NUS Enterprise and Salim Group extend cooperation by launching BLOCK 71 Yogyakarta and BLOCK71 Bandung

  • Two new BLOCK71 locations to be set up in strategically key Indonesian cities
  • Startups in the new locations will enjoy incubator support and entrepreneurial activities

(L to R) Anil Kumar Nayar (Singapore Ambassador to Indonesia), Lily Chan (CEO NUS Enterprise) and Axton Salim (Executive Director of Salim Group)

NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), in partnership with Salim Group, today added two new Indonesian cities to the growing BLOCK71 family. Following the successful establishment of BLOCK71 Jakarta in July 2017, both parties now embark on setting up BLOCK71 Yogyakarta and BLOCK71 Bandung with the aim of cultivating a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Indonesia and beyond.

Modelled after BLOCK71 in Singapore’s thriving entrepreneurial hub, the two new BLOCK71 locations are strategically located in key Indonesian cities and are in close proximity to local universities. They will also connect with the burgeoning entrepreneurial scene in Indonesia.

BLOCK71 Yogyakarta, which is situated in a contemporary area across the popular Galeria Mall, was launched this morning and the ceremony was officiated by Baey Yam Keng, senior parliamentary secretary of Singapore's Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth

BLOCK71 Bandung, on the other hand, is located along one of the busiest streets in the Dago area, adjacent to Institute Teknologi Bandung (ITB). It will be launched later this afternoon and the ceremony will be officiated by Anil Kumar Nayar, Singapore’s Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia.

“NUS is delighted to deepen our engagement with the Salim Group through the launch of two new BLOCK71 locations in Yogyakarta and Bandung. Our expansion in Indonesia is in tandem with the growth and vibrancy of the local entrepreneurial scene. Collectively, NUS’ three BLOCK71 locations in Indonesia will facilitate greater information exchange, strengthen connectivity and promote growth between the startup ecosystems in Singapore and Indonesia. These BLOCK71 locations will open doors for startups from Singapore and the BLOCK71 family to grow their presence in Indonesia and facilitate access to international markets for local startups,” said NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye.

“We are delighted to partner with NUS Enterprise yet again to expand the BLOCK71 footprint in Indonesia. We are passionate about supporting entrepreneurs as well as galvanising the local community, and we hope our initiatives will encourage more young people to develop a keen interest in the digital and technology arenas and become entrepreneurs. We would also like to bring these initiatives to other continents such as Africa and China in the near future,” said Axton Salim, Executive Director of Salim Group.

A boost for entrepreneurship activities in Yogyakarta and Bandung

Both BLOCK71 Yogyakarta and BLOCK71 Bandung will support innovation and entrepreneurship development in their respective locations, by serving as an ecosystem builder and global connector. Startups at these locations can benefit from incubation support, entrepreneurial initiatives (such as business competitions, conferences and entrepreneurial events) and opportunities to pilot new ideas or technologies in the Indonesian market and abroad via the BLOCK71 network.

Entrepreneurs based in Yogyakarta and Bandung may also access BLOCK71’s global network of resources and contacts, and other BLOCK71 facilities in Jakarta (Indonesia), Singapore, Suzhou (China) and San Francisco (the United States) to kick-start their entrepreneurial journey and gain access to international markets.

NUS Enterprise, in partnership with Salim Group, will organise entrepreneurship-related programmes at BLOCK71 Yogyakarta and BLOCK71 Bandung. These programmes will not only benefit the entrepreneur community in these areas, but will also provide collaboration and networking opportunities for student and entrepreneur communities from Singapore and institutes of higher learning in Indonesia such as ITB and Universitas Gadjah Mada (Yogyakarta), and offer development opportunities to support the growth of digital and technology talents.

BLOCK71 is an initiative by NUS Enterprise in collaborative and strategic partnership with corporates and government agencies to provide tech startups and entrepreneurs with opportunities for growth and synergies in new markets. The partnership in Yogyakarta and Bandung taps the synergies derived from the deep experience of NUS Enterprise, widely acknowledged as the engine behind Asia’s leading university-based entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the entrepreneurial track record of the Salim Group, whose products are well- known and present in almost every Indonesian household.

Preliminary operations in the two locations commenced in mid-October 2018 and the first group of startups will take up residence in BLOCK71 Yogyakarta and BLOCK71 Bandung in November 2018.

Dr Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise, added, “Startups from Singapore and elsewhere exploring business opportunities in Indonesia can leverage the new BLOCK71 locations to better understand the Indonesian market and expand their networks into a new tech community. Indonesian-based entrepreneurs, companies, students and investors too are welcome to find out more about Singapore and other markets through programmes, events, and activities held here.”

Singapore startups active in Indonesia

Singapore startups are already active in Indonesia. For instance, Wonderlabs.io, which was founded in 2015 to build and manage software development teams, set up offices in both cities, as well as Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City, hiring some 350 employees in total.

“My co-founder and I decided to base Wonderlabs.io in Indonesia as we had familiarity with the market after we based the software development team of our previous startup in Jakarta. There is well-trained and competent talent emerging from Indonesian universities. Our headquarters is in Yogyakarta, where there are 16 universities with technical courses and faculties while in Bandung, ITB acts as the MIT of Indonesia,” said Keith Tan, co-founder of Wonderlabs.io.

“Wonderlabs.io is also working with BLOCK71 to offer employee contracting and payroll management free of charge for all startups in the BLOCK71 ecosystem in Indonesia as our way of contributing back to the community that had supported us. We hope that this will allow founders to focus on creating great products for the future,” Tan added.

BLOCK71 takes its name from its birthplace - the Block 71 building within Singapore’s Ayer Rajah industrial estate, where a disused industrial building was transformed into a renowned landmark for innovation through championing the aggregation and growth of the local technology startup community.

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