22 Nov 2019

From Jimbaran to the World: The NextICorn International Summit 2019

The sun was shining bright on the 14th and 15th of November, in the tropical sky of Jimbaran, Bali. But the blistering heat did not hold back the enthusiasm of the 104 start-ups and 134 venture capitals which participated in the Next Indonesian Unicorns (NextICorn) International Summit 2019.

The Summit gathered all the start-ups and VCs in Jimbaran Hijau to enjoy sharing sessions from representatives of Indonesian government, tech startups, investment heavy hitters in Indonesia, and to facilitate them in bridging partnerships through a series of meetings.

The meetings were held in outdoor Meeting Pods spread in an area called basecamp, and they were arranged solely through our official mobile application, the Match App. The participants were as busy as bees moving here and there following every notification on their mobile phones telling them where and when their meetings would be.

Overall, it was a fun experience for all of us. And here are some highlights from this Indonesian start-ups’ most awaited event!

Don’t Miss the Investment Train!

Besides the meetings, there were also inspiring sessions from our speakers, including Rudiantara. Although no longer serving as the Minister of Communications and Informatics, he still deeply cares about Indonesia’s digital economy. Now becoming the Chairman of NextICorn Board of Trustees, Rudiantara, or Chief RA, as he is affectionately called, kicked off the Summit by conducting the participants in singing Indonesia Raya, the national anthem.

Later on in his speech, Chief RA emphasized an important message for all investors to immediately invest in Indonesian start-ups. “This is like a train that keeps moving. If you do not invest in Indonesian start-ups right now, then you will miss the train. And it will be the biggest regret you will have in the future,” said the man who recently become a mentor for several start-ups in Indonesia.

Furthermore, Rudiantara also ensures that the Government of Indonesia will give full support for the next reiteration of the NextICorn International Summit. And the Minister of Research and Technology H.E. Bambang Brodjonegoro attending as well as speaking at the summit immediately became evidence of said commitment..

Dare to Face the Digital Disruption

One of the highlights from Bambang’s speech is about how to face the inevitable effects of digital disruptions, such as the changing of job loss and availability. “Job loss is not equal to unemployment. Because, with digital disruption, there will be new jobs created. We can prevent social unrest (caused by job loss) by preparing the workforce with a new skill training scheme,” said the former Ministry of National Development Planning of the Republic of Indonesia.

Bambang said that there will be new professions like drone pilots, AR/VR content creators, e-sports players, data scientists, machine learning coders, and even cryptocurrency miners. The minister also said that there are currently two start-ups that are about to become Indonesia’s new unicorns. “The valuation of these two new start-ups are relatively close to a unicorn,” he said, without elaborating further.

Fintech Sector Still Dominating

Unlike Bambang, the CEO of Daily Social Rama Mamuaya, who’s there to spill some beans from Daily Social’s latest research, straight up said the names of those two potential unicorns. Sadly, if you weren’t there, you need to wait until they put out the full report.

But it was not a surprise. Rama said that the fintech sector in Indonesia is still very strong compared to the others. Moreover, 36 fintech start-ups were participating in the NextICorn International Summit 2019, outnumbering other sectors. It was followed by the retail sector, e-commerce, agritech, edutech, and logistics.

Innovation is Important

Former Chairman of Investment Coordinating Board of the Republic of Indonesia, Thomas Lembong, which also serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of NextICorn Foundation, highlights the importance of innovations in start-up development. “Innovation creates a new market, innovation boosts income, boosts pricing, and opportunity,” he said.

Unlike other speakers, in his short speech, Thomas stated the elephant in the room, which is the probability of tighter scrutiny in the industries in the future. “Today what I’m going to tell you is: regulation is coming,” he said, in a nudge to the Game of Thrones series. And he said this is true, not only in Indonesia, but also in the region, and in the world.

Thomas admits that there are already too many rules and regulations in Indonesia. And it might hamper start-ups’ efforts to innovate and to grow bigger. We should all prepare for that.


Special Location

Besides the speeches and activities, the venue also played an important role in this year’s NextICorn Summit. The Jimbaran Hub and Jungle Play, which are located in the Jimbaran Hijau area, were selected to be the basecamp. It is called a basecamp because this year’s theme is about summiting the unicorn peak. As much as 70 Meeting Pods are spread in the area to facilitate the meetings between start-ups and venture capitals. By the end of the Summit, more than 1,150 meetings are recorded throughout the two-day event.

The outdoor meeting concept is well received by the start-ups and VCs. Despite the hot weather, this concept made the conversations more intimate and effective. Instead of the typical indoor, air-conditioned, awkward, suit and tie meetings, the NextICorn International Summit offered completely the opposite. It was a relaxed, fun experience that can help you to make the right decisions at the right time.

Exquisite Food

You know you would need a lot of energy when you had dozens of important meetings crammed in a two-day event. Therefore, we selected Vivre Bali to ensure that every stakeholder would have a happy tummy. Not only that, but the participants also had to enjoy a free flow of refreshing drinks include wine by Plaga, snacks, and ice creams.

By the end of the first day, Puri Bhagawan became the setting of our dinner. The Summit’s participants are served assorted delicious traditional meals, shouldered around the venue so they didn’t even have to leave their tables. Such a unique experience.

Besides making sure that the participants are satisfied, we are also committed to contributing to the greater goods. Our delicious and healthy meals are made of local ingredients and presented using 100% biodegradable boxes, cutleries, and cups throughout the event. We also provide water bottles and water stations to make sure no single-use plastic are used. Also, we allocate all of the extra foods to 150 underprivileged and impoverished families in the Suwung village area to share our happiness with them. A simple act but an impactful initiative that actually can easily be done in any event.

The NExT Initiatives

The NextICorn also became an opportunity to officially launch the ‘NExT’ or New Economy and Technology initiatives. Next year, the NextICorn foundation will hold the two new initiatives, namely the World NExT Forum and Indonesia NExT Summit. The former aims to strengthen Indonesia’s position as the center of the world’s new economy, while the latter is more aimed towards local investors. Will be held together with the NextICorn International Summit 2020, these new international events will be attended by investors and digital economy players from around the world.

“In the last three years, NextICorn has been trying to build an ideal digital economy ecosystem to help the growth and development of Indonesia’s start-ups by bridging the funding gaps. However, this time we want to expand our focus by holding two initiatives to support Indonesia in becoming the leader of the world’s digital economy. The World NExT Forum will be a platform for Indonesia to show its potential and leadership in the digital economy sector, while Indonesia NExT Summit will embrace and educate domestic investors to be a part of this dream,” said Daniel Tumiwa, the Chairman of NextICorn Foundation. Do keep an eye on our social media accounts as updates on the two new initiatives will keep on unfolding there.

Expecting The New Unicorns

The Meeting Pods recorded more than 1,150 meetings throughout the event, totaling more than 23,000 minutes or 383 hours of discussions between the start-ups and venture capitals. This is really a remarkable number, considering the Summit had only been held for two days.

Now the series of meetings are over, but these two days have proven that the power of Indonesia’s digital economy is something to be reckoned with in Southeast Asia, and even Asia, with four unicorns--Gojek, Tokopedia, Traveloka, and Bukalapak. With Gojek recently becoming a decacorns, we believe that we will see new unicorns emerge in the upcoming year. With all this, and especially with the passion shown by all the participants of NextICorn International Summit 2019, Indonesia’s mission to become a Digital Paradise and basecamp for New Economy is certainly within sight. See you at our next event!