Bandung and Melbourne Startups Collaborate to Develop Digital Innovation in Social Sector
Through the ‘Melbourne-Bandung Innovation Series’ program initiated by Deakin University from Australia, the City of Bandung and Melbourne seek to realize digital solutions in the social sector.
The startups selected in this program will provide digital innovation ideas in solving four main social topics. First, Inclusive Entrepreneurship to reduce disparities in access to resources and increase entrepreneurial opportunities for everyone.
Second, Tangguh Innovation to reduce the impact of environmental damage and defend existing cities in the face of natural disasters and climate change.
Third, the Creative Approach to Tourism, which is a way to attract tourists and offer new travel experiences to stimulate post-pandemic tourism.
Then fourth, Public Health Innovation which uses innovations from the pandemic to address the challenges of the public health system in the future.
SPARK Deakin Founder & Program Sponsor, Svetha Venkatesh, said the program was designed with the aim of encouraging the development of a global mindset and increasing participants’ understanding of the startup ecosystem.
“It also allows them to seize opportunities and build a knowledge base in innovating and adapting to different market contexts,” said Svetha through her statement, Thursday (16/12/2021).
Selected Startup List
This innovation idea competition will run every three months for a period of one year. The jury consists of experts and practitioners based in Melbourne or Bandung.
Each of them represents a field related to the startup ecosystem, the digital economy and innovation, and the Australia-Indonesia economic partnership.
They are Poppy Trewhella as Director of Programs and Partnerships – Startup Victoria, Biondi Sima as Digital Government Consultant for the World Bank, and Rebecca Hall as Commissioner for Victoria to Southeast Asia – Global Victoria.
After going through a rigorous selection process, there were a total of 4 startups from Bandung and Melbourne who were selected as winners.
They are MUVi (Melbourne) which is engaged in media research and public health, PoreBlock (Bandung) which has made a breakthrough in the building materials industry, especially in terms of porous paving blocks to reduce the risk of flooding.
There is also a Culture Academy (Bandung) as a skill empowerment platform for MSMEs in Indonesia, and POPS4Public (Melbourne) providing users with greater access to privately owned public spaces.
Preferred Startup Response
The winners in each category felt proud and happy, especially because their innovative ideas received a positive response from the judges.
“We feel even more motivated. Winning the category as the most impactful startup is a sign that the judges believe in our efforts. We are also encouraged to continue and implement this work so that we can contribute to solving the flood problem,” said Anisa Azizah, CEO of PoreBlock.
MUVi, Culture Academy, and POPS4Public share the same feeling. In fact, POPS4Public received an offer to participate in early-stage funding.
“With the Innovation Series which discusses real social challenges in each city, we have the opportunity to get acquainted directly with local government officials,” said Mohammad Mohammadi, Founder of POPS4Public.
According to him, introducing new ideas is indeed a challenge in itself, but this event is a good first step for further development in the future.
Meanwhile MUVi hopes to get further opportunities to make wider connections with stakeholders in Australia and Indonesia after winning this competition.
“The workshops we got in the Innovation Series event are very useful for pitching preparation. In the future, we hope there will be more opportunities to get acquainted or explore networking sessions, to share with other participating startups,” said Murray McDonald, director of MUVi.
In line with MUVi, Hendriyansyah, CEO and Founder of Culture Academy hopes to collaborate with the Indonesian Embassy in Melbourne.
“We also plan to continue expanding to cities such as Bandung and Melbourne to help develop MSMEs in Indonesia and Australia,” he concluded.