Startups at IdeaPad
IdeaPad is a niche event that has been growing in scale since its first appearance at the WIEF in 2014. Its main objective is to create a space where budding entrepreneurs can meet potential investors, and where interested customers can find innovative products; a place where synergy is created and startups can learn, share and grow together.
At the 12th WIEF, Jakarta in 2016, panel discussions including one on equity crowdfunding, brought together the first-ever licensed equity crowdfunding operators in ASEAN in an effort to help boost funding options for startups in the region. There was also a session on the ASEAN regional startup award, which hoped to create a community for startups where they can earn recognition as well as gain support in terms of funding, coaching and media relations.
During the IdeaPad pitching sessions, aspiring entrepreneurs with innovative, groundbreaking and world- changing ideas gathered to capture the interest of potential clients and investors from across the globe.
IdeaPad attracted a total number of 20 attendees — who are all set to make waves in the world.
IdeaPad Seed pitching
An investor on the hunt for spectacular returns. A startup hungry for seed money. An idea whose time has come. How will it all end? This is the dramatic premise of IdeaPad, WIEF’s platform for startups. Applicants must have an innovative product or service, some form of traction (sales, subscribers, funding, etc) and an attractive pitch deck. This year’s five presenters at the 12th WIEF in Jakarta were each given five minutes to pitch to a panel of judges. The finalists received valuable advice, and a shot at attracting investor attention and funding.
What problem are you solving, and how are you solving it? How are you making money, and who is your competition? How much are you asking for, and how will you use it? While all five presenters faced similar questions from the judges, the nature of their businesses couldn’t be more different, as was evident in the words of the entrepreneurs themselves.
Our competitors in Indonesia, like Go-Jek and Uber, are quite big, but they do not have the auction mechanism or features that allow customers to choose the gender of the driver or vehicle type.
Anterin, a mobile marketplace for logistics, transportation and warehousing services in one integrated mobile application, provides users with competitive prices and services through an auction mechanism.
Rachmat Efendi, co-founder of Anterin, Indonesia, explained, ‘Once, in Indonesia, my friend and I wanted to go to the airport. When we used an online car booking system, what arrived was a small city car that could only fit us, with no room for our luggage! [Because of this and other similar experiences] we came up with a solution so that consumers could have the flexibility to choose the [transportation, logistics and warehousing] services based on the price, rating, vehicle type and gender of the driver. We take a fee from each transaction. The auction approach means that all partners can set their own prices for their services. Users will take the best prices. Currently we have almost 1,000 partners [offering transport services with] motorcycles and cars, and also logistics companies. Our competitors in Indonesia, like Go-Jek and Uber, are quite big, but they do not have the auction mechanism or features that allow customers to choose the gender of the driver or vehicle type. So we hope with our uniqueness, we can [match] the competition.’
SoCash is significantly cheaper than an ATM transaction, so we expect banks to pay a small fee for each transaction.
The SoCash team comprises a mix of bankers, technologists and entrepreneurs who are focusing on a fresh approach to accessing cash. SoCash develops enterprise software that makes the “cash management cycle” efficient and cost effective, its co-founder Hari Sivan from Singapore, explained.
‘Our focus is to make cash social, and peer-to-peer. SoCash is a much better and safer alternative [to ATMs]: our platform enables you to withdraw cash using just your mobile phone. No more queuing in front of ATMs, feeling afraid, or driving around to find [an ATM]… What we have built is an enterprise platform for banks, which aggregates and crowdsources cash in a specific locality. Our technology [in effect] converts small merchants into cash points and individuals into walking ATMs. This means that [as long as I have a bank account] I can go to any shop or individual and collect the cash that I want-my account gets instantly debited, and the money is transferred to the person who is giving me cash.
‘A transaction that happens on SoCash is significantly cheaper than an ATM transaction, so we expect banks to pay a small fee for each transaction. Why are banks interested? Two reasons. Cost, and the fact that the instant settlement allows them to bring the capital, which currently sits outside their balance sheet in the ATM network, back into their balance sheet. We have four top banks in Asia at various stages of engagement on our platform. We need USD750,000, which will go into product development and commercialisation, and the revenue that we are looking at is approximately USD20 million.’
Sirenio is an investor relations platform for equity-crowdfunded companies, with a secondary market for investors to liquidate their shareholdings. Pitching at the IdeaPad session were co-founders of Sirenio, Austria, Allan Hansen and Dan Borufka. Allan Hansen explained more.
‘There are a couple of pieces missing in [the creation of] a really successful ecosystem for equity crowdfunding. First, the information available to companies is very limited. They don’t know who their investors are, how to leverage their expertise, or how to leverage their extended network… We have seen through our research that with the equity crowdfunding market, because they receive so many investors on board, the problem becomes exponentially bigger for them [compared to regular investors]… Second, investors face entry barriers to liquidating their shareholdings… The secondary markets don’t have the necessary information that is needed for the investors to make informed decisions… We believe that liquidity flow is extremely important in the equity crowdfunding space… The solution lies in two basic factors. [First, there must be] continuous flow of information to create the transparency and trust that is needed for a secondary market. [Second,] investors need to have an immediate way of liquidating their shareholdings.
‘Our platform provides the solution in the form of an investor relations platform that solves the information gathering problem and creates incentives for both sides to share the data that’s necessary to make informed decisions. Our business model will in the short term consist of making software as a service model for the companies to pay for their investor relations tool. Our big mission is to then create a secondary market on top of this our business model will in the short term consist of making software as a service model for the companies to pay for their investor relations tool. Our big mission is to then create a secondary market on top of this information flow we have gathered.’
UPSTART is a gaming company that specialises in transforming industry-specific topics and concepts into innovative play-based products, programmes and/or platforms. Their board game enables people to experience the successes and failures of starting and growing a business — with all the fun and excitement, but without the actual financial risk. Ina Flores, the co-creator of UPSTART, Philippines tells us, ‘We’ve gamified the learning curve that businesses or startups go through… When my partners and I were starting out, nothing from school prepared us for when our finances disappeared on us, or when customs wouldn’t release our products for two months, or when family problems got in the way of productivity… ‘Little’ things like these add up and make or break a business. About 120,000 businesses fail every year around the world. It was in one of these moments of frustration, when my partners and I couldn’t get the results we wanted, that we asked the question: wouldn’t it be cool if people could practice failure without really failing? [UPSTART the game] mirrors how you are. It uncovers how you make decisions. It uncovers how risk adverse you are.
‘The way you play is customised to how you are at that moment in time. So it’s a place where you can test how you want to go about things. Millennials are the generation that respond best to non-traditional learning, and we plan to access this market through online or on-ground events. We will also partner with B2B gateways or partner institutions that already have a captured market, like schools, training providers, direct marketing companies, co-working spaces, etc. Last year we launched a local crowdfunding campaign where we got USD42,000 worth of free media coverage and raised USD40,000 in terms of crowdfunding and investor funding. We will have a Kickstarter campaign in October and November and we will be releasing the product commercially in 2017. We plan to [price it] at USD75 per game.’