I was lucky to be participate in Project Catalyst by US Embassy & Jolkona Foundation last November 2014. Project Catalyst is a short-term accelerator for international social ventures. This intensive program brings social entrepreneurs from developing countries to Seattle, where they can hone their business plans, gain valuable insights, and connect with prospective investors and funders.
Me and other 4 Social Entrepreneurs from Indonesia were selected from around 70 applicants that submitting the application online through http://jolkona.livestories.com/inspire/project-catalyst. I bring Wanderlust Indonesia, my social business started 1 year ago in creating a unique & responsible traveling experience by connecting traveler and local through volunteering activity. The other 4 social entrepreneurs are :
- Alfatih Timur – Founder of kitabisa.com
- Nancy Margried – Founder of Batik Fractal
- Alfi Irfan – Founder of AgriSocio
- Candra Cahyani Gani – Founder of Bedah Kampus
Before us, there were also 5 Social Entrepreneurs from Batch 1 that join the program in June 2014. You can read the full story about our program here: http://jolkona.livestories.com/inspire/Cohort-2.
Our 2 weeks in Seattle curriculum basically led to the final event that they call “Showcase Event” which we have 5 minutes to pitch our social business in front of prospective investors and Social Entrepreneurs and Seattle community. You can watch the pitch video here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozk_niZxaE8&feature=youtu.be
The program include access to have our own mentor, series of workshops from value workshop, problem solving, tell a story, culture and leadership, defining mission, and others. The other interesting program is field visit to company or institution like Google, Microsoft, Theo’s Chocolate, Urban Farm, Seattle Tilth, CODE.org, Seattle Foundation, Farestart, University of Washington, Homegrown, and Impact Hub Seattle. Beside all the activity, we also got pitch coaching session with amazing people in Seattle.
Experience stay with the host family during our 2 weeks in Seattle was also another valuable part of the program. We also got the bus access to go everywhere by ourself which make the program more interesting. Even though we have only 2 weeks, I dont want to miss the part to see the city and surrounding! As Seattle famous with a very grunge city, The 1st Starbucks Store, Pike Place Market, Space Needles, and the beauty of its nature – we have our weekend to explore the city. My host was also bring me and the team to Brainbridge Island, which we need to take the ferry from Seattle, in our last day in Seattle.
Thank you Project Catalyst JOLKONA and US Embassy for supporting this program. Thank you all the mentor, coach, speaker, entrepreneurs. Thank you for the awesome host and thank you for all Seattle people. In February, we gonna have chance to present about our social business in @America – Pacific Place in front of US Embassy & some investors. Lets wish Wanderlust & all the social enterprise the best of luck! 🙂