The sprawling capital of Jakarta is the undisputed heart and soul of Indonesia—and with the help of a forward-looking government, the city is also poised to become a central tech hub of ASEAN. It’s no wonder that an increasing number of creative entrepreneurs are calling the city home.
These reasons—and many more—make Jakarta an ideal place for starting up a tech venture. Here are the top 7 that might make Jakarta the next Silicon Valley in the near future.
7. An entrepreneurial environment and culture of innovation.
Jakartans have a knack for putting a fresh twist on tradition—for example, the unicorn tech startup GoJek taps into the region’s traditional reliance on scooters with its Uber-like platform and mobile app. Others similar ventures include Indonesia’s preeminent virtual personal assistant service YesBoss and Bhinneka.com, the largest O2O firm for IT products/services.
6. An emergence of strong tech startup ecosystems and partnerships.
Jakarta’s startup ecosystem has skyrocketed in the last few years, with VCs such as Ideosource and incubators like Skystar Ventures and Kolaborasi on hand to help local entrepreneurs bring their ventures to market.
5. An abundance of highly educated and skilled young professionals.
Despite experiencing an employment rate drop this year, the number of employable professionals on the market continues to be an abundant resource for Jakarta-based startups looking to bring on hi-tech talent. Additionally, this group is part of an enormous addressable market for firms building consumer products and services (e.g., mobile-based startups focusing on the country’s 95 million smartphone users).
4. Indonesia’s global leadership in technological innovation and advances.
Indonesians have a long-standing reputation for technological ingenuity and Jakartans are at the forefront of this lineage. Mobil Arina (automotive) and Smart Eagle (UAV) are just a few recent examples of born-in-Indonesia tech innovations.
3. Creative leaders are paving the way for the next generation of Jakarta-based entrepreneurs.
Early innovators and success stories such as Indowebster-founder Juny “Acong” Maimun and Andry Suhaili—founder of PriceAre —are actively sharing their business savvy and lessons learned with local tech entrepreneurs aspiring to achieve similar successes in the region.
2. Jakarta—as the home of Secretariat of ASEAN—acts as a hub of regional/global business activity.
As the headquarters of ASEAN (compromised of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam), Jakarta plays host to a continuous flurry of regional and global activity that bring with it ongoing exposure and investment from abroad.
1. Increased government support and public initiatives for the tech startup community.
Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo recently announced a set of initiatives aimed at transforming the country into Southeast Asia’s largest digital economy by 2020. This plan consists of an e-commerce road map and 10 economic policy packages—from the formation of tech startups financing programs to the funding of a research lab/center in Jakarta.
All of these reasons and more are driving factors that make Jakarta a worthy contender to become ASEAN’s answer to Silicon Valley. And with property developer Sinar Mas Land developing the country’s first integrated smart digital city for startups, technology leaders, and digital communities, Indonesia is on track to becoming the region’s most connected metropolis.