Plugged In Startups
    Category: Entrepreneurs By : Ulisari Eslita Read : 867 Date : Thursday, March 01, 2018 - 23:36:36

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    Launched two years ago, Gan Konsulindo-Plug and Play (GK-PnP) Indonesia has now worked with a total of 22 startups. Its presence here is to fulfill a promise made after President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo’s visit to Plug and Play’s U.S. headquarters in February 2016. “When Pak Jokowi visited our headquarters in Sillicon Valley, he requested PnP to set up the same ecosystem in Indonesia that we had back in the U.S.,” says Wesley Harjono, president director of GK-PnP.

    PnP is a U.S.-based global startup accelerator that connects startups to corporations and investors, and helps them to grow. Founded in 2006, PnP has invested in more than 550 startups globally (one being Dropbox) and partnered with at least 200 corporations. PnP was started by investor Saeed Amidi, who famously participated in PayPal’s first round of investment. In Indonesia, PnP works together with investment firm Gan Konsulindo (the GK in GK-PnP).

    As an Indonesian accelerator, GK-PnP is looking for startups that can offer answers to real-world problems. “We are not looking for startups that have good technology but no market and can’t solve any problems,” says Wesley. To find such startups, GK-PnP screens potential investee companies for several metrics, such as the founders’ background, its technology and traction. The selection team checks that its technology solves real problems, and there’s a market for that solution. “During the initial phase, they don’t have to have lots of customers. Five customers is OK. It’s enough to show that people need their technology,” says Wesley.    

    GK-PnP has already “graduated” its first batch of nine startups from a special three-month program, and now is in the middle of a training program for a second group of 13 startups. GK-PnP picked the nine startups out of 400 applicants, who are invited to join an intensive three-month training program, that includes a series of workshops. These workshops can be on subjects such as pitching your startup to techniques for fundraising. The startups also get invited to networking events to meet various VIPs. Moreover, GK-PnP also invited investors and venture capitals, both local and global, to meet the startups.

    For funding, PnP gives $50,000 to each startup as a seed or pre-seed fund, with the possibility of more funds, either from GK-PnP or others. “Since we are working together with the startups daily, it is likely, along the way, both we or our corporate partners give additional investments to help them grow,” says Wesley. The first group of nine startups have received more than $1 million in funding, he says. According to Tech in Asia, five of its startups, Astronaut, Brankas, DanaDidik, KYCK and SayurBox got additional investment from various investors.

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