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Telkomsel’s The NextDev 2018, The Main Platform for Indonesia’s Entry Stage Startup

Published 10 July 2018 07:20 By Zaki Mursidan Baldan

TheNextDev.id/en - The NextDev 2018 Talent Scouting program at Denpasar, held at the end of June (28/6), opens up a new chapter for Alvin Hartanto (26), a nutritionist and personal trainer. As the MC of the Telkomsel’s entry-level start-up platform mentioned DietBuddy application as the finalist of Denpasar’s The NextDev 2018, the athletic-young could not help letting out his surprised facial expression as he rose from his chair.

Alvin, with his Harry Potter-like glasses and slightly timid steps, then walked to the stage while giving handshake to the six juries. And as he couldn’t stop his lips from giving wide smile, this diet-aficionado youth still found it hard to believe that his app is qualified for the final pitching deck in Jakarta at next November.

DietBuddy is the third or last app, following Diffago and FishGo which also managed to go to Jakarta’s session, as the results of early stage startup competition in Denpasar. All three beat the other 17 start-ups in pitching deck phase, as the best talent scouting event for early start-up competition in Indonesia.

“I’m all over the moon for being qualified for Jakarta as DietBuddy has yet to have the real app and the competition is also fierce,” Alvin, who had given the juries a book entitled ‘#BukanBukuDiet’ before his presentation, said.


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He also admitted that his joining The NextDev 2018 Talent Scouting Denpasar was more of a trial rather than winning-ambition. It all started from his wish to have a new app, after his previous one called Newlife Diet suffered a crash from bad management. And conceptual though it may, his new diet-plan app, calorie tracker and health consultation, did manage to convince the juries to get him to the final.

Wasting no time, Alvin eagerly made some catching up with several juries, like Yoris Sebastian (Founder of OMG Consulting) and Alamanda Shantika (Founder of Binar Academy), to consult for his app’s next steps, as soon as the event ended. He literally poured out all of his troubles to the two experts as he wanted to make the DietBuddy app come into realization before the Jakarta’s event. And Alvin did the right thing here considering his team hasn’t yet to have any programmer and he, in his presentation, already delivered his promise to do more study and research to make his app finished the soonest it is possible. 

“DietBuddy literally starts from the scrap without any technical help from any programmer. To make it perfect, I do need mentor, technical as well as financial supports. This is my reason for joining The NextDev Denpasar,” said Alvin with a big smile.


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But Alvin wasn’t the only one with his problem. Similar condition also happened to another early start-up, Nyanggar.id, one of the participants of Semarang’s The NextDev 2018 Talent Scouting on last May. Finding its way to convince the juries at the best digital talent scouting in Semarang, Nyanggar.id had to compete among the other 19 participants in the pitching deck session.

Developed by Moh. Minhajul Mubarok, a student in his 4th semester under Computer Science Department of State University of Semarang, the start-up offered conceptual market-place application targeting traditional-dance artists in Semarang. And Mubarok also didn’t shy away from admitting that the only real form of his app was in a state of concept.

“Nyanggar.id has yet to have any kind of product as it is still in its preparation stage. I even find it hard to pay for the domain as I also need the money for my study,” he said it unpretentiously before the juries. But, unlike DietBuddy, his app-in-concept wasn’t enough to convince the juries to let him join the Jakarta’s finalists.

Biggest Platform for Entry-Level Start-ups in Indonesia

Indeed, the lacks of modal and knowledge are among the main reasons that make early start-ups such as DietBuddy and Nyanggar to join Telkomsel’s The NextDev 2018. And this is not to say that such is the wrong kind of motivation, though. The event is basically a wide-open competitive platform that provides all chances to early start-up in Indonesia regardless of their being in a mere state of concept, idea or initiative.


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Truth be told, The NextDev is the only appropriate platform for entry-level startups in Indonesia. And the reason for saying is that not only does the event give hefty rewards, but most importantly it also provides the finalists with systematical training and mentoring programs from Telkomsel, known as the giant provider-company with more than 190 millions of subscribers. By systematical, the programs are not loose-ends as they are carefully designed to support entry-level start-ups to produce their apps, market them, and create various beneficial social impacts, all the while inviting revenues as monetizing program.

And the statistics proves the fact! From the 7-major-city event-planning, three has already been successfully conducted. The NextDev Talent Scouting 2018 does offers true hope as it has opened doors for many entry-level startups to make their way to market-competition. Up to the third day of Denpasar’s event by the end of last June, more than 150 early start-ups had joined the competition. As by last year event, the same competitive-platform had managed to invite around 1,700 entry-level startups since its start in 2015.

Denny Abidin, Telkomsel’s General Manager for External Corporate Communications, explained his company’s main motives in creating the platform through The NextDev 2018. One, he stated, includes the company’s main responsibility as ‘red-plate’ (or state-owned) which also happens to be the biggest operator-company in Indonesia.

“We focus on entry-level startups as Telkomsel has set the program “Bikin Keren Indonesia” (literally, Make Indonesia Cool). We want to build the best talents through this digital entry-level platform. We believe that by building the talents or the people, we will be able to foster the birth of various applications which can later make Indonesia cool or great in the future,” Denny, or ‘Abe’ by his friendly greeting, said in high optimism.


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And Telkomsel does execute its digital talent-building program in nothing less than optimal accuracy. For example, all entry-level startups qualified as The NextDev 2018’s finalists will receive rewards designed to cover up all the start-ups’ early needs. These include mentoring program, seed funding, marketing, investor or venture capital’s accesses, and media publication. More interesting is that they will also be invited to join the Telkomsel’s startup ecosystem commonly called The NextDev Alumnae.

Apart from The NextDev Talent Scouting, there is also another program called The NextDev Academy. Here, all the finalists will be gathered and tutored for the better development. By that it means, those with no apps or just the concepts, will get their apps ready. Those with their apps ready at hand, can better develop their products with various more features to create tractions. While those with apps already in the market, can better monetize their products for increased revenues.

To achieve such goal, Telkomsel does not hesitate to invite best experts and professionals to work side-by-side the entry-level finalists. These are names such as Dian O Wulandari (COO of Instellar), Dayu Dara Permata (Senior Vice President of Go-Jek), Andreas Surya (VP of Portfolio and Investment Kejora Ventures), and many other par-excellence personae. Their presence is ensure the provision of complete, almost ‘pan-optistic’ materials vital for the entry-level startups’ survival that count for mind-setting, products, customers, User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX), sales, marketing, and investor-hunting.


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Steve Saerang, Telkomsel’s The NextDev 2018 Project Manager, explained that The NextDev Academy 2018 is set to provide supports for all last year The NextDev’s 20 finalists to learn more from the best trainers as many of them may not have in-depth training access outside the program.

“We really want them [the finalists] to have high idealism to make Indonesia better by creating even better apps. That’s why we provide best trainers to encourage them achieving that purpose,” he said.

As it is a common knowledge, digital applications are among the conditions for better economical growth of any country as these apps become the tools to digitalize the industry in its various segments. Several global researches, such as one from Google Indonesia, predict that Indonesia’s digital economy will be the highest among ASEAN countries is 2025. By that year, the economy’s values will reach around US$ 81 billions or IDR 1,166 trillions. McKinsey, another global research institution, even sets the standard higher as they predict Indonesia’s digital economy will reach US$ 150 billions or IDR 2,160 trillions in value, equals to 10% contribution to 2025 Indonesia’s GDP (Gross Domestic Products).

Entry-Level Startups’s Challenges

Alamanda Shantika, Founder of Binar Academy, stated that even though there seemed to be many start-up’s incubators in Indonesia, but there aren’t many of them specifically targeting the entry-level startups such as The NextDev event. And her observation, worthy of 4-year experience as The NextDev’s Jury, suggests various improvements from entry-level startups’ participants, though she also observes some ‘mature-stage’ startups sometimes also join as the participants.


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However, she does take some critical note regarding these beginners’ main flaw as they join The NextDev, i.e. one that involves the engineering process. She therefore, reminds these entry-level startups to fix such process by setting not one, but two-step ahead in technological aspect, such as by developing artificial intelligence (AI) feature in their apps.

Regarding modal, it is now Yoris Sebastian’s wise advice for these early start-ups to take turn to notice. Setting aside the seed-money for The NextDev’s finalists, he suggests these beginners to create small tractions with their own money or without the investor’s help. This, according to him, is to help building the real passion and experience the true feeling of becoming the real enterpreneur. That is, that passion that compels you to struggle and organically survive with your own skills. All in all, how one can convince any investor if he/she does not dare taking the chance by investing in their own product, as he cleverly reasoned.

“So, if necessary cry out through your own products [apps]. If you prove you can succeed by yourself, that’s what makes the investors come to you,” he said.

Indeed, such inspiring inspirative arguments, such ones from Yoris Sebastian and Alamanda Shantika, are what the Indonesia’s most entry-level startups truly need to develop into a better stage. Their experiences count for the best and most practical guidance for any youngster wanting to create their initial footprint in these creative industries. All the while, nothing of these would ever be possible for the entry-level startups had Telkomsel didn’t provide the platform, The NextDev 2018.