U.S. Department of State Supports Indonesian Entrepreneurs through GIST

JAKARTA – On April 6, the U.S. Department of State and CRDF Global, in cooperation with GEPIndonesia, welcomed over 180 Indonesian entrepreneurs and angel investors to the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) DEMO Day. Top Indonesian startups pitched their science and technology business ideas to the audience at the Four Seasons Hotel and showcased their innovative ventures.  During closing remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake told the group that they exemplified, “the talent, motivation, and ingenuity that we are all working to support,” and noted that the participants were, “amazing role models to all Indonesian entrepreneurs.”  Jeff Hoffman, GIST Advisory Board member and founder of ColorJar and Priceline.com, inspired attendees with his keynote on the difference that entrepreneurs can make and why he is a serial entrepreneur: to make the world a better place.

ambassador with group
Ambassador Blake with the 2014 GIST Boot Camp mentors, judges, and participants.

In the two days leading up to the GIST DEMO Day, GIST and GEPIndonesia worked with 30 Indonesian entrepreneurs, providing intensive training aimed at honing participants’ skills to advance their startups.  U.S. and regional mentors traveled to Jakarta to share their expertise and business stories with the young innovators.  Scott Gillespie, who manages a technology venture fund, and Wilson Cuaca, a venture capitalist in Singapore and Indonesia, shared tips on pitching to investors.  Kari Hanson, former director of the SEED Design Lab at Stanford University, discussed cash flow.  The SEED Design Lab’s mission is to invest in ambitious projects by supporting and accelerating teams that are in the process of taking their projects and services to market on the ground.  Each of the 30 participating Indonesian startups also received one-on-one mentorship during the three days.

Launched in 2011, GIST is a partnership led by the U.S. Department of State and implemented by CRDF Global and GEPIndonesia.  GIST focuses on empowering young science and technology innovators through capacity building, mentoring, and networking.  This GIST boot camp and DEMO Day is the second on-the-ground event that GIST has hosted in Indonesia.  In 2012, an Indonesian entrepreneur won the GIST Technology-Idea (Tech-I) competition at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai.

You can view the winning video submission here:http://thegistinitiative.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/meet-the-winners-of-the-gist-tech-i-2012-competition/

For more information on GIST and its activities please visit:http://gistinitiative.org.

For more information, contact U.S. Embassy Information Officer, Troy Pederson, at PedersonTE@state.gov, or Indar Juniardi atJuniardiI@state.gov.