Jakarta Startup Weekend: Fifteen Dollars Event for Thousand Dollars Insight
The time I scrolled my instagram timeline, then I saw sponsored event which called Jakarta Startup Weekend. Briefly, the description states that the event is for someone who want to pitch their ideas and discuss to the mentors and prepare for the better pitch deck. While having business idea in mind which nowadays I’m also preparing with my business partner, there’s no reason for not joining that event. Though that was paid event, but it was still cheap, just IDR 180.000 for three days startup event. I asked my friend, Qbill for joining that event as well and he was excited too.
In the first day, the friday night, after the opening and introduction session, we had time to pitch our business idea. For every person who has an idea, they can go to the stage and pitch their idea for 60 seconds. The MC showed us the FAQ. It states that we couldn’t pitch an idea that has been running, however well researched ideas were still welcome. I got like 5 minutes for having doubt. Should I pitch my business idea, or shouldn’t. Because I’ve been preparing this for a few months. After thinking for a couple minutes, then I took decision to bravely come to the stage and pitch my idea.
There might be around 30 person who pitched their idea. But, there were just 20 selected ideas. I was one of 20 selected idea pitcher. Then 20 idea pitcher came to stage again and the others can vote three ideas they liked using the sticker. I just got 5 stickers. There were some idea which got more than ten.
From that moment, I got the lesson that just bravely tell your idea. You don’t need to hide your idea regarding worried that your idea will be stolen by others. I believe that “One can steal ideas but no one can steal execution or passion”. Another lesson learned is that we can’t assume our idea is the best idea in the world, our idea is for everyone, etc. However, I didn’t pull down my spirit. I thought, I don’t need to be liked by everyone, since my business idea is that niche, it’s not for everyone.
In those three days, I was trying to be more open minded person, though the idea is mine and I know the industry better than others, I always try to hear any kind of feedbacks. Even I still debated for some argument with some team member. But that’s fine. That the teamwork gonna happen. The art of team work is how to get the sweet spot between hearing the people’s opinion and saying your opinion.
In the second and three days, there was no one session for all of us. So, in the morning the organizer team introduced the mentors and making the mentorship schedule. Each team has one-o-one mentorship session in 20 minutes. I met with Adrianus Hijatubessy (CEO of Julo), Dennis Tjandra (CEO of HelloBeauty), Sayed Muhammad (CEO of LocalBrand Asia), Anatasof Wirapraja (Senior UX Designer of Kudo), Jack McNaught (Founder and CEO of International Internship), Dea Surjadi (Business Development Golden Gate Ventures) and Melisa Irene (Associate of East Ventures).
I’ll make some point which we discussed with each mentors.
Adrianus Hijatubessy (CEO of Julo)
- How big the market is? He suggested us to make educated assumption by survey in photography school or film community.
- Making the platform and doing “go-to-market strategy” are not easy tasks. Make sure, we make financial analysis to know “is that worth it make that platform for solve that size of platform with that size of risk, operational, cost, and so on.
- In the initial stage, make sure we stimulate the supply and demand in balance. Because in marketplace, initially people won’t put their product because there is no huge traffic, in other side the market don’t want to go to marketplace which still not having much listing.
- Fraud and risk management are things that we need to focus on.
- Focus on one specific item first, then we can broaden it (but make it still in our market target)
Dennis Tjandra (CEO of HelloBeauty)
He mostly share how he started that beaty make up artist marketplace.
- There is the time that people use HelloBeauty once, when they already had experience with one make up artist, they will unconcioulsy contact the make up artist directy, without using HelloBeauty platform. That’s why he pivoted his business model by making annual subsription fee to make up artist, while make up artist get “virtual assistant” to do scheduling, financial report and so on.
- We can outsource making the platform from developer outside the jakarta and just using his template, so we can make minimum viable product with cheaper price.
- Go talk to your customer frequently. In the first month, after doing his full time job, Dennis went to cafe and strangely having conversation with the unknown lady. He got as much as insight he can get.
- Initiatively “door to door” to ask our user upload their product to our platform
Sayed Muhammad (CEO of LocalBrand Asia)
We mostly discussed about fraud management
- Could you make your platform cheaper than existing “conventional competitor”. For example, people use Gojek instead of Conventional Ojek for the first time is because gojek is cheaper. People choose AirBnB instead of hotel, because AirBnB sounds cheaper than “conventional hotel”. If we want to make platform as more efficient, convinient, etc, make sure we can make it cheaper first. So, there is absolute reason why people should move from the conventional one to our online solution. Easy friendly and other reasons are the rest things.
- Would you mitigate the risk? We should talk to insurance and having people who expertise in risk management.
Anatasof Wirapraja (Senior UX Designer of Kudo)
He is the most “ikrib” mentor haha (ikrib means easy to hang out with). Since he is the UI/UX expertise, we want to ask him regarding UI/UX, but he also explained many things. In general he loves our idea.
- Try to test our design to the market. Redesign, redesign and redesign. Don’t assume that our design is already the best design. Always go to the customer and get their feedbacks.
Jack McNaught (Founder and CEO of International Internship)
He also loves our idea. We asked him about risk management. Yet he told more than what we asked.
- I think by having insurance and adapt verification in car rental, personal loan, etc, security issues can be tackled.
Dea Surjadi (Business Development Golden Gate Ventures)
- It is rare situation when VC want to invest in startup which has no track record. We must have great traction and growing in the initial stage.
- Revenue is long term game. In early stage, focus on customer acquisition, focus on growing. If you focus on revenue first, you’ll get not that high grow and also intermediate revenue.
Melisa Irene (Associate of East Ventures)
We close our mentorship session in climax, I think. Initially we didn’t get Melissa’s time. But, we directly went to her room when no one else coming.
- The first thing that VC looks from startup is the market size. Is the market size big enough? In the view of VC, the benchmark is US$ 1 billion transaction per year. Why? Is it look too big? Because, the best player, just can grab 20-30% of that market. For instance 20% of US$1billion is US$ 200 million. The revenue will be lower than 30% of the transaction(in assumption), and the VC is just have some percentage of that shares. So actually VC get the percentage of percentage of percentage. That’s why the need bigger size.
- We need to choose which value we want to prioritize. Do we want to be the best price without that good quality? or we want to have good quality with more expensive price? Or we want to be the fastest delivery services? and so one. We need to choose, because different focus has different strategy. In fact, we just have limited capital, so we can’t do everything.
- We can make recommendation for the user, so user don’t get overwhelm by seeing that too many categories or products.
- There are three common mistakes of startup. They build great product but no one need it. They build great product but the ones who need it just a few amout. They build the product that same with existing player
I think that’s all summary I can write down based on our discussion.
In the third day, we did pitching session. Our team presented at the second last team. I think we did the best, even we didn’t finish the slides, but we give the clear presentation.
The announcement session had finished and my team wasn’t be announced as the winning team. It really doesn’t matter. Being the winner is absolutely everyone’s desire. But, I know that there are many better team which deserved it. I don’t dissappointed or upset at all. Even, I got greater spirit to make this business idea come through after spending my weekend in this event. I talked personally to one of judges, he said “your product is great, you have niche market, go continue it”. One of my friends in that event also said to me “I love your product, because I see that you know what you want to do. You know the industry. I had experience when I want to rent camera for simple photoshoot in office but I don’t know where to rent the camera.
Three packed days which good to spend. I can’t say anything beside thank you to all of people in that event. From the organizing team, mentors, judges, new friends, even the office boys who served us meals hehe. I see you all guys at the top of our own destination. Amiiiin