Above photo (from left): Mr. Axton Salim, Executive Director, Salim Group, Mr. Enggartiasto Lukita, Minister of Trade, Indonesia, Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) and Dr. Lily Chan, CEO, NUS Enterprise at the official launch of BLOCK71 Jakarta. Photo credit: BLOCK71 Jakarta.
NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), in partnership with Salim Group, announced the launch of BLOCK71 Jakarta on July 28 2017. The launch event was officiated by Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) and Mr. Enggartiasto Lukita, Indonesia’s Minister of Trade.
Modelled after the successful BLOCK71 in Singapore’s entrepreneurial hub – JTC LaunchPad @ one-north, BLOCK71 Jakarta is a 1,500sqm incubation facility that is located in Kuningan, an area popular amongst Jakarta’s thriving technology community. It aims to support innovation and entrepreneurship development in both Singapore and Indonesia, by being an ecosystem builder and global connector, which catalyses and aggregates the start-up community. Indonesian and Singaporean start-ups may use BLOCK71 Jakarta’s global network of resources and contacts to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey and gain access to international markets. At the same time, the initiative will allow greater information exchange and connectivity between the Singapore and Indonesia start-up ecosystems.
“BLOCK71 Jakarta will be a launchpad for Singapore entrepreneurs and innovators to build ties with the Indonesian start-up community, and explore opportunities to work together. This is an example of what we hope to achieve with a network of partners to build a Global Innovation Alliance, which was a recommendation by the Singapore Committee on the Future Economy earlier this year. This Indonesia-Singapore partnership is also a timely one, given that 2017 marks the 50th year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Indonesia. We hope BLOCK71 Jakarta will foster a healthy two-way exchange of ideas, innovation, and expertise between Singapore and Indonesia,” said Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade).
Enabling entrepreneurs and innovations to scale globally
BLOCK71 Jakarta is the latest extension of a global network of entrepreneurial hubs set up and managed by NUS Enterprise together with strategic partners. It takes its name from its birthplace – the Block 71 building within the Ayer Rajah industrial estate in Singapore, where a disused industrial building was transformed into a renowned landmark for innovation through championing the aggregation and growth of the local technology start-up community. In addition to Singapore and Jakarta, BLOCK71 has been established in San Francisco in the US and will expand to Suzhou, China in the near future.
In Jakarta, both NUS Enterprise and Salim Group will work closely to cultivate a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem and build bridges for business development in Indonesia and beyond. BLOCK71 Jakarta supports entrepreneurs by providing:
- Access to global networks – NUS Enterprise and Salim Group have a comprehensive network, including investors, corporate partners, mentors and industry. Singapore start-ups can gain easier market access within Indonesia and Indonesian start-ups can leverage upon NUS Enterprise’s entrepreneurial hubs in the US, China and Singapore, to venture into these markets;
- Incubation support – NUS Enterprise organises a range of support programmes to help entrepreneurs kickstart and develop their ideas;
- Opportunities to pilot and test business ideas and technologies in the Indonesian market;
- Opportunities to participate in entrepreneurial initiatives organised by NUS Enterprise – These include business competitions, validation programmes, talks and conferences, and other start-up related events; and
- An ecosystem and community – A strong start-up community provides synergies and opportunities for collaborations. It also enables sharing of best practices. Regular start-up events and activities are organised at BLOCK71 Jakarta to strengthen the community further.
“BLOCK71 Jakarta will allow entrepreneurs and innovators from Singapore and Indonesia to work together and tap upon the combined experience and resources of NUS Enterprise and Salim Group. We have been identifying relevant Singapore technologies and start-ups that are interested in piloting or test-bedding their ideas in Indonesia and introducing them to BLOCK71 Jakarta. This new facility will also be a useful platform for NUS students who are interested in learning more about regional markets,” said Dr. Lily Chan, CEO NUS Enterprise.
“We are delighted to partner with NUS Enterprise in launching BLOCK71 Jakarta. We have embarked upon this initiative as we want to support entrepreneurs as well as encourage new developments in Indonesia. The Salim Group’s networks and experience will facilitate the entry of start-ups and innovations to the local market and benefits the community here,” said Mr. Axton Salim, Salim Group’s Executive Director.
Preliminary operations in BLOCK71 Jakarta commenced since March 2017. Some 20 start-ups are based at the facility, half of which are from Singapore. Pioneering companies include Carro (a next-generation vehicle dealership and auto-financier), Viddsee (an online video platform), Circles.Life (a digital telecommunications operator), HelloBill (a mobile, point-of-sales start-up), pslove company (created heat therapy patches) and 8villages (rural community empowerment portal).
Dr. Lily Chan added, “BLOCK71 Jakarta is open to all start-ups and entrepreneurs who are keen to explore the Indonesian market. In particular, we strongly encourage companies which are developing innovative technology solutions with the potential to scale globally, to apply.”
Earlier in April this year, SGInnovate partnered with V Hive, an Indonesia-based co-working space, to build a landing pad for companies from Indonesia and Singapore to enter into each other’s markets.