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During the first week of the Fall’15 Jolkona Catalyst program, the Jolkona Team was excited to welcome a group of five South Asian nationals for the first Jolkona Boost program. 

Aecil Trinidad from the Philippines poses with the Jolkona Catalyst banner

Aecil Trinidad from the Philippines poses with the Jolkona Catalyst banner

The Jolkona Boost team is a group of energetic, young founders representing Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brunei. They are the winning team from an entrepreneurship workshop and pitch competition that took place on August 4-6 in Kuala Lumpur and was funded by the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.  The event — “Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Generation: Startup Weekend ASEAN” (www.swasean.com) — brought together 110 young aspiring Southeast Asian entrepreneurs to develop strategies on growing their local startup communities.

The five teammates came together to create a green energy start-up called APOLLO. Their start-up aims to provide energy efficiency and battery charging convenience to all of its users.

The Jolkona Boost Team working at Galvanize

The Jolkona Boost Team working at Galvanize

During their time in Seattle, the Jolkona Boost team attended a combination of Jolkona Catalyst workshops and Seattle Startup Week events for an intense one week program. Because the Jolkona Boost team live in different countries, they are faced with the unique challenge of running a startup across borders. Their week in Seattle allowed them to work on their business plan and strategy without having to rely on Skype and e-mail.

The Jolkona Boost team visiting the Microsoft Visitor Center

Visiting the Microsoft Visitor Center

Before their departure, the Jolkona Boost team joined their Jolkona Catalyst colleagues on a trip to the Microsoft Visitor’s Center in Redmond. We then celebrated the end of their time in Seattle with a happy hour cohosted by the Jolkona team and Galvanize. The happy hour allowed our Boost team to spend time with their fellow Catalysts, homestay hosts, and members of the Galvanize community before their return home.

We wish the Jolkona Boost team all the best as they continue to grow APOLLO! 

On Wednesday, November 11 the Jolkona team celebrated the close of our fourth Jolkona Catalyst Program with a culmination Showcase at the beautiful Galvanize Campus in Pioneer Square. Jolkona Catalyst is an intensive, three-week business accelerator for founders from emerging countries. The Jolkona Catalyst Showcase allowed our founders the opportunity to tell their story to 90 guests from the Seattle start-up and non-profit community.

For the fall program, we welcomed our largest cohort to-date with 15 young leaders from Bangladesh and Indonesia. This was also our first multi-country program giving our Catalysts the opportunity to share ideas across countries. Over the course of the three weeks, our Catalysts engaged in mentor-based training and pitch coaching with experts from the Seattle startup community.

We kicked off the evening with a welcome note from our Executive Director, Monica Mendoza. Monica shared with the audience updates from our alumni as they continue to grow their organizations.

During the Showcase, our Catalysts presented their organizations and businesses in front of the Seattle community in 5-minute presentation format. Their presentations were truly inspirational with our Catalysts demonstrating how their ventures are helping to combat social issues faced by their home countries.

We closed the event with a graduation and awards ceremony to honor all of the hard work accomplished by our Catalysts over the past three weeks. Afterwards, our friends and supporters were able to network with our Catalysts while enjoying an Indonesian and Bangladeshi dinner!

Interested in learning more about our Catalysts and their ventures? Visit our dedicated Fall’15 Catalyst page.

Be sure to like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

The program participants received an exciting and hands-on introduction to Design Thinking this week with Zachary Smith.  This quick-paced workshop helped the entrepreneurs approach their ventures with a fresh mindset and also gave them an opportunity to get to know their peers better.

Zachary Smith workshopA technology leader with more than 18 years of product development and client services experience, Zachary has worked with a wide range of industries and organizations including startups, Wall Street banks, automotive manufacturers, enterprise software platform providers, and large consulting agencies.  Zachary is co-founder of the Seattle Design Thinking & Innovation Collective, an organization with over 1200 active members focused on creating a network of innovators in the Seattle area and teaching Design Thinking through immersive and experiential activities.

Zachary Smith workshopA highlight of the workshop was the first activity.  The entrepreneurs were paired up and instructed to stand back-to-back as they listened to a song.  Next, the participants described what the song made them feel to their partners.  After listening, the partners shared the experiences with the group as if they were their own.

In the next activity, the participants were tasked with interviewing their partner about their morning commute and then redesigning the commute based on their research.  Zachary encouraged the Catalysts to “dig deep” and listen carefully in their interviews.  Perhaps it is not the commute that is the problem, but an uncomfortable car seat or other factor.

Zachary Smith workshopBoth of these activities got the Catalysts ready to approach problems in their ventures and their communities in new ways.  They prepared the entrepreneurs to learn about Design Thinking and how it is applicable to the challenge of innovation.  We’re excited to see how they use what they learned with Zachary to prepare for their final Showcase!  Don’t forget to register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Project Catalyst brings high potential social entrepreneurs from emerging countries to Seattle for an intensive 3-week mentor-driven accelerator. These entrepreneurs are solving some of the most challenging societal issues in their communities. Our mentors include some of Seattle’s best startup talent who prepare these founders to scale and engage with investors at home and abroad.

Be sure to like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

The Catalysts got hands-on with their business ideas this week with Ewelina Kieley, Founder of Makapen Co.  Ewelina is an entrepreneur helping startups build prototypes and MVPs with less waste and less upfront costs. She began her career in biochemistry research where she became intimately familiar with the scientific method. Next she jumped on a business opportunity and cofounded a bakery and cafe in Atlanta Georgia. Once the cafe was up and running, she moved to Seattle to continue working with early stage startups. At Makapen, she supports non-technical founders in the process of building out their web products.

Ewelina Kieley workshop

Ewelina’s workshop with the program participants was titled “Early Stage Startup in a Box: How to Validate Your Business Hypothesis with a Prototype”.  The workshop taught the entrepreneurs how to identify a business hypothesis, test the hypothesis through customer interviews and prototypes, and approach building these prototypes.

Ewelina Kieley workshopAfter introductions were made and Ewelina explained the process, the participants were challenged to define their own business hypotheses and design prototypes to test them.  The Catalysts teamed up and quickly got to work, spreading out throughout the room to sketch plans and discuss their ventures.  It was an exciting, hands-on workshop and the hard work of the participants was evident when they presented their prototypes to the group.

Ewelina Kieley workshopProject Catalyst brings high potential social entrepreneurs from emerging countries to Seattle for an intensive 3-week mentor-driven accelerator. These entrepreneurs are solving some of the most challenging societal issues in their communities. Our mentors include some of Seattle’s best startup talent who prepare these founders to scale and engage with investors at home and abroad.

Don’t forget to register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Be sure to like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

by Kymberly Tindall, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Monday of the second week, the Catalyst participants visited Cambia IMG_4294Grove and learned about how their space works to bring together individuals who are solving problems in healthcare. The Catalyst participants toured the 9000 square feet and got a sense for how a space free to people working on solutions to a fractured healthcare system.  Check out the board that is on the wall in the office area! A focus on the customer and innovating the customer experience in healthcare.  Healthcare innovators use this space to work, interact, support, and learn.

After the tour, the Catalyst participants convened in the conference room.  Avtar Varma, from Elevar, learned a bit about the projects in the room and got the group on a skype call with Anisha Sood, Investor-in-Residence at the Cambia Grove.  The Catalyst participants were aIMG_4300ble to learn about investing from the perspective of a Venture Capital expert.  Some of the take away points were that VCs are looking for focus and even in social projects, the return and outcome projections will be looked at the same from a financial stand point.   Also that advisors are great so long as they regularly and actively advise and how the process of gaining funding goes from introduction to receiving funding.

You can register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th to see our entrepreneurs give their final pitches for the program.  Click here to RSVP!

Jolkona Catalyst brings high potential social entrepreneurs from emerging countries to Seattle for an intensive 3-week mentor-driven accelerator. These entrepreneurs are solving some of the most challenging societal issues in their communities. Our mentors include some of Seattle’s best startup talent who prepare these founders to scale and engage with investors at home and abroad.

Be sure to like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

The Jolkona Catalyst entrepreneurs kicked off their second week in the Jolkona office with a group mentor session with J. Michael Cavitt.  Michael is an author, a speaker, a change agent, a trainer and a connector.  During his forty year plus career, he has consulted, coached and trained top managers in state government, small business owners, individual investors and professionals.

Michael Cavitt Mentor SessionMichael’s facilitated discussion with the participants focused on business planning.  Throughout the discussion, the Catalysts took notes on their plans, strategies, and goals for their respective ventures.  Beyond explaining the more technical aspects of business planning, Michael also offered advice from his experiences within the Seattle startup community, encouraging the Catalysts not to be afraid of failure and to “fail forward” in their endeavors.

Following their group mentor session, the entrepreneurs prepared for and attended one-on-one meetings with their Seattle-based mentors.  These mentor sessions are invaluable to our participants and we can’t wait to see what they’ve learned when they pitch their ventures at our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Michael Cavitt Mentor SessionJolkona Catalyst brings high potential social entrepreneurs from emerging countries to Seattle for an intensive 3-week mentor-driven accelerator. These entrepreneurs are solving some of the most challenging societal issues in their communities. Our mentors include some of Seattle’s best startup talent who prepare these founders to scale and engage with investors at home and abroad.

Be sure to like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

 

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