Can Indonesia create a startup tech culture? The 1,000 startups movement aims to try.
The movement looks to encourage tech startups across the island nation with workshops, incubators and hackathons.
Notably, the program isn’t being supported by the Indonesian government with any money, just an expression of support.
That in itself may not be a bad thing, a program run to meet the needs of communities and industry is much more likely to succeed than one being supported by bureaucrats meeting KPIs or political objectives.
A question though is how appropriate Silicon Valley’s ‘unicorn’ model for tech startups is for a developing nation like Indonesia. While the nation has a high level of mobile phone penetration and a young population, it doesn’t have the sophisticated investment community or financial markets that underpin the Bay Area’s or those of other technology hubs.
Indonesia, like most developing nations, needs to find its own model which may turn out to be very different to today’s Silicon Valley when it reaches maturity later this century.
That the 1,000 Startups Movement isn’t part of a government department gives it a chance to develop a unique Indonesian identity rather than trying to recreate an officially mandated copy of Silicon Valley. It will be fascinating to watch.