekick. That’s the bias we want to eliminate.

What advantages do females have in engineering?

Females tend to have more empathy, so we think more about the user side. We have empathy and also conscience, so we think more about how people are using our applications, how they navigate, how they run it, and whether its smooth or not. And the cost — I think females are more cost-efficient than our male counterparts. Therefore, I think both genders have to work side by side instead of mocking or putting down each other.

How did you overcome the stereotypes and expectations you encountered as a female in the technology industry?

In the blockchain industry, which is quite new, sometimes we try to keep our identity hidden. We want to know what people’s true opinions are, without gender bias. 80% of people in Telegram groups still call me a bro; I tell them that I’m a female, I’m not a bro! I think that blockchain is female-dominated right now. But some of the identities are anonymous, so some of the guys who work in blockchain are giving females a chance to prove themselves – wittingly or unwittingly. Most of the “blockchain bros” are much more appreciative of females in the industry compared to other technology “bros” — that’s what I feel in this industry. They’re more willing to give females a chance to perform.

What I’m trying to do is prove that I’m able to perform. Actually some of the “bros” still perpetuate the stereotype that females are not worthy to be in technology, but we are able to prove otherwise. That’s how we gain respect in this industry.

How conducive is the Indonesian market for blockchain?

I think Indonesia is a good place for blockchain to thrive. We are a big island country where not everything is connected yet, so there are a lot of things that could be interconnected in the future compared to other mature countries. Actually, some Indonesian people are more open-minded to receive new technology, so I think blockchain could develop in a way that will help them more.

Do you have any role models that you look up to?

My role model, I would say, would be my mom. Every woman is like a wonder woman — they can have a job, they can be entrepreneurs, and also have a family and kids. I think every woman in every stage deserves respect, whether they are a housewife or a career woman. I think every woman deserves respect.

How can we make sure more women are being more pulled into the blockchain community? How do we encourage more women to take that risk, take that jump, and go forward?

They could start through cryptocurrency trading — that’s the easiest way right now. Through this, they can see how the technology works and see which part of blockchain they want to contribute to. In cryptocurrency, females can jump in right away, and then start to learn step-by-step about the technology, about how the fundamentals work. I think what they need to be in the blockchain industry is open-mindedness. Because if they’re not open-minded, then it’s going to be hard to start in any industry.

The best tip I can give is keep trying to be persistent in this industry, keep their determination strong, and just keep going forward. If this is what you really want, you need to believe in yourself, and find people in the right tune with you. If people criticize you, just leave them behind and move forward with the positive ones. If you really believe that blockchain will be able to change people’s lives in the long term and not only in the short term, then that’s how you’re going to survive. Because you’re becoming persistent in what you believe in.

 

[RECAP] ANGIN goes to AVPN Conference 2018

ANGIN is proud to have both attended and participated in the AVPN 2018 Conference in Singapore. Valencia Dea, Principal of ANGIN, shared her insights during the panel, Financing the Missing Middle in Southeast Asia alongside several other policy experts. Riaz Bhardwaj presented ANGIN’s research findings during a Gender Lens Investment workshop hosted by Sasakawa Peace Foundation. The conference had a heavy focus on gender lens investment and women’s empowerment – a refreshing take on investment, especially as ANGIN expands its women’s empowerment  programs.

In addition, the team was able to attend meaningful workshops such as Big Data for Social Impact and Investing in Digital Inclusion and Last Mile Connectivity in Asia, hosted by the likes of USAID, Google, Microsoft, VillageCapital, and Mastercard. The Deal Share Platform speed-dating sessions were also eye-opening and informative as some of the best social innovations and entrepreneurs were given the chance to present their products and solutions. ANGIN is grateful to once again have the opportunity to attend the AVPN conference as a member and participate actively as speakers and attendees while reconnecting with old faces and meeting new ones. We look forward to more AVPN activities in the future and see the impact investment space of Asia to be extremely promising.

 

 

Pandu Sastrowardoyo: Spokesperson & Co-Founder of Blockchain Zoo

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Pandu Sastrowardoyo and I’m one of the co-founders as well as spokesperson for the Board of Directors of Blockchain Zoo. Blockchain Zoo is a consulting company based on the blockchain. We try to find out what companies want to do with the blockchain and we try to matchmake their business models, the business values they seek, and the kinds of blockchain technologies that fit them. We focus on being really agnostic; we don’t just focus on one technology, but multiple technologies, which is actually very rare in the blockchain consulting industry right now.

We’ve been here for about a year. But the people that founded Blockchain Zoo have been in the blockchain ecosystem for many years. A lot of us actually started nine years ago; blockchain is nine years old, so we have a combined experience in blockchain that is very unique. That’s how we are able to execute in such an agnostic fashion. Our experience is in a lot of our  technologies that for others have just appeared; we’ve been in those technologies since the very beginning.

How did you get to where you are today?

I started as an engineer — no, rewind. I actually started as a programmer when I was six years old. I learned to program when I was six. My dad really loved programming. He taught me to program. When it came time to choose a career, I chose to become an environmental engineer. This is very geeky, but what I did was I created expert systems, which are basically simple artificial intelligence programs back when I was in college. These expert systems are basically being used to create environmental impact assessment reports, which are usually created by humans.

Funnily enough, when I graduated I wasn’t actually accepted to be a programmer. I did try to apply, but somehow the only companies that hired me were marketing companies and consulting companies. I was accepted into Procter and Gamble for marketing rather than being a programmer. In my spare time, though, I did a ton of work just playing with games that I created on my own, while being an assistant brand manager. I went on to work in several other companies, but always at night I programmed, because I liked computers so much.

One day, I decided that I needed to utilize my computing capabilities and my developer capabilities, just to break into something that is closer to what I want and what I have skills for. So I decided to try out for IBM. I got into IBM, and I can say without exaggeration that the best years of my life were actually spent within IBM. I rose through the ranks very quickly. I started as a sales specialist, then I became country leader for product. IBM basically always allocated me for new products, the products they’ve never sold before or never opened to market before. I found my calling, basically. I was in enterprise IT. How to find the proper way for systems to be able to help people in their daily lives, and how corporations can utilize systems to make it easy for them to get value. I was in charge of about six divisions when I was in IBM, and I’ve lead multiple countries for most of them.

At the end of the six years in IBM, I found out that most Enterprise IT companies’ strategy for addressing blockchain was not agnostic when focusing on blockchain itself – something I did not agree with. Most consulting companies focus on one technology, and pushes that technology everywhere. It’s like they have a hammer and everything is a nail. They have exactly one type of hammer that is being pushed to solve everything.

So, I contacted my old friends – a lot of other people on our website basically, and after discussions we basically decided to create Blockchain Zoo. The idea is that blockchain is a jungle, so let’s create a zoo. That’s basically how I helped co-found Blockchain Zoo. The funny thing about my background is, if I had gone the regular route and just became a developer, I probably wouldn’t have the marketing skill sets, the sales skill sets, probably not even the enterprise IT skill sets, so I’m actually quite grateful for the journey that I’ve been through.

What are the challenges you face first in the technology space, and second as a woman entrepreneur?

The challenge as a blockchain entrepreneur in general is that a lot of people just equate blockchain with cryptocurrencies. Everyday I receive messages asking me for trading advice. Which is not something that I do! I mean, I’m a terrible trader. If I tried to trade, I’d lose all of your money. (laughs) Now, that sounds funny, but there’s a less funny part of it. Cryptocurrencies in Indonesia is a gray area for the government. The government doesn’t like it too much, so if I get associated with cryptocurrencies, especially in Indonesia, that dilutes my brand. It actually dilutes my capability as well.

Second — this is what’s funny about blockchain as a technology compared to other technologies — the killer app already exists, and that’s cryptocurrency. But actually the killer app is not the best app. Let’s talk about artificial intelligence for a moment. What’s the killer app for AI? I think it’s personal assistants, and I think in a few years, everyone is going to agree with me that the personal assistant is what the AI killer app will be. Well, blockchain started as bitcoin. It started as an app, so now people cannot forget the killer app. It’s really hard to get out of your mind. Because that’s actually the top of your mind, of what can be done. However, we at Blockchain Zoo focus on something that is not the killer app, but other solutions on the blockchain which actually have a lot of business value. For instance, blockchain for the supply chain, blockchain for trade finance, all of these things which are not cryptocurrencies. All of these things are not threats to the banks; they’re actually tools for the banks. It does sound like an awareness thing, but it becomes very complicated because the media insists on focusing on the sexy part, which is people getting money from almost absolute zero from trading cryptocurrencies.

In terms of being a female in the technology space…you know what, let me tell you several stories. One of the stories actually has to do with a friend of mine who is a very, very good programmer and developer. Yet she’s had a lot of issues in the past. The Whatsapp groups where the developers hang out are all boys and she is not welcome inside the groups. She works for a company that is actually on the same level of IBM, and she experiences discrimination. The reason why she’s not in the group is that a guy said, “Oh, if you’re in the group you wouldn’t like it because there’s a lot of dirty jokes.” Which is dumb, right? These are groups filled with developers. It’s not a joke group. For the people who are in technical fields, this often happens. There are sort of like boys clubs that sprout up. And it is a bit difficult for women to come in. Not because of the skills, no, but because of the resistance of the existing technical workers, who are mostly men.

Now, for an entrepreneur, it depends on the level. Right now I don’t experience these discriminatory practices. At the beginning, of course, being a female leader in the tech space, not just in the blockchain space, there are things that are expected differently of you. If you’re a guy in the IT space, you’re basically there because you have technical knowledge and you have business acumen. If you are a woman, there are two scenarios (and this is true in Indonesia, I am not sure for other countries): business acumen, maybe, or you are good at relationships, with the bapak-bapak (older men), with the guys who basically make the decision. We’ve seen that a lot. I’ve seen a lot of female managers who are literally flirting to get deals. And that actually happens a lot in the IT world.

I actually hired someone from my partner back in IBM, and well, we were going to bulk up this new partner company. And I’ve asked them, “Okay, so what would you like to have in your sales team, your sales manager?” And they wanted to have a pretty girl. Literally, their wishlist, number one, is pretty girl. So that still happens, especially for the IT industry. That still happens a lot. When you’re at the director level, the chairman level, or Board of Directors level, that doesn’t get associated with you. But when you’re still a young sales manager and you’re a girl, the first question would be this. Like you could see the calculations in their minds, and they are calculating whether you’re here because you can talk with people, or you’re here because you can flirt with people. The calculus is still there.

Do you have any recommendations for how leadership or even everyday employees can start fixing that mindset?

This has to come from both genders, of course. Men especially, the technical guys, should try to make women feel more welcome. Women have a lot to add to the conversation. I’ve worked with both male and female developers, and they all have different thoughts to add. It’s not something cliche, like “women are better at user interface.” With the addition of women into the workforce, you get additional thoughts that you as a male might not have thought of. Simply more variety in terms of your thinking. When I see the construction of boys clubs within developer organizations, those are usually because of dirty jokes, because of people trying to have fun. But in terms of professionalism and basically to make people welcome, it may be best to discourage these so that you can have a very safe environment for everyone in the end.

I think there are two suggestions for women ourselves: if you’re a woman, you’re a technical person, and you really want to be a programmer, don’t be afraid of venturing inside the boys clubs — it doesn’t mean you have to be a boy or a tomboy even. Just be yourself, but show that from a merit perspective you have the capability. In the end, I think it’s all about capability. If you want to be more of a business manager or developer, I think it’s the same. There will be people looking at you sideways, especially in this industry, and that’s going to be true at least for the next few years. But just focus on the merit of the discussion, your business acumen, your ideas. Don’t let the guys push you to do just relationship-selling. Focus on the content. The content will set you free.

Can you speak more on blockchain’s unique positioning with women?

Other technologies are not inherently community focused. For example, AI has a community, but without a community the technology itself still works. Big data, yes of course there are communities sprouting around big data, but that is less about the technology itself than the gathering of the data. Now, blockchain – and especially the more public blockchain like ICO activities – even the development of new technologies are all created by communities. It is a way to make multiple people from competing interests work together as a group, as a whole. That requires a lot of community acumen. Which means the successful ICOs, the successful technologies of the blockchain, have both active technologies and active communities.

I’ve been saying this for awhile. Women are actually very good at the social aspects of technology, which until now was just social media. We are better social media users, we post more on social media, and we have an innate understanding of what creates a good community, whether its online or offline. Social media itself, have you ever heard of CAMS? Cloud analytics mobile social? About three or four years ago, it was decided that the next trends of IT was to be CAMS. Everyone was about to be working with social media; if you were in an office you’d be using something a lot like Facebook, within an enterprise. That never came to pass in enterprises, but it did come to pass in blockchain work. The way people work in blockchain — we don’t use emails. We use our own internal social media, like Telegram. It grew out of the importance of communities.

I think women in blockchain actually have a lot of potential that can be pushed. And Indonesia itself needs to be more open to this possibility. The women of Indonesia need to understand that this is a wonderful niche where women can make or break a new blockchain project. Whether the project succeeds or not could be determined by whether there’s women or not.

What’s something that you’re excited about in terms of Indonesia in the blockchain space?

I’m excited by the number of islands that we have: 17,000 islands. The number of people that we have: 260 million. And I’m also excited by the fact that we can’t get along. There’s a lot of autonomy because of democracy. Which is good, you know. Regional autonomy is good for countries such as ours. But it also means that it’s really hard to merge data, because everyone wants to own their own data. That also means that our identities might not fit. For example, I could have an identity card in Jakarta, but I could also have one in Kalimantan. And no one’s the wiser because there are different databases for each of them. The capability to merge multiple databases into one single stream of data into the blockchain without forcing people to centralise would be a boon for the entire country. And I think it’s something coming soon in multiple aspects of our daily lives in the next couple of years.

Finally, do you have any advice for young women who want to follow your path and go into programming?

It’s all about following your passions. I’ve never let go, in the many years where I was selling shampoos, when I was working in Sampoerna, I’ve never let go of my passion for computing, and that has always been my passion. That sounds geeky, it sounds weird. It’s just, you know, coding is my passion, computers are my passion, and I’ve never let go. So, I think, don’t follow me, but follow your heart. Follow what your passions are.

 

Suri: CEO & Founder of Diffago

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Suri. My complete name is Ni Komang Ayu Suriani and I’m founder and CEO of Diffago.com, an online platform helping to organize corporate social responsibility (CSR) for impacting disability issues.

I started my career in disability issues five years ago as founding team and project coordinator of DNetwork.net – a pioneering jobs network connecting people with disabilities to employment in Indonesia. During my journey as project coordinator in Indonesia, I realized that there are so many factors impacting the disabled community’s chances of gaining employment. Some of those factors are education, mobility, accessibility – among others. That’s why since January 2018 I started Diffago.com, to address some of the issues that cannot be tackled by my previous organizations.

Diffago has four services. First, we are creating a platform – it is similar to a crowdfunding model, but we will approach companies and organization to give their CSR for disability issues. Second, we will provide trainings that prepare those in the disabled community to be work-ready. Third, we will connect them to companies to get employment. Fourth , we will provide a platform that will connect buyers with disabilities in the middle-up level who need mobility aids (prosthetic leg. Prosthetic hand, etc) to mobility aids provider. So it is helping people with disabilities on a very economically diverse level. Because one of the issues that people with disabilities face here in Indonesia is that not many of them know where to get appropriate mobility aids. Especially for people from middle-low also middle-upper economic class.

Why is disability an issue we should care about?

There is a huge population of people with disabilities in Indonesia. Based on the International Labour Organization data in 2012, there are approximately 24 million people with disabilities in Indonesia. Of that 24 million, 13 million are unemployed – over 50%. Unemployment affects other sectors as well; largely the root causes are lack of mobility, accessibility, and education. They cannot attain a good education because they cannot go out easily; there is no infrastructure to help them do so independently. Many of them are not as mobile as able-bodied people; they can’t just go anywhere at anytime. It’s very hard for them. That’s why it’s so hard for them to get employment, to get better education, to get better health. That’s really what made me go, “Wow, this is a very complex issue.” It’s much harder to address than it seems.

And besides, anybody can become a person with disability at any time. If you don’t care about these issues, if you don’t care about creating inclusive communities, then what will happen? If you become a person with disability from, say, a car accident, what will happen next? This is a societal issue. We have to care, we need to create more inclusive communities for people with disability – if not for others, then for ourselves and future generations.

What are some unique challenges that women might face in the disabled community?

The majority of women with disabilities find major difficulty in gaining employment and education. This is also the case for able-bodied women without disabilities. You could imagine how much harder it is for women have disabilities. It’s also related to the culture in Indonesia. Again, even for women without disabilities it’s a very difficult to get involved in the community, to gain meaningful employment, or achieve a high level in the workplace. Even in attaining education. Because some people in Indonesia believe that if women get married, they will end up in the kitchen. So why bother attaining higher education? Can you imagine if those women also had a disability? It’s an even worse case for them.

Are there specific ways we can help women with disability? In which areas can we help them?

We need to ask ourselves how we can build their confidence, how we can help them to feel that they also have value and a good future. And we must help them realize that value first. If they realize it, then we can help them to increase their confidence. If they have the confidence, we can help them to gain employment and education, to integrate and involve them in the community more. We need them to realize that, “Hey I’m a woman, I’m smart, I’m beautiful, I’m a human being just like you who deserves employment and a good livelihood” – instead of just staying at home and waiting for help form their family. At the present, they feel as if they can’t do anything, even though they’re adults. As if they have to wait for their families, or that they can’t make decisions for themselves. I think we can really help them realize otherwise through family approach to change their family mindset firstly that their daughter/ aunty/ whoever women with disability in their family; they also have a “holly” future that we can help to create together tobe a better one. Then we can involve them into trainings and workshops related to the problem they face..

What’s it like to be a (female) entrepreneur in Bali?

It’s like you’re entering the real jungle, you know? (laughs) It’s so hard, especially in Bali. The resources here aren’t like those available in Jakarta. It’s hard to access opportunities. Events, network, et cetera. Even my own team – none of them are based in Bail. All of them are in Jakarta or Bandung. I’m actually the only one here in Bali.

Being an entrepreneur is challenging for me. I have no background in business; I studied law and have experience in the nonprofit sector. But I’m the kind of person who loves to learn new things, and most of my team members have a business background so I learn from them. And I got motivation from my advisor, Faye Alund . She’s someone who had experience in the nonprofit world for 10 years but still found success in business. So I am sure I can learn; it may take time, but through my team’s and advisor’s help, I will learn how to build a social enterprise. Because social enterprise is not exactly the same as a commercial business right? So we have to think on two sides: how to be sustainable and generate revenue, and but also the social aspect as well. It’s very hard. Maybe harder than just running a 100% commercial business.

Have you faced any specific challenges being a female entrepreneur?

Yes. For instance, when we’re trying to approach investors or when we need to pitch, sometimes I don’t feel very confident. I feel intimidated because all of the founders are men and constantly think like, “Oh okay! Am I doing good?” So confidence. And how to approach investors — most of the investors are men. How do I approach them? Making deals with impact investors and investors in general is quite challenging. That’s the most difficult thing I think.

What are some other challenges you’ve faced in the startup space?

I find so many challenges. One of those challenges is how to build a solid and strong team. I am the only female in my team, by the way. My whole team is male. As a startup, we are quite small as well. We don’t have a huge amount of money to work with, so most of us work pro-bono.

Another thing is that it’s very hard to explain some of my decisions to the team because none of them has a background in disability issues. Disabilities in Indonesia, it’s a very complex thing. It’s not what you think. It’s not like, “Let’s just do a coding training” and that’s it. No. After that, then what? It’s not like that. If you think, “OK, we just train them in IT and then they can start their own business and work from home” — actually, you have to build up their confidence, their professional mindset, their mentality. So that if they work from home they will not only finish their job, but finish it well. It’s a complex thing. I have to explain this to my team. They’re from a purely business background, no social background. That’s one of the challenges.

Resources is a huge challenge. That is, access to networks, funding, angel investors. Disability isn’t a sexy issue, it’s not trendy. So how can we convince potential stakeholders that this is an urgent issue as well as a pressing social issue? That if they help us then they can create significant impact. It’s challenging to convince impact investors and angel investors of this.

What is the startup and social enterprise scene like in Bali?

I think there are not as many as in Jakarta. Maybe it’s due to the culture. the Balinese mostly prefer to have careers in hospitality, or civil servants, or in travel and tourism. Being a social enterprise or having a startup…maybe it’s still rare or not very familiar for us. This is what I heard. I heard Balinese don’t really like to take risks. And social enterprises and startups are full of risk, right?

So what got you to take those risks and start your own enterprise?

I have a vision. I really want to make a bigger impact for people with disability. I see this is as an opportunity. And if I’m not the founder, it’s hard to make an impact. If I work for others I need to wait for their instructions. If I’m the founder, I can set the agenda. I can make the policy. I can decide quickly. So I thought, well, this is the time to be 100% involved in entrepreneurship. And I think social enterprise is the best choice for me rather than starting a non-profit, because nonprofits are very hard to sustain.

Do you see Bali as becoming a startup hub?

Like I mentioned before, it isn’t popular with young Balinese to build a startup. We will mostly choose the safer way, the safer career. But I think Bali has a huge potential to become like Bandung or Jakarta. Maybe in 10 years. Through 1000 Startups Program…I think that’s the gate for young people in Bali to see more opportunities in entrepreneurship. Because maybe we’ve never seen success stories from Jakarta or Bandung, we don’t know so much about what’s out there. But if we are exposed to those success stories, if successful entrepreneurs come here and share their stories, then maybe slowly but surely our mindset will change.

Do you have any tips on overcoming that initial feeling of doubt and finding that confidence?

Just do it. Sometimes we have so much doubt in ourselves. We’re afraid to start, we forget that the first step is to just do it. How? First, set your goals. Like, why do you want to create this company or social enterprise? What is the impact you want to create? You have to make it clear. So that when you ask someone to join your team, they can also share your vision with you. So you will have one vision together.

After that, once you follow your heart or your passion…somehow, it can take a long time or a short time, but you will find a way. No matter how hard it is, as long as you believe in it and start it you will find a way. When it comes about, it depends on the network, the opportunities. That’s why I also mentioned the importance of location, like Bali versus Jakarta for instance. But nevertheless, just start it. Very often I feel I doubt myself, like, “Oh my God, disability is not a sexy issue.” But every time I feel that, I remember, “Wait, well, I created this for a reason and this is a good reason. I believe there will be a way.” Maybe it won’t happen right away. But I keep doing it. Because if I stop even for a bit, it will take longer to achieve my goals. So just do it, keep moving.

 

Claristy: Operations & Growth Lead at Luno

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Claristy and I am the Operations and Growth Lead for Luno. Luno is a global digital currency platform that operates in 40 countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe. We aim to help people to buy, store, and learn Bitcoin and digital assets easily and securely. In Indonesia, I manage the day-to-day activities and operations to ensure that the business is growing smoothly. I joined Luno around two years ago. Initially I never thought I’d be in this industry – digital assets, digital currency, cryptocurrency, and blockchain – they are all really new to me. You wouldn’t see a lot of people in these industries yet, but I’m really happy to be one of them.

How did you get to where you are today?

So when I was in college, I was learning about public relations, communications – working in that field was my absolute goal. I wanted to work as PR at big, global companies: representing them, speaking for them, talking to media, et cetera. But when I interned at a PR agency, I learned that a lot of things that I thought what PR was about is not what they were. Maybe I was just being really innocent, but I thought PR was something really pure – like you’re representing the company, connecting with the community & the people so they will understand your vision. That is, until I heard of this motto in the PR industry: “We are not lying, we are just telling the truth that we want to tell.”  Yes, You’re not actually lying, but I feel like that means you’re not actually being honest with what you’re doing either. I believe not every PR or company works like that, but after seeing more cases around me realize that this is not what I wanted anymore.

So I decided to look for the other industry or division that I might have interest in. It was close my graduation so I had that pressure of ‘finding the right job that pays well’ ASAP. I was really ambitious before so I felt like it was a race with my fellow colleagues. Typical fresh grad. I found out that startups were beginning to build momentum so I tried searching for a job in one. I was actually offered a role in a local fintech company as a Digital Communication Specialist until a senior of mine, who worked with me together when I interned at GEPI, introduced me to Luno. He was trying to find somebody to work as a country analyst. I was like, “I have no idea what Bitcoin or digital currency is, much less what being a country analyst actually means.” But he told me that I can do a lot of things in Luno. I can work on operations, marketing, advertising, community engagement, and I can also speak to customers, interact with media – a lot of things. I’d be basically assisting the country head to make sure things run smoothly in Indonesia.

But I was still unsure. At the time, everyone thought Bitcoin was all about buying narcotics on the black market, funding terrorism, and money laundering. And I had nobody to ask about these things because not a lot of people were knowledgeable about the topic. So I spoke to the CEO of Luno, Marcus, who explained what Bitcoin was to me. He made me confident that I would grow a lot in Luno, and I love how humble he was (and still is). I was a fresh grad after all, but there was never a moment he underestimated me and that to know that somebody believed in my ability to give value to the company – I decided to go with this offer. So that’s how I jumped into this industry and got the chance. And now I’m really glad that I’m one of the people who knew about it before others did.

Can you explain a bit more about what Bitcoin is exactly? What’s so special about it?

Basically, Bitcoin is a technology that allows a cheaper, more efficient, and more effective money transfer between two parties. People call it a currency because it works like money, but it’s actually a new technology that facilitates the exchange of money. And it affects money just like the Internet affected information back in the 90s. But the difference is that back in the 90s when you knew that the Internet was going to change information systems, you could not actually invest in that technology – even if you believed that it would revolutionize something big. But for Bitcoin – you can actually invest in the technology. That’s why people are buying Bitcoin and other tokens. Currently, we see people using Bitcoin as investment vehicle rather than a currency. People don’t use it to pay things yet, but that will happen in the future.

What’s are some challenges currently faced in the Bitcoin industry?

I think the huge challenge is that you have to educate a lot of people about what exactly Bitcoin is. Of course there will be people who will misuse the technology, but there will be a lot of positive things that will happen because of Bitcoin as well.

And it’s not just about educating current Bitcoin users, but also people who want to do something with the industry – people who want to work on Blockchain or in the Bitcoin industry but haven’t yet. I really appreciate the people who educate themselves on Bitcoin and dive into the industry. But a lot of people will choose the safer route rather than this new industry.

What are some interesting use cases that you’re excited about in the Bitcoin and Blockchain industries?

An interesting use case of Blockchain is for elections, or say, voting – storing data or information of voters before they vote, and storing the vote that they give. This will diminish the possibility of a third party intervention making the data unreliable. It’s something that people are trying to encourage governments or even companies to implement.

The other intriguing use case is that I can create a contract between you and me without having a notary or third party helping us. We can store all information in the Blockchain and the contract will run automatically. It will read whether you give me the payment when I give you the service, and whether I really give you the service or not. This will make it more efficient and effective for two people to do something without a third party. Less cost, more efficiency.

For Bitcoin, it would be international money transfer. For example, if I need South African Rand I would have to buy US dollars first here, because Rand isn’t available in any money changer in Indonesia. I will then need to bring this USD to South Africa to exchange it. Hence, there will be double rates differences and fees I need to pay – not to mention the hassle of going through this whole process.  If I do it by bank or internet banking, the bank will charge me fees.But with Bitcoin, I can send money instantly after exchanging it to Bitcoin, so it will be cheaper and faster. So Bitcoin actually allows for a cheaper and more efficient cross-border money transfer.

How is the Bitcoin industry like for women?

Actually, I only know three or four Indonesian women in this industry outside of my company, as there are not many companies in Bitcoin. At Luno, 40% of our company members are women. Everyone is equal here.

Sometimes I feel like I’m even a bit better because naturally women are better at details, right? For example when we have event, women will be looking at the details to ensure nothing is missed and that things will run smoothly. And as our industry involves people’s money, we need to build trust and relationships with customers. So if a Bitcoin company has women working on this, I believe it may work better. Women have a way with communicating with empathy and feeling more, that the social skills will help us in speaking to customers.So I think all companies should have women, especially those in the fintech space.

Yet I think a lot of women in general are not in the industry yet because first, it’s a very new industry and people – they tend to lean to something safer like fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) or multinational corporations, etc. – something that everybody knows about. Digital assets aren’t something that everyone knows about, right? I hope that women can be brave in this industry because I think it’s just as welcoming as any other industry.

Have you faced any challenges yourself as a woman in this industry?

There’s this funny thing that happened to me when I met a bank manager for work. I think it’s because I’m young and a woman, and he didn’t expect an operations lead at Luno to be this young and to be female. When he first saw me, his facial expression translated how shocked he was. Like he looked so — I really think he was looking down on me. I was laughing in my head because his facial expression really showed it all!

So this is one tip for people who think they are too young or feel inferior in given situations. For me, I just wait until I have the chance to blurt out everything that I have prepared in my head. In this case, I just started explaining after he finished his questions, “Oh yes we do know risk scoring, API, sanction list, and this is what we do…”. And that is when I saw his facial expression started to change. He began to smile and became more welcoming. He stopped investigating me and started promoting his own product. So that’s one funny situation where I was looked down upon as a young woman in this industry.

Do you see any notable Bitcoin trends in Indonesia?

I think for Indonesians, it’s hard for us to take risk compared to other companies. We need someone to take us along the process to try new things. I think that’s how Bitcoin users in Indonesia are different from those in other countries. For example, Luno’s app is built to be intuitive and it is the same for all users around the world, but for Indonesia we have to add a special segment that actually explains the process of depositing money or sending Bitcoin or something like that. A lot of users will send us tickets or questions via social media to reach us asking us to explain step by step. That’s why in Indonesia we do community meetups to explain how we do things. We also do webinars, events, Youtube videos, step-by-step responses, and others. We don’t really do this in any other country — even if we do, it’s less than what we do here. We need to be more passionate, careful, and detailed in the Indonesian market. But to be honest, the whole process is actually more rewarding. Indonesians tend to be more thankful when they know you are there, together with them, and you have helped them going through this process of upgrading themselves to a better financial world.

 

[RECAP] Oracle Startups Festival Cloud Acceleration Day

On Wed (9/5), David from ANGIN was invited to speak at the Oracle Startups Festival Cloud Acceleration Day in Yogyakarta. Many Yogyakarta startups showed up to this event, and all of them are very enthusiastic and eager to learn more about the digital economy ecosystem and the investment landscape in Indonesia.
Here are the key takeaways:

  • Indonesia is soon to be ASEAN’s biggest digital economy country
  • Digital economy ecosystem in Indonesia is growing, corporate such as Oracle are showing their support as well as the government, coworking spaces, startup accelerators and incubators, and of course funding.
  • There are 6 criteria to assess whether a startup would be a good fit for an angel investor or not: ticket size, timing, type of funding, industry, tech/non-tech, and in which stage the startup is in.
  • When evaluating the startups, we look at these criteria: team, value proposition, business model, strategy, monetization, execution, valuation, and exit/return opportunity.

We hope all the entrepreneurs who attended the event gained significant knowledge of the investment landscape and digital economy ecosystem!

[RECAP] Young Technopreneur (YTech) Award Ceremony

On 16 May, 2018, ANGIN attended the Young Technopreneur (YTech) Awards Ceremony, located at @america. The YTech program is strengthening U.S.-Indonesia partnerships in the digital economy and helping usher in cutting-edge digital solutions and apps by young Indonesians to address local and global challenges. Young technology-backed startups pitched in front of a panel of investors, who gave their candid feedback. This spirited session was followed up by the awards ceremony and an inspiring speech by US Ambassador Donovan.

ANGIN is excited to have witnessed such strong determination from these young startup leaders. We are excited to see further programs supporting Indonesian startups from our friends at the US Embassy.

 

[RECAP] NextICorn International Summit 2018

ANGIN was honored to have attended the NextICorn International Summit 2018 from 9 – 10 May 2018, held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center. The summit was opened with amazing speakers including Chairman of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board Thomas Lembong who spoke directly to the audience on the administration’s dedication to supporting the startup ecosystem, the managing director of Sequoia Capital India Sheilendra Singh, and Minister of Communications and Information Technology H.E. Rudiantara. An all-star panel with Indonesian Unicorn CEOs comprised of GO-JEK’s Nadiem Makarim, Traveloka’s Ferry Unardi, Tokopedia’s William Tanuwijaya, and Bukalapak’s Achmad Zaky then spoke about Indonesia’s startup potential in a digital age and their own unique journeys and experiences.

The rest of the conference bustled with activity. In the main hall, speakers from different industry verticals such as fintech, health, and education spoke to concentrated audience members. Meanwhile, hundreds of meetings were occurring between hopeful startups and investors in hallways, meeting rooms, and lunch tables. In total, 70 curated and selected seed to Series C startups were present, including ANGIN’s own portfolio company, Taralite.

ANGIN is delighted to have partaken in such a meaningful and productive conference. We are grateful to have reconnected with so many familiar faces and meet many new ones, and highly anticipate next year’s NextICorn summit.