Make-IT in Asia

Supporting local ideas for local challenges

The German development cooperation is moving beyond aid. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) created a Tech-Entrepreneurship Initiative called “Make-IT” to support local tech-startups in partner countries.

The Idea

Instead of designing solutions for context we may know little about, we support local change agents to build up fruitful environments for innovation, investment and development. Lively local ecosystems equal good business environments equal self-determined development paths. Any questions?

The How

We established a consortium of private tech-companies, business associations, crowd-sourcing platforms and impact investors called “Make-IT Alliance”. We bundle and channel their existing activities in tech start-up promotion and develop own measures with our partners on top. Bottom line is, we act as a facilitator and active supporter for start-up promotion and impact investment, holding up high principles of sustainability and local benefit.

The What happened already

Make-IT in Africa is supporting tech-start-ups on the ground since 2016. Make-IT Asia got kick-started in 2018 with an ideation challenge.

Ideation challenge

To kick-start Make-IT in Asia, we completed an Ideation Challenge in November 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. We called for tech innovations in the energy and environmental sectors in Indonesia. Out of 140 proposals handed in by tech start-ups, the Make-IT Alliance Jury selected the eight most promising finalists. Since then, the tech start-ups were provided with further trainings and mentoring as well as linked to investors and Make-IT Alliance members.

On 3 November 2018, the tech start-ups pitched their business ideas at “The Good Times – Startup Cities Conference” which hosted 400 participants. It took place in conjunction with the high-level Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business (APK). Part of the high-level panel were for example Bosch, Siemens, SAP, and Kejora Ventures, who provided valuable feedback to the finalists. The Good Times event provided an opportunity for the tech start-ups to get connected to a broader network of tech-entrepreneurs, established businesses and government.

In a boot camp, the finalists polished their pitching skills and had the opportunity to meet representatives from the Indonesian unicorn Tokopedia, the mobile platform Ayopop and the Jakarta Smart City Office.

The Make-IT in Asia Ideation Challenge was calling for tech innovations in the energy and environmental sectors. Make-IT in Asia received 100 proposals from Indonesia and 40 from across Southeast Asia. The selection process was delegated to a jury, which consists of the Make-IT Alliance network and its partners. Eight winners were chosen by the judges – six from Indonesia, one from Myanmar and one from the Philippines.

Make-IT Alliance member Impact Hub Jakarta organized a roadshow in the Indonesian second-tier cities Batam, Bandung, Melang and Medan. The goal was to specifically address local tech start-ups from second-tier cities and tech start-ups developing services and products for the people living in more rural areas.

Showtime

On 3 November 2018, the tech start-ups pitched their business ideas at “The Good Times – Startup Cities Conference” which hosted 400 participants. It took place in conjunction with the high-level Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business (APK). Part of the high-level panel were for example Bosch, Siemens, SAP, and Kejora Ventures, who provided valuable feedback to the finalists. The Good Times event provided an opportunity for the tech start-ups to get connected to a broader network of tech-entrepreneurs, established businesses and government.

Boot Camp

In a boot camp, the finalists polished their pitching skills and had the opportunity to meet representatives from the Indonesian unicorn Tokopedia, the mobile platform Ayopop and the Jakarta Smart City Office.

Selection Process

The Make-IT in Asia Ideation Challenge was calling for tech innovations in the energy and environmental sectors. Make-IT in Asia received 100 proposals from Indonesia and 40 from across Southeast Asia. The selection process was delegated to a jury, which consists of the Make-IT Alliance network and its partners. Eight winners were chosen by the judges – six from Indonesia, one from Myanmar and one from the Philippines.

Roadshow

Make-IT Alliance member Impact Hub Jakarta organized a roadshow in the Indonesian second-tier cities Batam, Bandung, Melang and Medan. The goal was to specifically address local tech start-ups from second-tier cities and tech start-ups developing services and products for the people living in more rural areas.

Follow-Up Activities

After the Ideation Challenge, Make-IT in Asia and the Make-IT Alliance continue to offer trainings and mentoring to the selected tech start-ups. So far, this includes the below activities and of course, many more are to come. 

From 13 to 19 May 2019, the Asia-Pacific Week in Berlin addressed innovations concerning tech start-ups and their ecosystems. Mycotech, finalist of the Make-IT in Asia ideas competition, presented its business model at the “Connecting Startup Cities Conference” and benefited from the demand-oriented programme of workshops and networking events with the Berlin ecosystem.

From 4 to 9 March 2019, the two Make-IT in Asia finalists SmashID and Energihub joined a delegation trip to Beijing, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. The trip was organized by StartUp AsiaBerlin. The delegation trip provided the tech-entrepreneurs with insights into the dynamic local tech start-up ecosystems. The delegates visited several companies, organizations and events focusing on the topic of Smart City and touching upon Big Data, Internet of Things, AIoT, Smart Mobility solutions.

From 28 to 29 January 2019, Impact Hub Jakarta organized a Design Thinking Workshop with Adhya Tirta Batam (ATB), a water company from Batam, Indonesia. The aim of the workshop was to promote cooperation with local tech start-ups. For example, SmashID, a finalist of the Make-IT in Asia ideation challenge, explored opportunities for further cooperation with ATB.

Asia-Pacific Week Berlin

From 13 to 19 May 2019, the Asia-Pacific Week in Berlin addressed innovations concerning tech start-ups and their ecosystems. Mycotech, finalist of the Make-IT in Asia ideas competition, presented its business model at the “Connecting Startup Cities Conference” and benefited from the demand-oriented programme of workshops and networking events with the Berlin ecosystem.

Delegation Trip

From 4 to 9 March 2019, the two Make-IT in Asia finalists SmashID and Energihub joined a delegation trip to Beijing, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. The trip was organized by StartUp AsiaBerlin. The delegation trip provided the tech-entrepreneurs with insights into the dynamic local tech start-up ecosystems. The delegates visited several companies, organizations and events focusing on the topic of Smart City and touching upon Big Data, Internet of Things, AIoT, Smart Mobility solutions.

Design Thinking Workshop

From 28 to 29 January 2019, Impact Hub Jakarta organized a Design Thinking Workshop with Adhya Tirta Batam (ATB), a water company from Batam, Indonesia. The aim of the workshop was to promote cooperation with local tech start-ups. For example, SmashID, a finalist of the Make-IT in Asia ideation challenge, explored opportunities for further cooperation with ATB.

The Who

Make-IT Alliance members such as the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), Siemens, the Impact Hub Network, SAP, Deutsche Gesellschaft für international Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, are especially interested and participated already in the ideation challenge. Additionally new partners that just recently joined the Make-IT Alliance already contributed: OAV – German Asia-Pacific Business Association Robert Bosch GmbH and GFA Consulting Group.

The What next

The first concrete steps are taken, the first tech-start-ups are being promoted: Now we look to bring forward our activities on the ground. The floor is open.

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