Angel Investing in Indonesia: Could It Be The Answer?

Mark Wang, executive director of GEPI, is standing on the podium. GEPI is a part of a wider global initiative called GEP (Global Entrepreneurship Program) growing from an initiative of President Obama and is now a core program at the US State Department guided by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State.

Metaphorically saying, Indonesia is, let’s say, a remote jungle. It is wild, exotic in some way. No established housing is built, too many lice and mosquitoes are around yet some mavericks are still coming and coming.

Indonesia, unlike the US, has no established entrepreneurial ecosystem. The online payment gateway isn’t there yet. Shortcomings as well as challenges are everywhere to see. But that’s what makes it hot to the foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

In building their businesses, new budding Indonesian entrepreneurs have to mostly rely upon their own hard work due to the lack of solid, conducive ‘habitat’. Although entrepreneurship-themed seminars and contests are regularly and sporadically held in the country, almost all of them are mainly focusing on conceptual issues. On the other hand, banks in Indonesia tend to welcome entrepreneurs with more stable, established, profitable, and proven enterprises over startups.

So this just in: GEPI (Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia) just launched a brand new program like nothing before. ANGIN, an acronym resembling the Indonesian word for “wind”,  is meant to foster the development of entrepreneurial ecosystem in Indonesia.

With Ir. Ciputra and Jakob Oetama as the honorary chairmen, GEPI seemed ready to be the first formal institution serving as a bridge between entrepreneur in need of funding and a variety of domestic and foreign angel investors.


Ciputra stated in his welcome speech of ANGIN (Angel Investor Indonesia) launch that what he has witnessed so far led him to forming a formal institution which serves as a melting pot and bridge betwen entrepreneurs in need funding for their startups and angel investors wanting to invest their money in promising new enterprises in Indonesian emerging market. As we all learn, not many parties are interested in becoming angel investors in Indonesia thus far and this has been a great challenge for entrepreneurs in the country to thrive at their best.

“I started my own business around 50 years ago without considerable amount of capital, not to mention external funding. To add to my challenges list was the fact that I had to earn a living for my wife and my first child. At last I began asking for assistance of the government to set up a business with trust and hard work as its main capital. And because of this, my stock ownership in the business I was working for was extremely low, much lower than I actually deserved. I remembered possessed a mere 3 percent of the company ownership as I  started as a novice. I assumed the story would be totally different, much better even if back then I had an angel investor by my side,” the property tycoon related his own experience as an entrepreneur.

 

Chris Kanter, who serves as GEPI Chairman, stated in his welcome speech that ANGIN is aimed at becoming a bridge connecting funding parties, mentors and connections as well as startups from every sector and improves startup ecosystem in which entrepreneurs get funded by angel investors to create benefits, values and growth, and at the same time provides investment capital apprecation.

 

ANGIN would focus on startups in need of funds. Startups from all sectors are welcomed though it is said that entrepreneur references and angel investors’ preferences may play role in ANGIN. Investors are encouraged to focus the investment on certain sectors deemed more promising and apt. ANGIN will also provide opportunities of investment in various startups.

 

Aside from the property legend, the opening workshop themed “The Power of Angel Investing” at Ritz Carlton Hotel, Pacific Place (12/7/2012). John May of New Vantage Group (Active Angel Venture Funds) was on stage to elaborate the overall description of angel investing. A panel discussion was also presenting  Michael Cain, Jaka A. Singgih as a member of GEPI Board and Selina Limman (CEO of Urbanesia.com, a startup acquired by Kompas Business Group) who happened to be the rep of new budding entrepreneurs in the country.

About akhlis

Writer & yogi
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