The opening of Kejora
It’s 5 PM and just any other weekday. Everyone’s rushing to join the Jakarta traffic to go home. I arrive at Wisma Barito Pacific at Slipi area, West Jakarta. I see no one in the lobby, except for for a lady at the reception desk. “Has everyone left for home already?” I ask.
“Don’t worry,” the lady says.
“The guys at Kejora never leave office before 7,” the receptionist adds, with a matter of fact knowledge that I’m here to visit the Kejora office.
I go up to ninth floor, where the new co-working space named Kejora is located. Inside, I see about 20 young people sitting in rows. “In this side are the startups from Jakarta Founders Institute and Ideabox, and this side is for startups invested by Mountain SEA Ventures,” declares Andy Zain, Managing Partner, Mountain SEA Ventures, introducing the 650 square-metre new new place, which opened up just a few weeks ago.
One of the walls is full of small colourful sticky notes, screaming plans and vision of these young entrepreneurs.
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“The facility is mainly for the three incubators I mentioned before, but not only limited to them,” says Zain. He informs that the name Kejora means ‘the morning star’, and true to its branding, the place is open to promising startups who need a hut and ecosystem to grow their business.
Sebastian Togelang, Founding Partner of Mountain SEA Ventures, chips in, “We are actually open to public. But, we are being selective about startups who can use this facility for free.”
Focus on the entrepreneur, not the idea
Mountain SEA Ventures is a joint venture between Mountain Partners from Germany and several other owners from Indonesia. They are looking for promising entrepreneurs, and if you think you fancy a chance, feel free to meet the board members.
Zain in fact holds an open house every Monday at 4 PM, where he receives entrepreneurs or wannabe entrepreneurs to hear out their ideas.
“We focus on the entrepreneur, not the idea. If we think the entrepreneur is promising, while the idea is not, we can drop the idea and make a new one,” he says.
With a minimal funding of US$ 500,000, Mountain is serious about its vision to build sustainable companies. The involvement from the incubator is also more than just giving an early fund. “The idea for the business can come from anyone — the entrepreneur, from Mountain, or from benchmarking with already successful startups of Mountain Partners Germany,” Zain explains.
Togelang adds, “We prefer entrepreneurs with some experiences. We love to see serious entrepreneurs with high spirit. He can be an existing entrepreneur or a profesional who wants to shift to entrepreneurship.”
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Currently, there are five startups who have become residents of Kejora, namely: Shoop, Dealoka, Ngomik, Unyu, and the soon to be launched CekAja. The first four startups are from Ideabox, while CekAja is funded by Mountain.
Describing the atmosphere at Kejora, John Patrick (JP) Ellis, Managing Director CekAja, says, “Many interesting people come here.” That’s in fact a short and sweet reply.
The bustle in the room reminds me Zain’s dream, to create and support an ecosystem for the birth of more morning stars from Indonesia.