The Toad @ JFDI Day 7: Education too boring? Say hello to Wikasa
Meet Rama Manusama, the CEO of Wikasa as he talks about his motivation behind the startup and how it is blooming to its full potential with JFDIBy Theon Leong 31 Mar, 2014
Another week, another Monday. One of the trending topics today on Twitter is ‘Monday Blues’. So to kill off the monotony, why don’t you read about a passionate entrepreneur who set out to turn his small village into a mighty civilisation?
Enter Rama Manusama, CEO, Wikasa — the second team I am writing about in detail since the start of this 100-day series. Manusama describes Wikasa as a “Github for teaching” where ordinary people can share, build and extend online courses in bite-sized chunks of information. Last Friday, he gave an impromptu speech about his product in front of a crowd during JFDI‘s open house day. Such gutsy behaviour deserves an in-depth article.
Manusama left his stable corporate career, having worked with MNCs such as Royal Bank of Scotland and DSM, to work on Wikasa. He has an in-built desire to create and is willing to make sacrifices to achieve his goals. He has spent his savings to start Wikasa. On his motivation, he said that by entering JFDI, he aims to “turn his dreams into reality”.
Speaking of motivation, Ray Wu, Accelerator Programme Manager for JFDI, came down on Day 7 to conduct a quick workshop with the 13 startups. The principles Ray laid down helped them to set objectives and prioritise time. He posed a question to the startup founders, asking them their real motivation for joining the JFDI programme. Either they were not comfortable sharing or they still were trying to figure it out, as the answers given were not complete, but he sure did get them thinking.
Coming back to Wikasa, the idea for the startup mushroomed last year in April, when Manusama traveled down to Indonesia for personal reasons. There, he met Nicko Widjaja, early-stage venture capitalist, and discussed the primary concept of Wikasa. After continued conversations, the company was eventually started in August with two other Co-founders.
The want to create something big
As a child, Manusama enjoyed playing games like Sid Meyer’s Civilization, Tycoon games and Capitalism. He particularly enjoyed taking a small village into a technologically advanced state. Does that not mirror startups to a certain extent? Although, the subject is not about countries or assets, an idea is born small, but can grow big with the ingenuity of its founders. There is immense satisfaction to be gained from the end result, that makes the process worth it. Similarly, Wikasa has grown from its humble beginnings. The team has now learned to build the business in a more structured way, and is currently well underway in the process of developing its early-stage product. The exciting news is that Wikasa is going to conduct its Alpha test during mid-April, so that it can better understand its customers.
“It is good to have people to discuss ideas with, not only the mentors, but also the other 12 startups,” commented Manusama on the JFDI programme.