Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have contributed 60.5% to the National GDP. Toward Indonesia Emas 2045, SMEs are expected to become Indonesia’s economic mainstay, dominating the market.
To support these aspirations, the UGM Directorate of Business Development initiated the Innovative Academy startup business incubator event, Demo Day, which more than 20 national startups attended on Saturday (November 18).
Innovative Academy is one of the builders of the ecosystem and a pioneer of technology-based startup incubators on campus in Indonesia. This unit aims to empower youth and the digital ecosystem to contribute to building Indonesia as the digital economy leader in Southeast Asia.
“This Demo Day is the beginning of a long journey for those who have started with guidance at the Innovative Academy. Support from mentors, ministries, and industries strengthens Indonesia’s startup ecosystem,” said the UGM Director of Business Development, Dr. Hargo Utomo.
“The experience over these eight years teaches us that startup development cannot be done by a single entity; it is a collective movement.”
Since its inception in 2015, Innovative Academy has incubated at least 50 startups out of 4,000 national applicants. Each year, applicants undergo three incubation stages: pre-incubation, incubation, and acceleration, guided by more than 50 mentors from the industry and government.
The 2023 Demo Day is a moment for startups to strengthen their business position in the market and attract investors for the sustainability of their business. Through business pitching, each startup talent presents the background of their business and achievements during its operation in front of mentors and investors.
“Ten years ago, the 1,000 Startup Movement was initiated, which marked the beginning of Innovative Academy,” continued Dr. Utomo.
“The consistent tagline used is Innovation for the Nation. So, the journey of this innovation startup ecosystem of over ten years has started showing results. We need plans for the future to grow further.”
This commitment would not exist without the support of various parties, including the community. Whether SMEs can be strengthened to dominate the domestic market will depend on joint commitment. So far, SMEs are increasingly presenting quality and competitive products and services.
Almost every startup begins with dissatisfaction or problems that are widely complained about. Interestingly, Innovative Academy startups are positioned as a resolution to these issues and offer powerful accessibility aspects with the combination of digital technology.
One startup, Banana & Partners, provides integrated waste management services that have successfully addressed several societal problems.
This venture uses a technology called Pandora, where each waste is processed into biodiesel, charcoal, composite plastic, and other recycled plastics. Banana & Partners undoubtedly has great potential as we advance, given the current waste management system is not optimal.
“We all must understand that this is a process, not instant–a long process that requires a strong commitment. It’s like a combination of a marathon and a sprint. Our breath must be long, and hopefully, it is long enough to realize Indonesian startups with an innovation base supported by campuses,” said Hargo.