Launching Indigo Fellowship 2011

Tahun 2011, Telkom Group kembali mempersembahkan program Indigo Feloowship 2011 dan Indigo Fellowship Award 2011 pada tanggal 16 juni 2011.  Tema yang diusung Indigo Fellowship 2011 adalah ”Digital Creativepreneur for Nation Competitiveness”.

Para pemenang Indigo Fellowship 2011 akan masuk ke dalam tahap inkubasi teknis dan bisnis yang selanjutnya dinamakan Indigo Venture. Di sini Telkom akan memberikan semacam financing kepada pemenang dalam mengembangkan karyanya. Karya kreatif yang berhasil menjadi pemenang juga mendapatkan kesempatan mengeksplorasi semua kapabilitas platform Telkom yang ada serta melakukan kegiatan  bersama di lingkungan Telkom Group.

Pada 2011 ini diharapkan 500 peserta dan karya kreatif bisa masuk ke meja dewan juri untuk diseleksi. Guna menyeleksi semua karya yang masuk, Telkom Group melibatkan para juri dari kalangan praktisi dan akademisi yang ahli dibidangnya. Total jumlah juri 20 orang.

Proses program, jadwal pelaksanaan, hingga cara untuk ikut serta dalam program ini, dapat dilihat di: FELLOWSHIP.PLASAINDIGO.COM

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Become profitable from day one is Good!

Become profitable from day one is Good!

“Advertising won’t get you there, services will possibly better to monetize”

This is the insight I got from Sarah Lacy – Techcrunch editor at large while she presents at SparxUp  seminar. My schedule this week is filled up with all about startup world, from Techcrunch visit to IDS|international design school (@idseducation) on Tuesday, sharing a startup insight with Startup Lokal (@startuplokal) on Thursday to SparxUp award seminar and award on Friday and Saturday.

Learning from SparxUp and Startup Lokal

SparxUp (@sparxup) is an award initiated by Semutapi to identify the most promising startup in Indonesia. Meanwhile Startup Lokal (@startuplokal) is a regular meetup event initiated by startup community as a support group. SparxUp comes with the whiz bang celebration by having seminar inviting Yahoo, Google, Techcrunch and startup pitch at fX atrium. Meanwhile Startup Lokal is a close discussion between startup and future technopreneurs.

I was invited as one of the judge at SparxUp. Being a bad judge, I was late to do the judging process, rarely attending the brief and miss the final awarding event. Still, I am able to attend the seminar and the public pitch by these startups.

Surprisingly, quite numbers of Indonesian startup rise to the surface. In the final, the selected few are done not by first timer, they have previously done other ventures or products. Even among the one that didn’t make it, I see a good potential, either product, technology or simply future creator or entrepreneur that are able to create value.

The winner is the one with a simple business model. As a startup, this surely win the judges vote, but in a real world, it needs a business acumen to bring the business model to become sustainable and scalable. So the real test comes not to win the award, but to be able to stand the test of time.

Then, what’s next? If it’s me, I will think really hard to find a profitable business model. A profitable business model is not necessary sustainable and scalable. Then it’s perfectly ok to have more than one business model. Test the market, make mistake, that’s what startup does. To give you a sample, Google monetization comes from advertising revenue (Adsense, Adwords), software as services (GoogleApps), ecommerce (Google Checkout). They also sells white label email services to telco provider and ISP. And they also provides search engine for corporate services.

So, become profitable from day one is good! And making money besides advertising is even better!

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7 Business Model from SparxUp Winner

7 Business Model from SparxUp Winner

You can check SparxUp site for the complete list of the winner. I like to highlight a few that I am familiar with. The one that I have spent sometime with the founders.

Gantibaju.com won the Most Promising Startup. I know Gantibaju.com while preparing my previous events, FGDexpo2009. I saw something interesting going on, that this site is a T-shirt designers community, in which they share their design and comments, very similar to Threadless. Even though the sales is not there yet, it already gathers a strong community support, a good indication! Their investor insisted on having a physical store that attracts visitors to shop. Online as a channel currently is too small. This site can be scaled by following a clothing business cycle and building relationship with various channels such as tying up with other retail stores which already have many presence.  It will give the benefit to the designers community to have more presence.

Lewatmana.com is a website offering traffic information, a real solution for Jakarta. It is created by Hendry Sulistiyo a close friend of mine from Malang, Very strong on technology integration, this site is yet to find a business model. My take on this site is to have a collaboration with GPS distributor who has the benefit for providing tracking information instead of traffic information. The business will comes from selling the device and subscription services. The traffic information becomes a value added services offer as a branding and mass communication.

eEvent.com, a software solution created by a developer based in Ohio have a good potential to offer services for event organizer to manage their event, from ticketing, payment and invitation. The challenge currently is that the electronic payment is not yet mass adopted. But I believe most event organizer in Indonesia is having a hard time to reach their own customers as they lack of CRM application. By providing simple services as email and invitation management, eEvent will be a solution for any event organizer. Later on, it can be scaled by providing targeted event communication or even become a ticket or sponsor aggregator. One of the founder turns out to be my high school friend from Malang.

Orori.com is a unique ecommerce site that offer one thing, wedding ring! How hard could that be, shouldn’t a wedding ring bought offline instead of online? Apparently George Budi Sumantri succeeded to persuade new couples to buy their wedding ring online. This business is really scalable, a small ring cost you hundreds or thousands of dollar. And the possibility is endless, since everybody will spend on valuable products more than once in lifetime. I truly believe in commerce, especially one with a very high margin like these.

Infokost.net is a real hardwork. Collecting all those boarding house data from around Jakarta is not an easy task, yet this site successfully get this data. The challenge is the business model though. I am not sure that small boarding house is willing to pay that much for a services or advertising. Hopefully so! But I think the same platform can be used for a higher margin such as villa in Bali or apartment, in which most of them are willing to share their customer acquisition to the site.
 

Lintasberita.com is very similar to Digg. It feeds traffic to other site. Currently the traffic is pretty impressive and has generated advertising revenue. But, I believe the business model have to grow one day, as currently it doesn’t really offer depth of information so practically forward any traffic to other site. Simple to monetize, but in the end, have to find something to become really scalable. Another site from Malang ;) . I am very proud that my hometown produce such numbers of successful dotcom.

Adadiskon.com have a very impressive Twitter followers. 57 thousands of followers and follow only 1, its founder. Talk about narcissism ;) Turns out Indonesian loves discount. This site have a potential to become the Indonesian Groupon, make a living by negotiating bulk discounted products and services. But currently it’s just too many Groupon copycat out there. So, let’s see who is the final winner in a few years.

I still have a doubt on casual game business model, even though Zynga proved that Indonesia is the biggest poker gamers and Farmville addicts. The problem simply we don’t have the micropayment platform. It will survive in short term if they get into mobile gaming services since it’s easy to monetize.

As for the rest, I have not spend enough time with each of them to understand the possibility. You judge yourself how this companies will grow one day!

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5 Inspiration from SparxUp Seminar

5 Inspiration from SparxUp Seminar

In SparxUp seminar, Sarah Lacy (@sarahcuda) from Techcrunch inspires me the most by having such a simple presentation in her hand written small note. Most of this inspiration comes from her while the last inspiration comes from the Koprol team.

  • Inspiration 1. Culture of openness and iteration
    Mark Zuckerberg learns everything from the failure of Napsters. What Facebook have today is keeping the improvement iteration. It’s all about execution.
  • Inspiration 2. Advertising won’t get you there, services will possibly better to monetize.
    If Silicon Valley have a second chance, most people will find a way to monetize even if it’s small number.
  • Inspiration 3. Find mentorship, not cash.
    A good mentor is better than millions of investment.
  • Inspiration 4. A product can be a copy, but find innovative business model around it.
    This is the lesson learnt from QQ, as they are able to monetize instant messaging
  • Inspiration 5. Getting investor IS NOT your exit strategy, it’s your chance to open a new market
    Koprol proves this by having 10 times the users before Yahoo acquisition, and Yahoo opens up Koprol services in other countries.

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5 Tips to Build Your Startup Business

5 Tips to Build Your Startup Business

Startup Lokal (@startuplokal) is a regular meetup event created by Natali Ardianto (@nataliardianto), Sanny Gaddafi, (@sagad) Nuniek Tirta Sari (@nuniek) and Aulia Halimatussadiah (@salsabeela).

Invited to sit as a panel in its 7th installment of Startup Lokal, I was put together with Chandra Marsono (@chandramarsono) from Oxford English School and moderated by Sumartok (@sumartok). Turn out that this is a vibrant night attended by many new startups and future technopreneurs which learn from each other and build their network.

This is some of my key points during the nights:

  • Tips 1. Choose to be a celebrity or making money, pick one!
    You might ended having both if you concentrate on one, but when you try to do both all at once, you will running out of resources.
  • Tips 2. Make money from day one
    Too many startup says that they use advertising as their revenue model. This is the sign that the site will fail since advertising can only be monetized at later stages where all the traffic has already built up. Find other short-term business model such as services or product selling and use advertising as other income. Kapanlagi.com did this by having mobile content company as a revenue generator to finance their website early stages.
  • Tips 3. Serving a bigger client is a simpler & more profitable in a short-term business model than advertising-based business model.
    Get into media industry by having advertising as a business model is a tough market. Getting into retail market too soon will drain your financial resources. Getting into B to B market is simpler since you serve a bigger clients needs. But keep in mind that B to B don’t build your brand, so keep your retail business to build your brand. Bhinneka.com did this by providing procurement services as well as retail market.
  • Tips 4. Brand is more important than brain.
    Partner with a bigger company and brand, tap in their customer database and offer value to this partner. Your own knowledge and effort to build your own market will usually take a lot more time than riding the access to market by a big partner or brand. Kaskus takes 12 years to build their own loyal community. Koprol reach quarter the users of Kaskus in 6 months after acquired by Yahoo. And you don’t have to be acquired to partner with other brand. The key is providing value proposition to this partner.
  • Tips 5. Value that you can offer: product, access to market, media and attraction factor
    Define your strength and look for partner that complement the other value. If you have a killer product, then find the right partner to access the market. If you have the access to market, look for the right product or media that benefit your customer, if you have the media, find something that will create a wow factor.

Hopefully what I share tonight will inspire future technopreneurs!

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Apakah Perusahaan Anda Siap Menerima Investasi 5 juta dollar?

Apakah Perusahaan Anda Siap Menerima Investasi 5 juta dollar?

Indonesia Internet industry is hot!

Indonesia sedang marak dengan gegap gempita industri Internet, mulai dari Sparx Up hingga kedatangan perusahaan-perusahaan private equity. Perusahaan private equity ini saat ini sedang mencari kesempatan di emerging market setelah mereka sukses di China, Rusia dan Brasil. Indonesia punya potensi sebagai pasar Internet, mobile dan game terbesar ke-4 dunia. Tiger Global dan IDG ventures yang berpusat di New York serta Naspers dari Afrika Selatan. Mereka memiliki dana untuk private equity investment dan dana untuk transaksi perusahaan publik.

Mereka ini sangat tertarik dengan market size industri Internet, mobile dan game di Indonesia dan siapa pelaku2 terbesarnya. Bagi perusahaan, berapa market share dari total market menjadi sangat penting. Misalnya total industri advertising iklan 20 T, berapa persen online mendapatkan persentasenya dan berapa persen perusahaan mendapatkan kue ini. Mereka mungkin juga akan bertanya siapa kompetitor dan berapa persen kekuatan perusahaan terhadap kompetitor. Dominasi atas pasar adalah hal yang mereka inginkan di kategori industri yang bersangkutan.

Hal utama yang mereka cari adalah: first mover advantage, terbukti di beberapa emerging market, meskipun pasar belum siap, mereka yang bermain duluan dan mampu bertahan akhirnya menjadi pemain pasar yang dominan. Kemudian mereka tertarik dengan year on year growth, seberapa kemampuan perusahaan untuk tumbuh, ini seharusnya seiring atau lebih dari pertumbuhan pasar. Berikutnya, mereka juga tertarik dengan kemampuan skalabilitas perusahaan.

Model bisnis apa yang akan memberikan short term, medium dan long term growth. Menargetkan kepada pasar retail biasanya akan bagus di dalam membangun brand, tetapi nilai market risknya besar sehingga sulit mengontrol pertumbuhan. Contoh short term growth bisa didrive dari kerja sama B to B seperti memiliki akes ke corporate market (contohnya adalah ecommerce yang mengandalkan kekuatan barang) atau melalui corporate besar ke consumer (contohnya mobile content provider) akan memberikan kemampuan skalabilitas yang lebih cepat meskipun margin jauh lebih kecil ataupun direct cost menjadi besar.

Medium term bisa dengan membangun retail market di mana profitabilitas lumayan bagus tetapi mahal dari sisi branding dan marketing. Salah satu cara yang efektif adalah dengan menguasai sumber product/content/service secara eksklusif. Akuisisi lisensi atas brand international atau partnership tujuannya adalah terjadi attraction factor dan transfer brand equity dari brand tersebut ke brand kita sendiri

Jadi setelah mampu membangun sustainability dari akses ke pasar di short dan medium term, bagaimana kita membangun long term business model yang scalable. Di sini posisi perusahaan harus mampu menjadi platform dan infrastruktur agar perusahaan lain bisa memanfaatkannya sebagai pertemuan antara pembeli dan penjual. Amazon melakukannya dengan membuat Zshop, dari retail menjadi marketplace. Prinsipnya, long term adalah bagaimana perusahaan akan menaikkan value sehingga mampu melakukan dominasi atas pasar.

Dari sisi funding, private equity mencari investasi minimum dengan range USD 1 – 5 juta. Pertanyaan bagi perusahaan adalah jika diberikan dana sekian, berapa akan tumbuh terhadap pasar dan jika diberikan lebih lagi, seberapa besar lagi akan tumbuh juga. Perlu diatur strategi berapa alokasi dana yang digunakan untuk pengembangan short term, medium term dan long term. Ada keuntungan yang ditawarkan oleh private equity di mana dana tersebut kadang2 kita bisa lari dari kenyataan short/medium dan hanya bertaruh pada long term. Pada beberapa kasus ini berhasil, tetapi pada banyak kasus ini membahayakan karena hanya konsentrasi pada pertumbuhan tanpa mampu melakukan monetizing.

Kesalahan besar dilakukan oleh perusahaan yang hanya berusaha menghabiskan investasi hanya untuk marketing yang ditargetkan ke pasar retail karena market risknya besar. Meskipun marketing ke market retail tetap perlu, perlu dirancang strategi akses ke market yang lebih fokus sebagai strategi short term. Kesalahan berikutnya adalah membangun operational expense yang juga terlalu besar dengan merekrut orang sebanyak-banyaknya. Kesalahan terakhir adalah dana ini digunakan untuk capital expenditure membangun platform yang terlalu besar di awal. Strategi platform adalah jangka panjang yang return di awal masih belum jelas

Investasi menjadi berharga ketika digunakan untuk membangun value seperti product, access to market, media dan attraction factor. Jadi sebagai founder dan eksekutif perusahaan, think like an investor! So, is your company ready to receive USD 5 million? It’s your call my friends!

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Plasa.com dan eBay, Kemitraan untuk Membawa Bisnis dari Indonesia Menjadi Bisnis Dunia

Plasa.com dan eBay, Kemitraan untuk Membawa Bisnis dari Indonesia Menjadi Bisnis Dunia

Enam bulan sudah Plasa.com memperkenalkan perilaku belanja lewat dunia maya, memeriahkan gegap gempita dunia Internet di Indonesia. Plasa.com adalah situs belanja dengan layanan lengkap, mulai dari fungsi pembayaran yang terintegrasi mampu menerima kartu kredit hingga layanan customer service yang selalu siap menjawab melalui telepon, email dan chat.

Membeli dan menjual di Internet bukanlah hal baru, meskipun di Indonesia hal ini merupakan gaya hidup terkini dari kita yang selalu menjalin hubungan via Facebook dan mengupdate status via Twitter.
Menariknya, cukup banyak lahir entrepreneur baru dari dunia maya ini. Ambil contoh, Jairus Madison dari Indonesia sudah menjadi pecinta uang kertas dan kolektor barang antik ketika seorang temannya memperkenalkan dia tentang belanjan online di tahun 2005. Dia dengan cepat dapat menemukan suatu tempat yang sangat baik untuk menjual dan membeli barang. Gagasan yang muncul dalam benaknya adalah “Saya mau menjual sesuatu!”

Kemudian, dia pun mulai untuk menjual uang kertas antik dari koleksi pribadinya. Dari sini ia mulai menggarap secara serius untuk menjual uang kertas karena pasar kolektor yang demikian besar, mudahnya pengiriman internasional dan produk ini memiliki nilai investasi yang besar.
Hal utama yang dilakukannya adalah komitmennya yang tinggi untuk membantu para pelanggannya untuk melacak paket kiriman untuk mereka dan menginformasikan kepada mereka jika ada penundaan atau jika mereka perlu untuk mengambil kiriman dari kantor pos.

Lahirnya seorang Jairus di Indonesia menunjukkan bahwa bisnis lokal mampu menjadi bisnis global dalam jangkauan akses Internet.

Kemitraan dengan eBay

1 mobil terjual setiap 1 menit dan 1 pasang sepatu terjual setiap 3 detik.  Ini adalah fakta dari eBay. Mereka memiliki layanan di 39 pasar online di dunia dengan jangkauan lebih dari 200 negara. Dengan 150 juta pengunjung situs, terjadi transaksi 3 juta barang setiap harinya di 50 ribu kategori barang. Ini adalah contoh menarik pasar global. Kunci utama di dalam membangun bisnis tentu saja adalah ketersediaan pasar.

Plasa.com memiliki visi membangun bisnis Indonesia untuk masuk ke pasar internasional. Kemitraan dengan eBay bertujuan untuk membuka pasar dunia bagi pelaku bisnis di Indonesia.
Indonesia memiliki demikian banyak produk unik yang diminati oleh pasar global. Ini adalah keuntungan dari warisan budaya kita.

Edmund Swoboda adalah seorang ahli batu perhiasan dan seorang perancang perhiasan di Indonesia. Ia mulai berbelanja di eBay lebih dari 10 tahun yang lalu. Kesempatan untuk menjangkau khalayak di seluruh dunia menginspirasi Edmund untuk mencoba menjual produk perhiasan dari koleksi pribadinya. Dia menjadi sangat sukses dalam waktu hanya 2 bulan, berjualan di eBay, yang kemudian menjadi pekerjaan tetapnya.

Sekarang ini, ia mengoperasikan bisnis eBay nya dengan fasilitas 500 meter persegi dan mempekerjakan 10 staf dengan 25 orang lainnya di bengkel perhiasannya. Seiring dengan pertumbuhan bisnisnya, Edmund mulai mengumpulkan mutiara dan batu permata yang jarang dan tidak biasa langsung dari sumbernya di seluruh dunia.

Penjualannya lebih meningkat diikuti dengan rancangan desain emas pribadinya. Ia fokus untuk menciptakan perhiasan yang unik dari bahan-bahan yang menarik ditemukannya melalui perjalanan keliling dunia.

Belajar dari pengalaman di atas, kini saatnya bisnis dari Indonesia untuk masuk pasar dunia melalui kerjasama Plasa.com dan eBay.

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