Indonesia’s Hot Entrepreneurial City – Yogyakarta and Sofro Coworking Opening

Never having visited Yogyakarta before but having heard a lot about this special region it was an experience to look forward seeing inside what is becoming known as Indonesia’s Hot Entrepreneurial City.

The first stop with Indonesian entrepreneurial colleagues as part of the Australia Awards Indonesia post-course program was Aino Indonesia which is a spin off company providing e-Ticketing, e-Identity and e-Money Integration.  With the majority of Indonesians unbanked you can see why solutions like this are needed as well as many cities and regions goal to be a smart city.  This extends to transportation, bike sharing, vending machines, and smart campus implementations across Universities.

A visit to PT Gamatechno, subsidiary of Gama Multi Group, saw Aditya share about the history of the company, unusual structure as it commercialises University staff research, and the diverse range of products and services that the group has developed.  PT Aino Indonesia is a provider of electronic payment solutions for the mass transportation sector, government services, education, and retail. PT Aino Indonesia supports Cashless City Solution, an inter-usability inter-capital solution, to inter-operability of electronic money cards within the city, so that the use of cash can be minimised.

This was followed by a tour and pitch session at Innovative Academy Hub for young digital application developers and startups.  Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) officiated the Innovative Academy Hub as a creative hub for developers of digital applications.  Students and members of the public may put their ideas into action here for application developments.  It is always interesting to hear pitches and to see similarities with problems that Australian startups are solving albeit in a different market and circumstances.

On the evening of 2 August 2018 it was a privilege to join Aditya, his family and team as they opened Sofro Coworking.  Named after Aditya’s grandfather, this coworking space will see many ideas and startups born, with collaboration between Australia and Indonesia.  The space has a New York style with an Indonesian twist, ideal for teams or solo entrepreneurs, travelers and free lancers.  Congratulations on taking many learnings from the Indonesian and Australian ecosystems and putting it into practice at Sofro!

Aditya’s team and Debora Lovita, Co-Founder, CFMO of NED Studio were wonderful hosts on the Friday before I flew out to Australia, picking me up and taking in the amazing sights of World Heritage site Prambanan built in the 10th Century.  The group giggled as I was dressed as an Indonesian Queen and many people stopped to take pictures.  It was a remarkable place that was topped off by lunch with outstanding views at Abhayagiri Restaurant.

Thank you to friends and the entrepreneurial community for being so welcoming and making my first visit to Jogja so memorable.

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