Echelon 2014 Satellite’s next stop was Indonesia. It took place in Tangerang, a town on the outskirts of Jakarta that is fast becoming the go-to place for tech offices and incubators, on March 27, 2014.
A total of 10 enthusiastic startups pitched in front of a panel of judges comprising Edi Taslim, Director, Digital Group, Kompas Gramedia (Indonesian media conglomerate); Stefan Jung, Co-founder and Managing Director, Rocket Internet Southeast Asia; Thaddeus Koh, Co-founder and COO, e27; Michael Lints, Managing Director, Golden Gate Ventures; and Andi Kristianto, Vice President, Corporate Planning, Telkomsel.
Koh got the event rolling by addressing the 150 attendees on what they can expect from Echelon 2014. Gregorius Bimantoro, Founder, TanyaDok (an Echelon alumnus) also spoke on his experience being part of the Echelon family.
As observed in previous Satellites, there is a growing trend of startups pitching at foreign locations. It was the case even in Indonesia. The startups shared with this author that they were using the event as a springboard to reach new markets. Ronald Yu, CEO of Whoscall, an app that helps consumers identify unknown callers in real-time, had in fact travelled from Taiwan to Indonesia for the Satellite.
The judges unanimously declared Spavista the winner of Echelon Indonesia Satellite 2014. The startup simplifies appointment booking for beauty and wellness services. It has partnered up with popular spas in Bali, ranging from day spas to medical to yoga places. Suriafur Ken, Co-founder, SpaVista, sent the entire hall into fits of laughter with his candour when Jung of Rocket Internet asked what they do if the spas refused to comply on negotiation terms. He quipped, “If they don’t agree, we don’t partner with them.”
The People’s Choice award, on the other hand, went to JKTGo, an online city guide for what to do around Jakarta. JKTGo was a crowd favourite from the get go, with its vibrant presentation slides and its engaging speaker Ian Eryanto Wongso. “It all happened so fast! Just three days ago, we were applying to Echelon. While the award is unexpected, we are very happy about this!” said Wongso.
Dinopal, a startup that allows people to monetise their rides, also received a special mention by Jung, who said that the startup is revolutionising how people commute. He also said that the standard of pitches has improved quite a lot over the years.
Even as the Satellite ended, people stayed back, networked and shared their ideas. It was a particularly inspiring sight. Such initiatives do help ignite the hearts of entrepreneurs. Keep believing.