Indonesian government renews its “1000 Startups” initiative

The updated initiative brings entrepreneurship programs to five more cities

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Indonesian government renews its “1000 Startups” initiative

Indonesia’s IT ministry, along with several ecosystem stakeholders in the country’s digital sector, is launching what’s called the “1001 Digital Startup Movement”.

It’s a continuation of the “1000 Startups” program initiated in 2016, which is basically a coordinated effort by multiple public and private sector stakeholders to boost entrepreneurship across the country.

Previously, the “1000 digital startup movement” was conducted in ten major cities; Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Semarang, Malang, Medan, Bali, Makassar, and Pontianak. In these cities, participants underwent a series of activities from meet-ups, workshops, hackathons, to boot camps and incubation programs.

During 3.5 years of implementation, the program hasn’t quite given birth to 1,000 startups, but it says that 525 digital startups with promising business were formed as a result of this push.

In an official statement, the ministry’s official Lis Sutjiati said “1001 Startups” focuses on expanding the scale of coverage and improving the quality of its startup development activities. One measure is to revise the program curriculum to focus more on incubation activity.

The program is also expanding to five new cities, namely Batam, Lombok, Padang, Balikpapan, and Manado and targets to have 5000 startups in the next five years.

The Indonesian government has shown enthusiastic support of the country’s digital industry development, although it does not match the degree of support startups in Singapore get from their government in terms of grants and access to venture capital.

But by and large, the Indonesian government is doing its part to give startups a leg up. In April, IT minister Rudiantara inaugurated the NextICorn Foundation that aims to provide opportunities for more mature startups to get access to growth capital and technology and marketing support. The minister targets to have at least 20 new unicorns in Indonesia by 2025. The country counts four tech companies valued at over USD 1 billion now.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad