Blog

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Today’s feature is Armin Khan, Founder of ZappyUp, an e-commerce platform that connects skilled women who provide beauty and wellness services to customers. ZappyUp seeks to empower women to be successful entrepreneurs by making it easy for customers to book appointments with them for beauty and wellness services.

Want to follow Armin’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also 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!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I am an avid traveler and writer. I have trekked to several mountains, in home and abroad, and came back alive to write about them in my blog sleepydoodles.com.  Apart from that, I love cooking, dancing and having a good time with the few special people in my life.

What inspired you to start this venture?

Indigenous girls: their life stories and their tenacity.

What is obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

Making people understand the concept of the business: booking service and ecommerce in the personal services industry is a completely new concept in Bangladesh, and it’s quite challenging to make people understand the purpose behind such a business

To overcome this: we understand that the market and the target customer for this industry are not yet ready for a service as such, as hence we are building this market on the ground, taking one step at a time. We are firstly making people aware of the possibilities, potential and need for such a business, and later, when the demand is created, we will offer them the full-fledged booking service.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

Opportunities to network, collaborate with and learn from a wonderful group of people willing to risk everything to contribute to a better world.

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

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 group also had the opportunity to meet Secretary Kerry during his visit to Kuala Lumpur.

The five teammates came together to created a green energy start-up called APOLLO. Their start-up aims to provide energy efficiency and battery charging convenience to all of its users. APOLLO will allow users to charge cellular batteries from both solar and kinetic energy with a wireless charging feature.

Jolkona has arranged a one-week visit to Seattle for the five team members to help them develop the startup idea they presented in Kuala Lumpur.  They will learn skills needed to develop business plans and will get exposure to other entrepreneurs, potential partners, and mentors.

APOLLO is still in the early stages of their venture, but their vision is to make a revolutionary contribution to their countries’ power crises.

Please join us in welcoming the Fall’15 Jolkona Boost Team! 

 

Debbie Ang, Malaysia Debbie, Headshot

Debbie graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Master of Languages & Linguistics. A serial multi-tasker; she works across multiple disciplines (law, psychology, semantics) to publish an ISI-impact journal article for her alma mater and is also an avid reader and writer, where she also contributes to a local website and blog as a columnist/ blogger. Her appreciation for literature and reading eventually landed her insatiable thirst for knowledge in business management and tech start-ups with focus on marketing, media and branding for Apollo.

An ardent believer that knowledge should be autodidactic, she is currently learning to code. Her experience as a trainer/educator has also groomed her to be analytical, critical, communicative and empathetic towards handling people from different backgrounds. Debbie believes that users’ experience and the product is the core success of APOLLO and together with her partners, they collaborate with one another to realize the very mission and vision they had when they first met during Startup Weekend, ASEAN.

 

Louise Ivan Valencia Payawal, Philippines IMG_4518

Louise Ivan Valencia Payawal is a 21-year-old software developer from the Philippines. Ivan was an active student leader and a consistent academic scholar whose hard work and perseverance bore fruit as he graduated with Latin honors from Wesleyan University-Philippines. He has also shared had his fair share of losses and failures. He has encountered countless hurdles, however these hurdles have fueled his passion for innovation and his commitment to the environment.

Ivan now anchors APOLLO, a company committed to technological advancements that utilize renewable energy resources. From this, APOLLO aims to provide energy efficiency and battery charging convenience to all its users. It possesses two renewable energy features that enable APOLLO to charge the battery from both solar and kinetic energy; and a wireless charging feature that enable its users to share its power wirelessly.

 

Tomy Arden Phang, Indonesia2013-06-21 2015-04-15 001 020

Tomy has always been enthusiastic about learning something new, especially in the field of sciences and technology. He loves to be able to apply what he learned into tangible projects that can be used to achieve a greater purpose. Being young has not stopped Tomy from looking for opportunities to build himself up as an entrepreneur.

Having found himself with like minded people in Startup Weekend ASEAN, His team has decided to create a green tech venture together. Tomy was born and raised in Indonesia, but has been studying in Singapore for the past seven years. He is currently studying in Singapore University of Technology and Design, pursuing Engineering and Product Design.

 

Suriatizah A. Rani (Shuu), Brunei Shuu Rani, Headshot

Suriatizah A. Rani (Shuu), has been teaching herself to design for the past 5 years. A person who has always been taking the high road in life, she has been building her career in the Design Industry by freelancing for different companies. Decidedly quirky and attentive, she values the symbiosis in the design world, from the Digital Design, to Visual Strategy and Industrial Design. Within those years, she has worked and established good rapport with both local and international clients such as Disney, GQ Magazine, and Insider Magazine.

As a design advocate, she believes the importance of design being not just an aesthetic, but functionality.

She resonates with APOLLO’s ideal to revolutionize product design, thus encouraged her to be the Lead Designer for the team. To her, brand and product design goes in tandem to any business’ foundation.

 

Aecil Trinidad, Philippines Aecil Trinidad

Aecil M. Trinidad graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering. She was granted a scholarship by Korea’s “Scranton Women’s Leadership.”

She also represented Wesleyan University in the recently concluded CISCO CCENT Netrid- ers Philippines 2014 where she was recognized as an award recipient. She also has a passion for network engineering and design. In her spare time, Aecil loves to travel, watch movies, and spend time hanging out with awesome people.

 

Announcing our Fall’15 Catalysts!

Jolkona has been hard at work this summer identifying our new cohort of social entrepreneurs from Indonesia and Bangladesh for the Jolkona Catalyst Program. We received 160 applications and sixteen Catalysts were selected to make a long journey to Seattle to work with some of Seattle’s brightest minds. Over the course of three weeks they are paired with mentors, coaches, instructors and other subject matter experts to hone their business models and to learn how to scale their impact.

We are so thrilled to welcome our first multi-country cohort of inspiring social leaders this fall. Please join us in welcoming this diverse group of 16 talented individuals!

Reserve your space now for the Fall’15 Jolkona Catalyst Showcase! This is your chance to meet these inspiring young leaders and to hear more about the great work they’re doing at home.  Register here.

Bangladesh Catalysts

 

Souvik Aswad, Chief Growth Officer, Panacea Souvik Aswad, Headshot

Websitewww.panacealive.xyz

Twitter: @souvikaswad

LinkedIn: bd.linkedin.com/in/souvikaswad

Counterfeit prescription are a big problem in Bangladesh. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10 percent of all drugs sold worldwide are fake. And a recent study says 100,000 people die each year from taking fake medicine. Bangladesh’s government says at least ten percent of the medicine sold in pharmacies across the country are fake. That’s 1 in every 20 prescriptions.

Panacea prints a unique alphanumeric code on every medicine strip of a pharmaceutical brand, which consumers can check with an SMS, mobile app or website. With Panacea every medicine strip is unique and accounted for. This limits a counterfeiters’ ability to mass copy medicine packaging and puts the power of verification in the hands of the consumers.

 

Arif Md. Waliullah Bhiyan (Wali), CEO, Light of Hope Arif Wali, Photo

Website: www.lightofhopebd.org

Twitter: @wali1929

Light of Hope is a tech-based non-profit delivering innovative & sustainable solutions for rural schools in Bangladesh. ‘Light of Hope’ aims to improve the quality of primary education in Bangladesh through innovative technology projects. They currently have set up four “Digital Schools” – low cost, solar run classrooms with laptops in rural parts of Bangladesh.

 

Zia Hassan Siddique, Director and CEO, Greenergy Solutions Zia Hassan Siddique Photo

Website: www.greenergy.com.bd

Greenergy Solutions Limited supports and incubates energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives that leverage solar, wind, or hybrid to create solutions for agriculture communities.

As an engineering and consulting firm they are designing solar powered irrigations systems, solar powered refrigeration solutions and solar powered mini-grids. These solutions are designed to be low cost and accessible to members of the rural communities they serve.

 

Faraiba Farnan, Co-Founder, Sneho Faraiba Farnan

Website: http://www.sneho.org

Twitter: @faraiba_farnan

LinkedInwww.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=312310186

Sneho is focused on reducing school drop-out rates in the urban slums of Bangladesh. Sneho’s field tested solution involves distributing ‘Durable Learning Mat’ and donated books and toys to families. For parents in these urban slums, the education of their children often is not viewed as non-negotiable. By incorporating regular sessions with the parents alongside the use of the learning mat Sneho hopes to shape the mindset of parents showing them how even a small amount of learning can impact the future of their children. The Sneho learning mat is a simple but powerful solution that will excite children about learning. Sneho is securing partnerships with key organizations and corporations that will sponsor the mats and their distribution.

 

Armin Khan, Founder, ZappyUpArmin Khan Photo

Website: www.zappyup.com

ZappyUp is an e-commerce platform that connects skilled women who provide beauty and wellness services to customers. ZappyUp seeks to empower women to be successful entrepreneurs by making it easy for customers to book appointments with them for beauty and wellness services. Each year, a large number of women, mainly from the low-middle to middle income bracket, enroll in beauty and wellness training programs such as hairdressing, make up art, yoga, and physical training. These skills can increase their income so they can earn a living wage. Unfortunately, finding employment or clients is difficult and many “drop out” of their dreams. ZappyUp will give women the tools to become independent and successful business women who are able to earn a living doing what they love.

 

Eve Karim, Founder and Director, Authentic Method of Alternative Learning (AMAL) Eve Karim Headshot

Website: http://amalbd.org/

AMAL has been running for the past four years and have supported more than 350 underprivileged children. Through focused projects they have worked with children rescued from brothels, children who have not benefitted from even the most basic education, and children who don’t have access to basic health services. AMAL has been able to earn the trust of families and have trained a number of volunteers to work directly with them. Children are learning skills to make handmade crafts that can in turn provide a small income that AMAL hopes will be enough to keep them from illegal or dangerous forms of earning money. AMAL has set up a few production centers that also offer children the opportunity to be part of a caring community that encourages them to set their sights on a better future.

 

Abdullah Al Mahmud, Editor, Zero to Infinity Abdullah Al Mahmud, Photo

Website: http://z2i.org/

Twitter: @mahmudzero2inf

From a simple Facebook group, Zero to Infinity grew into Bangladesh’s largest scientific community. Zero to Infinity now publishes the only monthly Bengali science magazine in Bangladesh with a readership of over 100k readers.

Their success led to the creation of a math based publication. Zero to Infinity is making math and science exciting and hopes to encourage students to enroll in more science and math classes. They have partnered with the Information Ministry and Ministry of Science & Technology in Bangladesh to serve as knowledge partner or to arrange science, math and coding workshops and camps that encourages both boys and girls to join.

 

Indonesia Catalysts

 

Felecia, Co-Founder, Makarios Kreasindo Felecia Ong, Photo

Websitewww.maricibymarici.com

Marici is introducing the world to the beauty and sophistication of Indonesian designs in the form of handcrafted fashion accessories. Marici is fueled by a powerful mission to empower Indonesian women with new job skills and with safe and sustainable employment.

Marici is optimistic about the long term effects they will have in paving the way for a better quality of life for these women and their families.

 

Radyum Ikono, Founder and COO, Nanocenter Indonesia 

Radyum, Photo

Website: center.nano.or.id

Twitter: @radyum

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/radyum-ikono/13/b22/894

Nano Center Indonesia conducts research and education in nanotechnology and incubate initiatives that uniquely apply nanotechnology to solve important national or global issues. For example, they have found a way to recycle industrial waste from steel mills using it to make an iron oxide pigments that can be used as a coloring agent in things like paint, fertilizer and ceramics. Nano Center Indonesia is embarking on an exciting journey to spark innovation in the creation of new products, medicines and materials. In addition to the research, they are conducting educational workshops that will feed the public’s imagination.

 

Marsya Anggia, Director, Indorelawan Marsya Anggia, Picture

Website: www.indorelawan.org

Twitter: @marsyamars

Indorelawan is an online platform that connects people looking for meaningful activities with nonprofit organizations and communities that are searching for volunteers to help them achieve their social missions. Indorelawan raises awarness about the rewarding experiences that can be had by volunteers who share their talent and gives them the opportunity to transform goodwill into positive action at scale.

 

Taufik Hidayat, Vice CEO, Genteng Traditional Healthy Market Taufik Hidayat, Photo

Twitter: @taufik10121989

Genteng traditional Healthy Market has helped more than 367 poor farmers and over 200 households in Genteng village (West Java Province, Indonesia) to have better options for the sale of their products. Rather than turning to third party sellers who charge steep fees and commissions to transport products to the larger city centers, Genteng Healthy Market gives farmers and households the chance to sell locally and increase their income creating more vibrant rural communities.

 

 

Neng Niawati, CEO, Limbahagia 

Neng Niawati, Headshot

Website: www.limbahagiacompany.blogspot.com

Twitter: @novintt

Limbahagia encourages people to view waste in a new way. Pollution in the form of plastic is a major problem in the cities of Indonesia. Limbahagia are currently developing a mobile application and system to facilitate the recycling process. Individuals are trained to create recycling businesses leveraging these tools so that they may play an active role in cleaning up their cities in a sustainable way.

 

 

 

Timotius Wong, CEO, Synergy Academy Timotius Wong, Picture

Website: http://www.synergy-academy.com

Twitter: @timotiuswong

Since 2013, Synergy Entrepreneur Academy has inspired thousands of Indonesian youths and has helped hundreds of them to become the real entrepreneurs.

Through the education and motivation provided in their overnight boot-camps, youths gain a better understanding of what it takes to get started. Synergy Entrepreneur Academy provides continual support by organizing business camps where they share practical strategies that will help them be successful.

 

Hayyu Widiatma Sakya, Business Director, ADHMORA ABHINAYA PRANA Hayyu Sakya, Picture

Website: www.adhmora.com

Adhmora provides energy solutions from energy monitoring to financing energy conservation program. They have two main projects: Chiller Smart Management System and their Energy Saving Championship in Bandung, Indonesia.

They believe the hub to sustainable development is energy conservation. To reach the goal of energy conservation Admora educates people about the importance of wise energy consumption and even makes energy saving fun through their championship program.

 

Ronaldiaz, PhotoRonaldiaz Hartantyo, Founder, Ideas Indonesia

Ideas Indonesia partners with local farmers to change the perception of Indonesian agriculture by transforming rural communities into eco-tourism destinations. They collaborate with Indonesian farmers to make their farms not only a place of production, but also an eco-tourism and education destination. Ideas Indonesia’s mission comes from the simple idea of trying to make agriculture cool for a new generation.

Despite Indonesia having an abundance of natural potential with fertile soil and a great climate, agriculture seems to a business designated to poor communities. Ideas Indonesia wants to show the nation’s young people that there are many fun and engaging benefits that come with working in the agriculture sector.

 

The Jolkona team has been hard at work getting ready for our Fall’15 Jolkona Catalyst program. This fall from October 24 to November 13, we will welcome 16 social leaders from Bangladesh and Indonesia. This will be the first time the Jolkona Catalyst Program will host the two countries at the same time. We are looking forward to having the two countries collaborate and learn from one another!

The welcome dinner for the Spring 2015 cohort. Our first program with Bangladesh!

The welcome dinner for the Spring 2015 cohort. Our first program with Bangladesh!

For this upcoming cohort, we received 140 applications from young social leaders and entrepreneurs from Bangladesh and Indonesia. From this 140 applicant pool, our team conducted 60 interviews over the past month. Our interviews frequently ran over their time limit because we truly enjoyed each conversation. It was incredibly energizing to hear the great work being done in these two countries!

Stay tuned: During the third week of September, we will announce our final list of 16 Catalysts for this upcoming program. These young social entrepreneurs come from a wide variety of industries and are working on solving systemic social issues with innovative approaches.

Are you in Seattle and want to get involved with our fall program? We are actively looking for homestay hosts, volunteers, and mentors. Click here to learn more about joining our Fall’15 Jolkona Catalyst Team. 

 

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

 

Jolkona is excited to invite Indonesian entrepreneurs to apply for our Fall 2015 Jolkona Catalyst! This will be our first multi-country program with entrepreneurs from Bangladesh and Indonesia joining the Jolkona team for three weeks of intensive training and mentorship!

In 2014, we hosted two stellar cohorts of entrepreneurs from Indonesia. Click here to learn more about Cohort 1 and Cohort 2. We are thrilled to host another Indonesian cohort from October 19 to November 6, 2015. We will accept applications from both Indonesia and Bangladesh until our deadline of Friday August 7, 2015 at 23:59PM. 

We can’t wait to welcome more inspiring young entrepreneurs from Indonesia and Bangladesh this fall! 

 

APPLY TODAY

 

What is Jolkona Catalyst? Jolkona is a nonprofit that 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 & abroad.

Are you eligible to apply for this program?

  • Must be founder of an active social enterprise that has been in operation for at least one year
  • Age between 22-35 years
  • Must be from Bangladesh or Indonesia and currently living there
  • Must be able to participate to the full program from October 19, 2015 to November 7, 2015
  • Must be eligible for a J1 or B visa
  • Proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application

Want more information? Please direct all questions to catalyst@jolkona.org.  Application Deadline is 8/7 at 23:59 PST.

“My experience as a host for [Jolkona] Catalyst has been incredibly rewarding! I’ve not only made two wonderful new friends, but I enjoyed learning about their social good endeavors and feel confident the impact they will have in the world will be profound. In addition to learning so much about their cultures and traditions, we often spent the evening discussing topics that affect women and girls across the world. Every evening was an opportunity to experience the global community and I learned so much from both of my guests. I felt a meaningful connection to all of the changemakers in the program and it was truly an honor to be a part of their time here in Seattle. I stay in touch with both Dini and Mirah and feel so fortunate that they are now a part of my life. My homestay weeks were truly one of the most memorable moments at home in 2014.” – Kim Wright, homestay host 2014

Atuar with homestay friends II

 We’re looking for individuals and families to host our Jolkona Catalyst entrepreneurs this fall!

Jolkona Catalyst is a three-week intensive social business accelerator brings social entrepreneurs from emerging countries to Seattle, where they can hone their business plans, gain valuable insights, and work one on one with experts in their field.

These social leaders are dedicated and engaged students and professionals between the ages of 22 and 35, who are all eager to stay with local hosts and experience Seattle culture. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about other cultures and share a little of our own Pacific Northwest culture and hospitality.

Adnan with homestay parents

 

Here are a few helpful details:
  • The time and effort commitment to the host family is minimal
  • Hosts provide a room, are close to bus transportation and provide food for breakfast and dinner
  • The entrepreneurs have a full schedule and will spend much of their free time working on their projects or attending workshops
  • As long as there is access to the bus, these entrepreneurs will have an ORCA card for their commuting needs
  • We will grant a stipend to the host family to cover expenses incurred while hosting

“Hosting two social entrepreneurs from Bangladesh was great. They were warm, responsible, smart and fascinating people. Although I was a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, I felt like I had a unique understanding of the work they were doing and the issues they faced from my own volunteer service, and we had many wonderful conversations. I highly recommend it!” – Casey Luce, homestay host 2015

If you’d like to host one of our Jolkona Catalyst entrepreneurs, please fill out our Homestay Interest Form.

In our second Alumni Highlight, we’re sharing the story of Dini Hajarrahmah, CEO of WanderlustOn her blog, Dini shares her experience of going through Jolkona Catalyst after just returning to her home country of Indonesia. Dini was part of our second Jolkona Catalyst cohort from Indonesia in November 2014! 

Curious about our next Jolkona Catalyst session and how you can get involved? Visit our Jolkona Catalyst Application page

Last month in November 2014, I was lucky to be one of the selected 5 Social Entrepreneurs from Indonesia that got a chance to go to Seattle joining “Jolkona Catalyst” program by Jolkona and the US Embassy in Jakarta.

Jolkona Catalyst Cohort 2 in Seattle

Jolkona Catalyst Cohort 2 in Seattle

I said we are lucky because they have only had 2 batches (each batch consist of 5 Social Entrepreneurs) from Indonesia! The next batch in 2015 will be from Bangladesh! We were selected from around 70 applicants that submitted the application online. I bring Wanderlust Indonesia, my social business started 1 year ago in creating a unique & responsible traveling experience by connecting traveler and local through volunteering activity. The other 4 social entrepreneurs are

1. Alfatih Timur – Founder of kitabisa.com

2. Nancy Margried – Founder of Batik Fractal

3. Alfi Irfan – Founder of AgriSocio

4. Candra Cahyani Gani – Founder of Bedah Kampus

To me, These amazing 4 people is now feel like part of my family after spending the very cold weeks for us together in Seattle 🙂

What is actually this program all about? Jolkona Catalyst designed to escalate social business from developing country and leverage the impact of social entrepreneurship by bringing social entrepreneur from developing country to Seattle, to learn about social business, meet prospective investors, and network. They put us through two weeks of intensive training, mentoring, and networking to bring our social mission driven startup to the next level. We attend workshops to refine our business, met the Seattle Start-up community, visit some successful company like Google, Microsoft and learnt to pitch to investors.

Our 2 weeks in Seattle curriculum basically led to this final event that they call “Showcase Event” which we have 5 minutes to pitch our social business in front of the audience in Seattle.

1st Week – Build Business Plan

We have a very packed schedule during the 1st week to understand our business deeply, defining our vision and mission statement again, explaining it in elevator pitch so many times to different people and the most important thing, meet a lot of amazing people as our workshop lectures, pitch coaches, and lovely MENTOR!

Here are the workshops that we got during the 1st week :

1. Value workshop by Barri Rind

2. Elevator pitch coaching by Ajit Banerjee

3. Workshop #1: Define your Mission, Value Prop, and Strategy by Peter Blomquist

4. Fireside Chat with Sam Chughtai

5. Workshop #2: Execution and Scale by Emer Dooley

6. Workshop #3: Problem solving & overcoming challenges by Cole Hoover

7. Workshop #4: Culture and Leadership by Kyle Kesterson

8. Workshop #5: Tell Your Story by Susan Bloch

9. Office Hour (individual) with Brandon Fleming, Anita Sulaiman, Linsey Battan and Bob Ness

Dini Photo 2

And here are the list of places that we visit in the 1st week :

1. Farestart Restaurant

2. CODE.org

3. The Seattle Foundation

4. University of Washington

5. Start Up Hall

Dini Photo 3

 

While this one is the Networking Event / Session that we got :

1. Techstars Demo Day

2. Techstars Launch Party

3. University of Washington Networking Event with MBA Students

4. Dinner with Barri Rind

Above all those activities, we also got chance of MENTOR MEETING twice in that 1st week. My mentor is Maryann Ness – used to be Kak Hendriyadi’s mentor in batch 1 and wife of other mentor, Bob Ness – who is mentor to Nancy Margried!

Dini Photo 4

Dini Photo 5

The 2nd Week is the Week of CRAFTING OUR PITCH!

This week, we get more intense training and workshop that focus on preparing our 5 minutes pitch. Yes, you have to tell about your social business in only 5 minutes. This is a really big learning for all of us to TELL WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART in our business that we we want people know. Telling our story.

During the 2nd week, we got chance to learn :

1. Workshop #6: Financial Analysis and Modeling by Nawsheen Sharfuddin – our “Mama” Project Catalyst because Nawsheen is the 1st contact communication between us and Jolkona & the Coordinator for Project Catalyst Cohort 2 program! She is AMAZING buddy also for all of us 🙂

2. Workshop #7: Design thinking by Nancy Xu

3. Workshop #8: Prioritization, Focus, Impact & Transparency by Adnan Mahmud – The CoFounder of Jolkona who also CEO of Live Stories, his enterpise that become one of 10 company which selected to participate in intense Techstars program in 2014.

4. PITCH COACHING SESSIONS!!!! Here are our amazing pitch coaches :

Steve Schwartz
Archie Gupta
George Economy
Dan Kranzler
Irene Yamamoto
Ben Friedman
Martina Welke
Ajit Banerjee
Brandon Fleming
Anita Sulaiman

5. Inspiring sharing from Ben Friedman – young social entrepreneur of Homegrown, sustainable sandwich shop!

We also have opportunity to visit :
1. Microsoft
2. Theo’s Chocolate
3. Seattle Tilth
4. Seattle Urban Farm
5. Homegrown
6. Impact Hub
7. Google

And the most important thing is that we have our 5 minutes PITCH session finally on Thursday, 13 November 2014 at WeWork – Yale Avenue, Seattle.

Dini Photo 6

 

Dini Photo 7

 

Watch our pitch video here : 

a. Candra Cahyani Gani :
b. Dini Hajarrahmah :
c. Alfatih Timur :
 
 

During the 2 weeks, we also have our own homestay host who open their home, heart and kindness for all of us! I have a fabulous host who hosted Mirah from last batch. My host named is Kim Wright and she work as a Director of Philanthropy at The Seattle Foundation. We have great time staying together, have our tea night in front of the TV while talk on some topics, Indonesian-American dinner, pitch practice, and lots of laughs! Thank you Kim for everything!!! I hope to see you soon in Indonesia and have our Wanderlust trip 🙂

Dini Photo 8

 

Jolkona Super Team!

All of these event & ideas arranged by a Foundation based in Seattle called Jolkona who is Founded by 2 awesome husband & wife; Adnan Mahmud & Nadia Mahmud. Adnan is also a Founder of Livestories, a social enterprise envision to make data for non-data people! During 2 weeks, we are hosted by most of Jolkona team and they are all awesome! Thank you Nawsheen, Monica, Nancy, Adnan, and Nadia! 🙂

Seattle Ecotourism / Community-Based Tourism 

One of my objective joining this program is to partner, find the network with Ecotourism enterprise in Seattle that might be interested to have the destination & project in Indonesia. So, I met 3 of Ecotourism founder in Seattle that inspire me to improve Wanderlust & bring it to the next level. Hopefully, we can make a partnership with them and more International travel company. 3 of them are :

Seattle Exploration!
Even though we have only 2 weeks and our program is very packed & full, I dont want to miss any traveling part to see the city and surrounding! As Seattle famous with a very grunge city, The 1st Starbucks Store, Space Needles, and the beauty of its nature – we found sometime to  explore the city by our own. Kim also bring us to Brainbridge Island in my last day in Seattle before I continue the journey to Vancouver.

Dini Photo 9

Thank you Project Catalyst JOLKONA, Thank you US Embassy for supporting this program & Thank you all the mentor, coach, speaker, entrepreneurs. Thank you for all the awesome host, thank you for all Seattle people!!! You are all awesome!! 🙂

In February, we gonna have chance to present about our social business only in 2.5 minutes in @America – Pacific Place in front of US Embassy & some investors. Lets wish Wanderlust & all the social enterprise the best of luck! 🙂

Dini Photo 10

Keep Wandering,

@dinidreaming

This blog post was originally posted on Dini Hajarrahmah’s personal blog, which you can view here. Blog republished with permission.

In our first Alumni Highlight, we’re sharing the story of Nadya Fadila Saib, Co-Founder & CEO of Wangsa JelitaOn her blog, Nadya shares her experience of going through Jolkona Catalyst after just returning to her home country of Indonesia. Nadya was part of our very first Jolkona Catalyst cohort from Indonesia in June 2014! 

Curious about our next Jolkona Catalyst session and how you can get involved? Visit our Jolkona Catalyst Application page

In the last two weeks, I joined a program called Jolkona Catalyst as one of five Indonesian Social Entrepreneurs. The program was run by Jolkona Foundation in Seattle, and it gave an insightful and incredible experience. To me personally, at least.

And as I spend more time reminiscing and thinking about my “a-ha moments” during the program, it really is difficult to make a list of just top three moments, or even just to come up with one from each day. But now that the program has ended and I am back home from the chilly hilly Seattle, I realize that my a-ha moment was something a lot more powerful. I realize that it is less of a moment, and more of a momentum. And that, I think, makes Jolkona Catalyst my most favorite program thus far, in so many levels.

Part of it is the timing. Wangsa Jelita is five years old—actually six this year. And just like observing a toddler grows, I can see how Wangsa Jelita matures through an exciting pace. In the past months in particular, however, Wangsa Jelita has been going on one challenge after another. And it is so tempting—as well exciting—to me, to get straight to the issue and tackle them one by one. Too exciting sometimes, it can get very draining. Jolkona Catalyst was the much needed caesura; giving me time to be away and watch from a far, seeing how the system in the business runs without much of my involvement, and having some zen time to think more thoroughly about the next steps. Two weeks well spent.

The other part is the content of the program. Not only that I learned something new, the messages I got from the program were rich too, and they helped me make sense of the last few years of both my professional and personal life. I did a lot of introspection and got a few reminders. Here are my two main takeaways.

  • Understanding our own value(s) is essential—because it is something we will hold on to tightly whenever we make decisions in life, both personal and professional matters. I feel fortunate for some circumstances recently have allowed me to be more appreciative with the time I have. And I believe, in order to not taking time for granted, knowing priorities is important. And this program has taught me that priorities can only be set once I know what my values are. I’m beyond thankful for this particular lesson.
  • We are all in a relationship business—no matter what kinds of products and services we offer. I was hit by this statement when my mentor, Heide Felton, first told me, and I was so intrigued that I kept thinking about it. When I met Charles of Theo Chocolate for the second meeting, he gave me an advice which resonated well with it, I quote, “you gotta know your people” (customers, stakeholders..) – to me, it was like an epiphany. No relationship (business) can grow without continuous efforts to know more about its significant someone (stakeholders). Truer than true.

And last but not the least, there were the people; from the super successful mentors, the insightful lecturers and coaches, the thoughtful team of Jolkona, the passionate batch folks I have, not to mention the field trips to some of the most successful companies worldwide (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Geogache, Google, Microsoft, Theo Chocolate, and many others) which allowed us to sit together and ask questions to their top management level people so that we can learn from their experience. They all make the program even more enriching. I feel inspired and moved.

Gates Foundation Visitor Center is the best example  that shows how powerful story telling is.

Gates Foundation Visitor Center is the best example
that shows how powerful story telling is.

Jolkona is full of radiant people like Nancy, who radiate positive energy and have beautiful smiles.

Jolkona is full of radiant people like Nancy,
who radiate positive energy and have beautiful smiles.

Nadya Photo 3

4th day debrief session with Adnan at Kerry Park.The view was uh-mazing!

But guess what, my respect and love for each and every one of them goes beyond what they do and extends to the beauty of who they truly are.

First and foremost, my batch folks. Dino is the techie guy who is committed to capture every moment with his camera. The tripod and some memory cards can speak on his behalf. Hendri is the compassionate young man whose positive energy is just contagious. Mirah is the caring person who always made sure that I didn’t feel cold due to one layer I wore. Nobody asked me the way Mirah did. While Nadine, her love for environment is so big, so much so that every time she talks about it I feel like the responsibility of taking a very good care of the environment is mounting on my shoulders. And I think it’s good. I’m so looking forward to collaborate with her and her team.

Not to mention, the mentors, the coaches, the professors, the lecturers, the businesses, the NGOs, the host families, and the people in Jolkona.

In the middle of the packed schedule, Heide Felton is the loving woman who messaged me in the middle of the night not only to check my assignments’ progress but also to ask what my plans for the weekends are—just so she knows I’d make the best of my stay in Seattle. I love her.

Nadya Photo 5

Last meeting with Heide. Her words touched me deeply.

[…]

For all the lessons which each and every one of them has shared, I’m thankful and wishing the very best for all of their endeavors.

2nd meeting with Charles. Always full of food... for thought.

2nd meeting with Charles. Always full of food… for thought.

I have couple of hours to get back to work (it’s almost 5 in the morning, and my jet lag still got me wide awake) and I hope to make sense of what I just made sense of by sharing my experience with my team soon.

Again, big big thanks, for sure, to everyone who was involved in this program (as well the US Department in Indonesia), and I look forward to stay in touch!

Let’s keep the momentum going.

This blog post was originally posted on Nadya Fadila Saib’s personal blog, which you can view here. Blog republished with permission. 

 

Jolkona Catalyst has opened its application cycle for its Fall 2015 accelerator! From October 19 to November 6, 2015, we will invite 16 young entrepreneurs from Bangladesh and Indonesia for an intensive three-week accelerator. We are looking for Bangladesh and Indonesia’s most promising social entrepreneurs working towards bettering their country. Know an entrepreneur in Bangladesh that fits this criteria? Please forward them this information!

APPLY TODAY

What is Jolkona Catalyst? Jolkona is a nonprofit that 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 & abroad.

Ferdous Mottakin pitching for Offroad Bangladesh, an online travel platform working to make Bangladesh a more accessible travel destination.

Ferdous Mottakin pitching for Offroad Bangladesh during the Spring 2015 Showcase.

Catalyst enjoying dinner and networking after the event.

Catalyst enjoying dinner and networking after the Spring 2015 Showcase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want more information? Please direct all questions to catalyst@jolkona.org.  Application Deadline is 8/7 at 23:59 PST.

On May 5, we closed out our third Jolkona Catalyst accelerator with a culmination PitchFest at the WeWork Coworking Office in South Lake Union. Jolkona Catalyst is an intensive, three-week accelerator for entrepreneurs from emerging countries. For our spring cohort, eight of the most promising entrepreneurs from Bangladesh traveled to Seattle for three weeks of mentor-based training and pitch coaching.

Our Catalyst entrepreneurs pitched their ventures in front of the Seattle social entrepreneurship community with fast, three-minute pitches. Their presentations were then judged by a panel of experts who provided feedback. Our judges included: Boris Jabes, co-founder of Meldium (acquired by LogMeIn); Jason Preston, co-founder of Dent the Future; and Janis Machala, Managing Partner of Paladin Partners.

After, our friends and supporters joined our Catalysts for a delicious Bangladeshi meal and networking. A big thank you to everyone who joined us for this inspirational evening! Interested in learning more about our Catalysts and their ventures? Visit our dedicated Catalyst page.

Couldn’t make it to the event? Keep scrolling for photo highlights from the Showcase! 

Shazeeb Islam presenting

Shazeeb Islam pitching for Social Business Youth Alliance, a social enterprise supporting youth leadership through entrepreneurship training.

Ferdous Mottakin pitching for Offroad Bangladesh, an online travel platform working to make Bangladesh a more accessible travel destination.

Ferdous Mottakin pitching for Offroad Bangladesh, an online travel platform working to make Bangladesh a more accessible travel destination.

Catalyst enjoying dinner and networking after the event.

Catalyst enjoying dinner and networking after the event.

Dr. Neelima Das (center) with Jolkona Board member, Heide Felton (left) and Dan Kranzler, Jolkona pitch coach

Dr. Neelima Das (center) with Jolkona Board president, Heide Felton (left) and Dan Kranzler (right), Jolkona pitch coach

Fiona Khandoker, CEO of TrainedBD, and Debojit Saha Shurokka, who were the winners of Audience and Judges Choice respectively.

Fiona Khandoker, CEO of TrainedBD, and Debojit Saha, CEO of Shurokka, were the winners of Judges and Audience Choice Awards respectively.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

Our eight entrepreneurs from Bangladesh have arrived for the Spring 2015 Jolkona Catalyst program. Jolkona Catalyst is a three-week, mentor driven accelerator program designed for entrepreneurs from emerging countries. During the next three weeks, they will work with mentors and coaches to hone their business models and learn how to scale their impact.

Our eight entrepreneur feature is Ferdous Mottakin, Founder & CEO of Offroad Bangladesh. Offroad Bangladesh is a crowd-sourced platform that engages international travelers and connects them to destinations in Bangladesh and services provided by locals.

Ferdous Mottakin’s Bio 

FerdousFerdous has travelled throughout much of Bangladesh. He is proud of the beauty and rich history that Bangladesh had to offer and yet found that information about the wonderful places he visited is not readily available. As he got to know various areas of the country and the people who lived there, he felt these areas would greatly benefit from an increase in tourism and that this increase would ultimately help lift their economy.

Ferdous started Offroad Bangladesh, a crowd-sourced platform that engages travelers and connects them to destinations throughout Bangladesh and to services provided by locals. In doing so, he hopes this will mean new income sources and in particular will give youths of this area a chance to engage in these economic activities giving them opportunities that would only be available if they left their communities.

Ferdous holds a Bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC. Aside from his love of travel, Ferdous also enjoys checking out new movies and spending time with his 3-year-old son.

Our eight entrepreneurs from Bangladesh have arrived for the Spring 2015 Jolkona Catalyst program. Jolkona Catalyst is a three-week, mentor driven accelerator program designed for entrepreneurs from emerging countries. During the next three weeks, they will work with mentors and coaches to hone their business models and learn how to scale their impact.

Our seventh entrepreneur feature is Shazeeb Islam, Founder & CEO of Social Business Youth Alliance Global. Social Business Youth Alliance Global is a non-profit organization designed to train youths interested in launching their own ventures.

Shazeeb Islam’s Bio 

Khairul IslamDuring his time in university, Shazeeb was greatly inspired by the work of Dr. Muhammad Yunus and the concept of social businesses that strive to solve societal issues in a sustainable way.

In 2013, he and seven other students who shared his passion created Social Business Youth Alliance Global, a non-profit organization that trains youths interested in launching social businesses.

To date they have inspired more than 2000 young people and have helped launch 3 successful social businesses.

Shazeeb Islam holds a Masters in Business Administration from University of Dhaka. You may find Shazeeb playing cricket on his free time and visiting new places.

Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @jolkona for updates as their accelerator begins!

Our eight entrepreneurs from Bangladesh have arrived for the Spring 2015 Jolkona Catalyst program. Jolkona Catalyst is a three-week, mentor driven accelerator program designed for entrepreneurs from emerging countries. During the next three weeks, they will work with mentors and coaches to hone their business models and learn how to scale their impact.

Our sixth entrepreneur is Dr. Neelima Das, CEO of the Green Emancipation. The Green Emancipation promotes healthier living and to lift families out of poverty.

Dr. Neelima Das’ Bio 

Neelima2As a public health professional, Dr. Das has a keen interest in bringing to light the significant role natural medicine can have in improving the lives of families who have little or no income. Apart from the health benefits of employing natural medicine in preventive care and as treatment for other ailments, growing the herbs and plants used in these natural medicines provides an entrepreneurial opportunity and source of income to many poor families in Bangladesh.

Dr. Das founded Green Emancipation to promote healthier living and to lift families out of poverty. She and her team have spent the past few months compiling needed research and information on plants, herbs and growing methods and plan to make it available on their online platform and future smart phone app.

Dr. Neelima Das has a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree from Rajshahi Medical College, Rajshahi University. She also holds a Master of Health informatics and Master of Public Health degree. She enjoys listening to music and singing and has had guest appearances on radio talk shows to speak on topics related to health and development.

Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @jolkona for updates as their accelerator begins!

Our eight entrepreneurs from Bangladesh have arrived for the Spring 2015 Jolkona Catalyst program. Jolkona Catalyst is a three-week, mentor driven accelerator program designed for entrepreneurs from emerging countries. During the next three weeks, they will work with mentors and coaches to hone their business models and learn how to scale their impact.

Our fifth entrepreneur feature is Mehraab A. Anwar, Vice President of Footsteps Foundation. Footsteps Foundation is a youth-based volunteer organization whose mission is to empower youth in Bangladesh to improve their communities. 

Mehraab A. Anwar’s Bio 

Mehraab AnwarMehraab, our youngest Catalyst, is proud to be representing an organization whose mission is to empower the youth in Bangladesh to improve their communities. At a young age, he saw firsthand the illness that resulted from lack of clean water and which motivates him to find more youths who want to actively create change.

Footsteps reaches out to youths and trains them to engage in events and initiatives that tackle important social, national, environmental issues. Through his work with Footsteps, Mehraab hopes to set an example for others who aspire to have a positive impact in Bangladesh.

Mehraab Alam attended University of South Florida majoring in marketing and management. He is currently taking a short break to focus on Footsteps. Mehraab enjoys many hobbies and can be seen behind a camera taking pictures or video or engaging in public speaking to share his experiences with others.

Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @jolkona for updates as their accelerator begins!

Our eight entrepreneurs from Bangladesh have arrived for the Spring 2015 Jolkona Catalyst program. Jolkona Catalyst is a three-week, mentor driven accelerator program designed for entrepreneurs from emerging countries. During the next three weeks, they will work with mentors and coaches to hone their business models and learn how to scale their impact.

Our third entrepreneur feature is Debojit Saha, Co-Founder & CEO of Shurokka. Shurokka makes low-cost, high-quality disposable sanitary napkins that are subsidized by garment factory owners and distributed by approachable women who also provide valuable education related to personal hygiene to female factory workers.

Debojit Saha’s Bio 

debojit sahaDebojit was running a market research firm while pursuing Bachelors in Business Administration degree at Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka.  One of his projects at the firm was to study the cost efficiency of Ready Made Garment (RMG) factories in Bangladesh.

During his research he visited various RMG factories and he found that women had the highest rates of absenteeism, further investigation uncovered a significant issue that afflicts all female garment workers. The high cost of sanitary products often dispensed at male run stores led female garment workers to make their own sanitary pads from remnant fabric.

These makeshift solutions are not properly washed or dried causing infection or other issues that prevent them from going to work. Debojit wanted to solve this problem and he eventually co-founded Shurokka, which makes low-cost, high-quality disposable sanitary napkins that are subsidized by garment factory owners and distributed by approachable women who also provide valuable education related to personal hygiene to female factory workers.

Debojit holds a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from the University of Dhaka with a major in finance and a minor in marketing. When he can find some free time, Debojit enjoys traveling and photography as well as exploring new restaurants with friends.

Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @jolkona for updates as their accelerator begins!

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