Photo Courtesy: ThinkStock

Start-ups have changed the world. However, some aspiring entrepreneurs still can’t breathe life into their business ideas due to lack of experience, a lack of funding, and other factors. Hence the need for incubators and accelerators, as they are giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow, with funding, mentorship, advice, and resources to help the start-ups succeed.

Both accelerators and incubators are very familiar concepts in the start-up world. Both have the same mission, which is to increase the start-up’s progress. However, there is a difference between accelerator and incubator. An incubator is more focused on the process of building the start-up from scratch, starting from getting the foundation for the business model right, creating a good product concept, until a decision is made about the target market.

So, we can say that for a start-up, the process is to form the team, follow the incubator’s programme then solidify the business through an accelerator programme. Basically, an incubator is a place or a programme to nurture a start-up at the critical and vulnerable early stages. Unlike incubators, accelerator programmes usually go faster: usually a three- or four-month scheme. This is possible because accelerators are more inclined to accept start-ups that already have a viable product.

Accelerators will usually help a start-up to maximise the potential of their product so that it is ready to be marketed and help to better understand how to make a business effective and profitable.

There are several incubators and accelerators in Indonesia. They range from the those managed by venture capitalists and corporations right up to the government. So, here is our list of incubator and accelerator programmes that can be followed by Indonesian start-ups.


1.       Indigo Incubator

Photo Courtesy: Indigo Incubator

Indigo Incubator is part of Telkom Indonesia and started in 2013. Indigo Incubator runs two batches per year, with each batch lasting for six months. The chosen start-up will be given initial funding and mentoring as well as joining the incubation programmes at Jakarta Digital Valley, Bandung Digital Valley, or Jogja Digital Valley.

Each year, Indigo Incubator has its own special theme and it is looking for start-ups within its own category. Some start-ups have been a part of Indigo Incubator include Jarvis Store, Hyjabs, and Kakatu. Basically, the Indigo programme is an effort by Telkom Indonesia to push the digital industry to grow through incubator and accelerator programmes starting from pre-incubator (ideation) to funding access. And start-ups can get market access to more than millions of Telkom customers, and also thousands of corporations and millions of Indihome customers.

 2.       Ideabox

Photo Courtesy: Indosat Ooredo

Ideabox is a start-up incubator that works together with Indosat Ooredoo, Mountain Partners, Ooredoo, and the Founder Institute. It supports the growth of the digital environment by stimulating the development of Indonesian start-ups to innovate and build mobile applications. It helps to facilitate potential start-ups through accelerated programmes to create a strong and ascendible start-up. Ideabox allows young digipreneurs to create positive development for their business.

A few start-ups that have joined Ideabox include Dealoka, Ngomik, and Unyu. Dealoka is a mobile application that provides a variety of e-coupons that are free and exclusive. Ngomik is a digital comic platform focusing on talented Indonesian comic artists and display their works through the mobile app. Meanwhile, Unyu is a fun chatting platform that blends comical styles with special effects.

The programme provides personalised mentorship with experts in the areas of business, technology, and others. It doesn’t only provide funding but it also provides modern facilities as well as proper operational support with high-speed Internet connections. There is also a wide global network that enables easier knowledge sharing. It does not abandon potential start-ups after the incubation programme is complete because it has established marketing support that will help businesses expand into the regional arena.

 3.       BNV Labs

Photo Courtesy: BNV Labs(Instagram)

BNV Labs is a start-up incubator that was launched in March 2017 and which is a collaboration between Bukopin Bank and Kibar Indonesia. BNV Labs was founded to build innovation teams that will connect Bukopin Bank with fintech founders in the country.

To strengthen the incubator programme, BNV Labs also has partnered with a few local start-ups that have successfully launch their products in the market. Some of these Jojonomic, eFishery, 8Villages, Reblood, Riliv, Pasienia, Olride, and Iwak.

 4.       1000 Digital Startup

Photo Courtesy: Indonesian Ministry of Communications and Informatics

Initiated by the Ministry of Communication and Informatics and Kibar Indonesia, this incubation programme is divided into five phases. First is Ignition, to plant the seed of the entrepreneurship mindset. Then there is Workshop, to provide basic start-up skills; this is continued with Hacksprint, where teams are formed to create prototypes. After that, there is Bootcamp, where participants can learn with mentors. Last comes the Incubation phase in which there will be continued mentoring until it is ready to be launched.

It is targeted that by 2020 there will be 1,000 start-ups that will give solutions to myriad problems by utilising digital technology. The programme is held in various cities, and this activity has become a bridge for individuals who are interested in developing a career in digital entrepreneurship. The 1000 Startup is designed to prepare talented individuals from the very beginning until they are ready to be a part of the start-up ecosystem in Indonesia. Until now, the 1000 Startup programme is still ongoing, and it will continue to open up opportunities for all youngsters in Indonesia.

 5.       Bekraf for Pre-Startup (Bek-up)

Photo Courtesy: Bekraf for Pre-Startup

Bekraf for Pre-Startup (Bek-up) is a programme from Badan Ekonomi Kreatif (Bekraf) or the Indonesia Creative Economy Agency, especially designed for the maturation of start-up ecosystems from end to front, which is the development process of candidates that can build start-ups in Indonesia. The activities include workshop such as business management and technical product development.

The Bekup programme is more suitable to be placed in the pre-incubation phase, as the activities are more focused on individual development from zero phase until the forming of a team that is ready to get inside the incubation phase. Bekup will not just let go of the candidates that graduate from the program, as they will connect them with the incubation canal through Bekraf’s connections. The programme includes taking beginners in start-ups that were born out of the incubator programme and other accelerators that have partnered up with Bekraf.

 6.       Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia (GEPI)

Photo Courtesy: GEPI

Started in early 2011, Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia (GEPI) has been supported by several leading business leaders in Indonesia. This programme has the vision to catalyse entrepreneurship strategy in Indonesia by working together with existing programmes and connecting potential Indonesian businesspeople with global development and investment prospects.

GEPI is also a part of wider global initiatives called the Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP), which grew from an initiative by President Obama and now has become a big programme in the State Department of the US to promote entrepreneurship as the main pillar in economic development between developing countries. Currently GEPI has a few partners, like Angin (Angel Investment Network Indonesia).


7.    Founder Institute

Photo Courtesy: Topica  Founder Institute

Founder Institure is actually a global programme, but it is available in Indonesia as part of the Jakarta Founder Institute (JFI). The Founder Institute provides training programmes that last for four months per batch. Just like its name, this programme trains a new start-up founder to shape the best generation inside a corporation. This programme facilitates weekly session that are filled with experienced mentors in their fields to help the founders enhance and launch their business.

JFI provides rigorous curriculums to give aspiring entrepreneurs the structure, training, feedback, worldwide network, and lifelong support that are needed to begin a sustainable company. Many of the world’s fastest-growing start-ups have used their programme to change gear from employee to entrepreneur, test their start-up ideas, build teams, get customers, get funding and much more.

In Indonesia, JFI is supported by a few partners, such as Indosat Ooredoo, Baidu, Kejora, Mountain Partners, Bakti Bariot, and others. A few of the topics that are being taught include how to validate your vision and ideas, research and consumer improvement, how to decide on a business model, product improvement, branding and funding.

 8.       Google Launchpad Accelerator

Photo Courtesy: Miguel Feldens (LinkedIn)

Google Launchpad Accelerator is a programme initiated by Google in the hope to help start-up companies to accelerate their business and technology. With Google Launchpad Accelerator, Google is committed to keep on developing talented start-ups in various countries, including Indonesia. There are many batches accepted by Google Launchpad Accelerator every year, and names like Kulina, Nadipos, Sirclo, PicMix, Ruma, Qlue, Snapcart, Journals, iGrow, Kurio, and Jojonomic are some of the start-ups that have joined the programme.

Google Launchpad Accelerator is also providing opportunities in India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and many others. The process is this: start-ups that pass the selection process will be flown directly to Google HQ to be trained intensively. Other than a two-week boot camp at the Google office and an incubation programme that lasts for six months, start-ups (especially for mobile solutions developers) will also receive funding of up to US$50,000. The Google Launchpad Accelerator is focused on developing countries with potential start-ups. This programme is targeted to assist 50 start-ups per year.


 9.       GnB Accelerator

Photo Courtesy: GnB Accelerator

GnB accelerator is the first international accelerator in Indonesia that aims to advance the speed of innovation, and groups together the people, funding, and partners that will drive business innovation speed. It is a result of collaboration between Japanese IT company Infocom corporation and Fenox venture capital from Silicon Valley.

Some of the perks of joining the GNB accelerator include free office space in the heart of Jakarta and around US$50,000 in funding and networks that will give additional funding where necessary. Mentorship is also provided, and it comes from experts and founders who will share their experience and knowledge regarding the start-up world. Some examples of start-ups helped by GNB programme include Ahlijasa, Klikdaily, 4 Doctor, and Xwork international.

 10.       Plug and Play

Photo Courtesy: ANGIN (Angel Investment Network Indonesia)

Plug and Play invests in start-ups and helps connect them to corporations that are looking for innovation. They have built more than 20 offices around the world with success stories including Paypal, Dropbox, Soundhound, and many more. It all  started in early 2016, when President Joko Widodo extended an invitation to Plug and Play to come and help accelerate Indonesian start-ups together with Gan capital, which is a local investment company in Indonesia. The programme is created to maximise start-up growth through partnerships with corporations that will help start-ups to reach their markets faster.

Some of the perks of joining Plug and Play include opportunities to collaborate with big corporations, plus seed funding around US$50,000 to start the idea. Start-ups get access to Silicon Valley as well so they can build their network with the hottest ecosystem in the world. There will be free three-month co-working space memberships in Kuningan as well.

Plug and Play organises daily meetups between their corporate partners with start-ups to brainstorm. This has resulted in start-up founders getting their first paying customers and a huge boost of help for their future. Plug and Play invests from US$25,000 to US$500,000 into more than 100 innovative companies every single year. It also claims to pair the start-ups with more than 180 of the greatest venture capitalists on Earth.


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Tags: Jakarta, Business, Silicon Valley, Angel Investor, Funding, Venture Capitalist, Incubators, Startups, Mentorship, Network, Accelerators