Encouraging millennials to develop solutions and innovations for nation

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(photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Since 2015, the Government has facilitated ways for citizens to develop digital startups. In the 1000 Digital Startup Movement, the Ministry of Communication and Information seeks to realize President Joko Widodo’s vision to make Indonesia the Digital Energy of Asia.

Using the momentum of the 74th Anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia’s Independence, the 1000 Digital Startup Movement is packed with a new concept. Through the powerful Ignite the Nation movement, the Government has facilitated the meeting of thousands of digital startups among Millennial youngsters to encourage the growth of the startup industry. 

With a theme of “Superior Digital Millennial Resources, 1,000 Dreams, 1,000 Works, 1,000 Solutions – for a Greater Indonesia”, it is targeted to motivate Millennials who are already familiar with the digital world to realize big dreams that can provide solutions and innovations for the nation.

“As the name implies, ignite means firing up. Coinciding with the Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia, we want to reignite the spirit of the young generation so that they can change the nation, “said Vice President Jusuf Kalla in front of thousands of Ignite The Nation’s participants, at Istora Senayan Building, Jakarta, Sunday (08/18/2019).

According to the Vice President, today’s younger generation is far more fortunate because of technology that can make things easier. The Vice President encouraged the younger generation to master science and technology. “If not now, when will we start again?”

Vice President Jusuf Kalla made an analogy of building a digital startup business to swimming. “Even though we may have read many books and theories about swimming, we will still sink when immersing ourselves. Just like when making a startup, we do not need to read a lot of theories, but must dare to try it slowly,” he explained.

Jusuf Kalla is optimistic that the existence of digital start-ups will be able to impact the world. He also mimicked Bung Karno’s famous speech about youths. “Bung Karno said give me 10 young men, then I will shake the world. If said at present, we could say give us 1000 digital startups, then we will shake the world, “he said.

The Vice President emphasized that innovation and knowledge can change the nation, especially amidst the context of global competition today. “If we don’t start trying to change, then we will become consumers of Japanese and Chinese products. We must also be enthusiastic. Many countries are rich in resources, but inferior to smaller countries because they don’t have enthusiasm,” he said.

Dare to Change

Minister of Communication and Information Rudiantara has also reiterated the Government’s commitment to encouraging the digital startup industry. “Not only facilitating it, but we also want to accelerate the existence of unicorns through the system. All startups that are already unicorns participating too. How do we make the next unicorn? Startup companies are already in Indonesia, especially those that utilize digital technology,” he said.

The Minister of Communication and Information said facilitation efforts to accelerate the growth of startups have been carried out since 2016. According to him Indonesia currently has three unicorns and one digital-based decacorn. “We want to get more unicorns in the future. These digital startups have started in 2016 and what drives Indonesia is the digital community,” he said.

Even in the 1000 Digital Startup Movement, the Government has encouraged as many as 200 startups to go through the ignition and incubation phases so that they might finally get capital injections, while the rest (as many as 800 companies) are still in an incubation period. “The Ministry of Communication and Information is not alone: there is a Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf), BKPM, Telkom and other private companies. We hope there will be more startups in the future – hence success rates will rise,” he said.

Through these various movements, the government also wishes to encourage the startups to be able to increase their success to become a unicorn, a start-up company that has a business valuation of USD 1 million.

“I hope that the Ignite The Nation’s Movement 1000 Digital Startup Program can create new unicorns in Indonesia and startups can go through the necessary stages until they can gain capital and continue to grow as unicorns,” hoped Rudiantara.

The Minister of Communication and Information Technology encourages the Millennial generation to be brave, to become game-changers or agents of change. “All those present here must dare to become game-changers, as game-changers we must dare to fail. As unicorn founders, we take the example of those like Erick Thohir and Wishnutama. They have all experienced failure,” said he encouraging the Ignite the Nation participants.

Minister Rudiantara tells the story of the efforts of Thomas Alva Edison who had failed 999 times. “He only succeeded in making lights in the 1.000th experiment. Just imagine if Thomas Alva Edison had given up. We would not have enjoyed the lights like we have this time,” he said.

To develop a digital startup supporting system, the Minister of Communication and Information ensures that the government will not apply onerous regulation, so that startup success rates could increase and new startups could develop. “The government will focus on supporting the system, implementing regulations for consumer protection. We will also have mentors to provide a clear direction for young people who want to start up. I hope the success rate will go up, the number of unicorns and decacorns will also increase,” he said. Ignite the Nation’s digital Millennial meeting itself is a major movement to ignite the digital motivation of Indonesian Millennials, awakening their big dreams to find a solution and innovation for the Indonesian people. The event was attended by more than 8,000 participants and 1,411 volunteers.

Also present were strategic sector mentors Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti, Head of the Investment Coordinating Board Thomas Lembong and Head of Bekraf (Creative Economic Agency) Triawan Munaf.

There was also a game-changer session for the sharing of success stories by the unicorn startup founders, including Bukapalak CEO Achmad Zaky, Tokopedia CEO William Tanuwijaya, Traveloka CEO Fery Unardi, Erick Thohir, and Whisnutama.

Also present from the Ministry of Communication and Information, Director General of Information Application Semuel A. Pangerapan, Secretary-General Rosarita Niken Widiastuti, Inspector-General Doddy Setiadji, Special Staff for Digital Economics Lis Sutjiati, Special Staff for Digital Literacy Deddy Permadi, and other officials from within the Ministry.