Gojek’s food delivery arm GoFood has joined forces with Indonesian startup hub Digitaraya, coffee chain Kopi Kenangan’s co-founder and CEO Edward Tirtanata, as well as Indonesian celebrity chef Arnold Poernomo to launch a food startup accelerator called Digitarasa.
Poernomo will be the CEO of the new food startup accelerator, Digitarasa announced at a press event in Jakarta today.
“We have supported small and medium-sized food enterprises (SMEs) for over five years now and we understand the challenges faced by merchants. With tech innovation, GoFood has grown beyond a food delivery service as we’re also an enabler for SMEs in developing their businesses, ” said Gojek Group’s chief food officer Catherine Hindra Sutjahyo.
“After the success of Gojek Xcelerate, we are collaborating again with Digitaraya to establish Digitarasa that aims to help accelerate the growth of local food startups,” Sutjahyo added.
According to Poernomo, conventional food entrepreneurs, especially SMEs, are currently facing many problems, among them, a lack of knowledge to speed up operations, difficulties finding the right target market and partners, and maintaining traditional business models.
“The culinary business in Indonesia is growing rapidly and Digitarasa wants to help startups in this field to overcome those challenges. We’ll equip the startups with relevant knowledge and skills so that their businesses can compete in the market,” he said.
The accelerator comprises three programs. A bootcamp where startups can enjoy a series of mentoring sessions led by experts in the food industry; a business matchmaking session that will connect selected startups with potential investors and partners, and a culinary festival where startups will display and sell their products and get direct feedback from customers.
“From five years of working in the Indonesian culinary industry, I realized that technology is crucial in developing my business, especially in improving customer service and experience. Innovation and networking are also equally important to sustain the business. Therefore, I look forward to sharing my experience and knowledge with other local startups in this program,” said Kopi Kenangan’s co-founder and CEO Edward Tirtanata.
Selected startups will obtain access to business capital by Digitarasa and join the Gojek ecosystem, where they will be listed in the Gojek app.
Digitarasa will launch four cohorts this year. The first cohort is now open for applications until March 4 and Digitarasa will start selecting startups for its first batch by March 10.