Indonesian innovators welcomed to Adelaide

Flinders University welcomed 26 delegates from Indonesia on Tuesday 14 November, as part of a new course to build the skills of Indonesian entrepreneurs and introduce them to Australia’s start-up ecosystem of investors, associations, new business success stories and potential collaborators.

The entrepreneurial short course, ‘Start-up Ecosystems’, is part of the Australia Awards in Indonesia (AAI) short course scholarships funded by the Australian Government, and will be run in Australia and Indonesia, seeing participants visit Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI), the top-ranking entrepreneurial incubator in the Asia Pacific region, was chosen by the Australian Government to run the course. It has a dynamic 16-day schedule of events and practical sessions planned, sharing its globally-renowned enterprise and innovation expertise, and fostering new connections to benefit participants and potential Australian partners.

State Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon David Ridgway, joined delegates for the evening reception, together with representatives from Flinders University and SA’s entrepreneurial network.

Participants chosen for the course come from a variety of industries and are either in the early stages of establishing their businesses or provide support programs like incubators and accelerators.

Their businesses include a crowd-powered map to help those with visual impairments to navigate big cities, an e-commerce platform to connect small-scale fishermen to buyers, and a creator of building materials from mycelium – the vegetative part of fungus.

Some of the guests at the event, including Minister Ridgway (centre), Professor Colin Stirling (far left) and Matt Salier (far right).

Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University, Professor Colin Stirling, spoke to guests at the function.

“Flinders University has deep ties with Indonesia through our 40-year connection,” Professor Stirling said.

“This engagement goes much further than the Indonesian studies that are a hallmark of our University, the 200-plus international students from Indonesia we host each year, and the 1,000 Flinders alumni in Indonesia – none of whom we are more proud than Professor Pratikno, Minister Secretary of State of the Republic of Indonesia.”

With a population of 254 million, Indonesia’s economy has been growing at a remarkable rate of around 5% each year over the past decade and is forecast to be the world’s seventh largest economy by 2030.

Indonesia is already the largest economy in South East Asia with both its economy and start-up sector on the rise.

Flinders’ deep connection with the nation enables a strong understanding of Indonesia’s growing entrepreneurial sector and the opportunities for innovative and beneficial partnerships.

Professor Stirling said “Flinders University has a unique capacity to inspire bold new ways of thinking and develop people who are capable of changing industries and creating new businesses.

“Central to this is our New Venture Institute, with its world-class facilities and outstanding skills in developing entrepreneurial capabilities, which has proven to be immensely effective in fuelling new solutions and bringing ideas to life.”

Course participants recently attended a pre-course workshop in Bandung, Indonesia and will complete the course with a final Bandung workshop in March 2019 – returning to Adelaide on 21 November to attend the NVI’s flagship networking event, Icebreaker18.

The AAI initiative equips individuals in Indonesia with the knowledge to grow and strengthen their own businesses or those they work for, and strengthens relationships between Indonesia and Australia. The Short Term Awards are a new feature of scholarships that complement the AAI Long Term Awards which have been running for more than 60 years.

The Flinders New Venture Institute short-term course was developed in consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and industry representatives, in line with the Indonesian government’s objectives to develop its digital economy, create a vibrant start-up community, transform traditional markets to online markets and generate more capital for start-ups.

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