Bekraf promotes Indonesian talent at US tradeshow
By Yunnie Marzuki July 31, 2018
- Bekraf brings eight startups to the US expo this year
- SXSW seen as a gateway to the North American market
INDONESIAN Agency for Creative Economy (Bekraf), is a non-ministerial government institution that is consistently involved in programmes for the advancement of the local creative industry.
Bekraf brought several local startups to showcase their products at the ‘Archipelageek’ Bekraf pavilion in the 2018 South by Southwest (SXSW) international expo held in Austin, Texas in March.
The eight startups were Kata.ai, Mycotech, Saft7robotics, Seruniaudio, Squline, Digital Happiness, Minikino, and Vestifarm which were also supported by Telkomsel The NextDev.
Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is a conference and festival to celebrate the convergence of interactive industries, movies, and music.
The event aims to bring professionals from all over the world together through seminars, musical performances, film screenings, exhibitions, and various networking opportunities.
Bekraf marketing division deputy head Joshua Pudji Mulia Simanjuntak explains that this is the second time the agency has sent startups to the event and sees SXSW as a gateway for them to enter and learn about the US market.
“We are focusing on the interactive industry because of the growth in the startup ecosystem. Last year, more technology-based startups joined us. This year, we have more variety, from IoT to the film industry.”
The startups that participated this year are:
- Mycotech utilises technology to agricultural waste and mushroom mycelia into renewable materials.
- Saft7robotics engages in robotics by combining aspects of technology, art, electronics, and mechanics.
- Seruniaudio has a line of hand-built microphone products for acoustic instruments.
- Squline is an online language learning platform that connects learners to native speakers of the language.
- Kata.ai is an AI startup that provides a chatbot platform.
- Vestifarm is an online crowdfunding platform for the agriculture sector.
- Minikino is a community that aims to develop the local short film industry.
- Digital Hapiness is the developer of the ‘DreadOut’ game. It was invited to SXSW last year. This year they were invited to participate in the SXSW Game Show, an event for international gaming industry players. They brought their latest product, DreadEye, which can be played using a Virtual Reality (VR) platform and was nominated for the 2018 SXSW Gaming Gamer's Voice Award.
These startups also had the opportunity to trade their products, collaborate with local partners, and meet potential investors.
Saft7Robotics chief executive officer Firmansyah Saftari says that he managed to test the market in terms of pricing for his robot products.
“We realised that the price range of our products is between US$150 to US$350 and we have been selling them below the market price.”
Mycotech chief technology officer Arekha Bentangan said, “The event provides a wealth of valuable experience and important information with regards to the North American market as it is different from Asian and European markets. This readies Mycotech to spread its wings into the American market.
“In addition, we are also more confident with the feedback we got during the event which encourages us to improve our product quality. We also received many new projects, both in Asia and Europe this year.”
However, some of the startups are having difficulties in terms of regulations especially in Intellectual Property Rights.
Joshua said that this would become a learning point to encourage and provide startups with mentorship on intellectual property before further showcasing their products at international events.
Bekraf will bring startups to SXSW 2019 from March 10 to 13, 2019. Registration is now open on Bekraf’s website.
Startups need to offer provide products (hardware or software) that have global appeal, are locally built or made with active users, and scale up capabilities which able to provide solutions in overseas markets.