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 Souvik Aswad, Chief Growth Officer of Panacea, a venture that fights counterfeit prescription crime.  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. This limits a counterfeiters’ ability to mass copy medicine packaging and puts the power of verification in the hands of the consumers.

Want to follow Souvik’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’m an avid reader of Quora & Medium. And sometimes I spend hours on Dribble or Codepen. I like to learn new stuff, right now I’m teaching myself HTML/CSS, Gamification and French. And I love listening to audiobooks, I just finished Zero to One, by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters.

What inspired you to start this venture?

I am a firm believer in the First Principles. I prefer to solve a problem at its core, fundamentally, which wasn’t being done to stop counterfeit medicines. And that bugged me.

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

For us, getting proper attention from our suppliers for our atypical requirements was a challenge. However, we are teaching ourselves to perform most of what our suppliers used to do for us.

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

I like to make connections before I need them, so that’s one goal. But just as delightful is to experience newer ways of doing things, which is very well gleaned from visiting new places and interacting with the people there.

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!

Our next feature is Faraiba Farnan, Co-Founder of Sneho.  Sneho is focused on reducing school drop-out rates in the urban slums of Bangladesh. Sneho’s field tested solution involves distributing the ‘Durable Learning Mat’ and donated books and toys to families.

Want to follow Faraiba’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 a friendly person and like to hang out with close friends, go to movies and have fun. In spare time, I like to watch movies and have a relaxing day at home. I also have passion for traveling and trying different kinds of food.  

What inspired you to start this venture?

I come from a developing country where the living standards of people vary a lot and a great percentage of the population lives under the poverty line. The daily struggles and hardship of the people in my surroundings intrigued me and gave me an urge to bring a change in the society for the upcoming generations to have a better life.

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

One of the main obstacles we faced was to pilot the project and market our model. We faced a lot of questions and criticisms because trust is a crucial issue when people look at social ventures. We overcame the obstacle by being active in social media and publicizing our activities in the most transparent form possible. We answered every question with patience and have done every transaction with proper documentation.

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

I expect to find out what is lacking in the model of my venture and also a solution to this. I also expect to come back with a well-drawn long term plan for taking my venture ahead successfully. I hope the limitation we have regarding funds will also be met through the opportunities offered by this program. And above all, I expect to gain professional experience which will increase my proficiency to run a social venture.

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 Arif Md. Waliullah Bhiyan (Wali), CEO of Light of Hope, a tech-based non-profit delivering innovative and sustainable solutions for rural schools in Bangladesh. Light of Hope aims to improve the quality of primary education in Bangladesh through innovative technology projects.

Want to follow Wali’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’m a crazy book lover. I also watch lots (only good ones) of movies and love travelling. I’m passionate about drawing, designing and using these skills for branding and marketing of Light of Hope.

What inspired you to start this venture?

I wanted to use my engineering and problem solving skills to change people’s lives and make a social impact which encouraged me to join in BRAC – the largest non-profit organization in the world after completing my graduation in EEE. The inspiration to develop a solar school came from a local woman from a remote Bangladeshi village, when I saw how she used a solar energy system to provide mobile charging services to her neighbors, earning money and also providing lighting to her children so that they can study longer hours.

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

In order to get initial seed funding to run any social business, one needs a very good network from where he/she can manage to raise that money. Many entrepreneurs talk about ‘lack of funding’ is the major obstacle. But I found it’s the ‘lack of network’ that leads to ‘lack of funding’ for any venture. I will not say we have fully overcome this obstacle as we are still facing this challenge. But we are now focusing more on building our own networks by meeting people from different backgrounds, developing relationships, trying to help each other with our own skills. We are applying in different competitions, small grant opportunities etc. to expand our project.

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

I will definitely look forward to more opportunities for networking and developing my own skills in pitching and negotiation.  I also look forward to any angel investment for Light of Hope.

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 Ronaldiaz Hartantyo, Founder of Ideas Indonesia.  Ideas Indonesia partners with local farmers to change the perception of Indonesian agriculture by transforming rural communities into eco-tourism destinations.  Ideas Indonesia’s mission comes from the simple idea of trying to make agriculture cool for a new generation.

Want to follow Ronaldiaz’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 also an architect, designer, and a videographer. I love to read books and watch movies. It’s okay for me to go to the cinema alone.

What inspired you to start this venture?

I used to intern on Flores Island in the off-the-grid village named Wae Rebo. I spent 3 months building and learning vernacular architecture with the local community. After my project, the village got selected and won UNESCO Heritage Award. During the project I learned about eco-tourism and its potential to support agricultural sector.

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

Ignorance from the society we’d like to approach. Integrity and trust are also some of the things to be concerned about when dealing with and facing several communities. Some of our communities in Indonesia have this mindset of relying on government support, which makes them unproductive.

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

Benchmarking and trying to learn as many things as I can. Gaining a network and collaborating with others. And of course widening my horizons and experiencing new things. After all, to travel is to live!

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!

Our next feature is Eve Karim, Founder and Director of Authentic Method of Alternative Learning (AMAL).  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.

Want to follow Eve’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 love travelling. Whenever I get time, I travel around the countryside.  I am a classical dancer; therefore I love dancing as well as painting on the weekends. Apart from that I also enjoy my free time by having coffee chat with my friends.

 What inspired you to start this venture?

I was a freshman at my university. One day I saw a little girl get kicked by a man without any particular reason at my university campus. My heart dropped, witnessing the real scenario of how street children are treated in our society.  After that I took a stand and started going to the slums with an intention to support them as well as empower them. That was my story of being inspired.

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

I have faced different obstacles throughout my development work career. The one I remember most is getting confronted by the slumlords. Those slumlords were using the children for begging purposes and they think of AMAL as a threat as we are providing education to them. We talked with them and made them understand the needs of education as well.  We took the help of local security. It was very challenging but we were unstoppable. Finally, we got success through our devotion.

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

I am looking for a supportive community where I can get the support to grow myself as well my organization. I am looking to learn more about funding and partnership opportunities from the mentors and the social enterprise practitioners in Seattle.

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!

Our next feature is Timotius Wong, CEO of Synergy Academy.  Since 2013, Synergy Entrepreneur Academy has inspired thousands of Indonesian youths.  Through the education and motivation provided in their overnight boot-camps, youths gain a better understanding of what it takes to get started.

Want to follow Timotius’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’m a property developer and a pathfinder. I find it fun as a property developer because we are not just building houses, but homes; we are not just developing buildings but developing masterpieces. While as the pathfinder, I enjoy opening ways for people in many aspects of life: I enjoy helping local businesses to go international, helping students or professionals to start up a business, helping people to find their life purpose.

I have also been invited to deliver many seminars about entrepreneurship, motivation, personal development, public speaking, personal finance, marketing strategy, etc.  Beside business and philosophy, my other passions are in music and culinary arts.

What inspired you to start this venture?

My family happened to face a financial crisis while I was still in my second year in university. However, thank God that He used entrepreneurship to save my life so that I could still survive and even finished my education through a master degree. I opened a restaurant of my own by that time.

When I ran into several friends that share the similar experience with me, we started to ponder: “What if there are somebody out there that might be facing the same struggle like us? What if their parents’ business went bankrupt? What if their parents happened to get a sudden deadly accident? What if their parents got fired? What if they come from a poor family? Would they still be able to survive? Or what if their parents might still be fine, but they just want to anticipate in case of something bad occurs?” They need entrepreneurship.

But how could they become one (an entrepreneur) if they don’t understand entrepreneurship? How could they understand about it if they have never learned about it? How could they be able to learn if there is no one to teach them, show them, guide them, train them, and educate them?

To really help someone to start up a business, it requires an intense practical learning. Two hours or one day business seminar is never enough. That’s why we started our first project by organizing Start Up Business Camp, 5 days and nights of intensive training and workshops to start up your own business. And even after the camp is over, we are still providing life-time coaching to maintain their business and help it grow.

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

When we promoted our very first Business Camp, we were still short of reputation. But then we solved it by having a partnership with a well-known business school in Indonesia to leverage their reputation, and we provide a 100% money back guarantee to our participants in order to overcome their doubts.

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

Network and partners.  Synergy Entrepreneur Academy is just one of my social enterprises, I still have a Real Estate Developer Enterprise which one of its focus is also on providing homes for low class economic citizens, It is in accordance with the one-million-houses movement that promoted by our government where these citizens would only need to pay 1% for the Down Payment and they can have their own house, while government would cover the rest by paying the 99% to us, the developer. It is very profitable yet contributes a very huge impact in decreasing the rate of homeless people in Indonesia.

In helping local businesses to go international, I am also about to start preparing an online platform to promote Indonesian products to the world. Indonesia is very rich of natural resources: from the sea, forests, mines, to the agriculture, art, etc. However our farmers, fishermen, etc. still could be considered poor because they don’t have the direct access to the market, the international market. To put it in simple, it’s going to be like alibaba.com of Indonesia. Our focus is not just on manufactured products that could be produced in China, our focus in on resources that could only be produced by the nature in Indonesia.

To expand, execute, grow, and scale up my enterprises I will need expertise, advisors, partners, investors, supporters, and visionaries. I hope there could be some mutual benefit relations in the future, because I hold on this principle: “I know that some of you might have a clear conscience and sincerely want to help the social enterprises in developing countries, that profit might not be your top priority while social impact is the one. But I do think that if some reckless enterprises could generate a huge profit from their business, don’t people like you who care so much about humanity and  the environment deserve an even better benefit and profit than them? The triple bottom line of social entrepreneurship would always be people, planet, and profit.”

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!

Our next feature is Felecia, Co-founder of Marici, a company that 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.

Want to follow Felecia’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 enjoy traveling, reading books, and handcrafting.  My passion is crafting—my mother taught me to make handcrafts when I was very young.  I love to create beautiful things.  I am also a part-time lectutrer in the Industrial Engineering Department at Petra Christian University Surabaya.

What inspired you to start this venture?

When we started 10 years ago, many Indonesian families lived marginally or even below poverty level. These economic conditions force families to live in bad conditions (malnutrition, children cannot go to school, bad health, non-hygienic housing, etc.). Women are forced to work to support their family’s needs because their husband’s income is not enough. Jobs in offices and factories also are not always available for women, therefore they are lured to work in prostitution (Surabaya has the biggest prostitution area in South East Asia) because it’s easier to get lots of money. But not all women want to do this, if they are given the chance they prefer to work from home while they educate their children and care for their family.

We (founder and co-founder) also have experienced our mothers having to work to support our family. It is difficult for the family but they manage to do it, therefore we want to help other women through our business. We want to give a chance for other women to earn extra income for the family, to be able to work from home while educating their children.

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

Finding women who want to work in the handcraft business, because these days people are looking for easy money. Handcrafting requires them to have the skill to work with details. We overcome this by giving them basic handcrafting skill training.

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

We are looking forward to learning how to have access and a network to reach more women, learning how to have a good system inside our business so it can support more women, and seeing other social venture programs which might be applicable in Indonesia.

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 Abdullah Al Mahmud, Editor of Zero to Infinity, 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.

Want to follow Abdullah’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 love visiting places. Almost every weekend I leave the capital, explore beautiful rural areas of Bangladesh. I enjoy the diversity of language and culture in these areas. The way people live, the variety of their social and technological infrastructure attract me so much.

Though I am from engineering background, my passion is astronomy. My life long quest is knowing the governing laws of nature and understanding the basic fabric of the universe. I have written a couple of books on this area.

What inspired you to start this venture?

Actually, from a problem I got the inspiration of doing something. Back in 2012, there was not a single science monthly for the whole country with 160+ million people in it. That sounded like a problem to me. And I know that where there is a problem, there is an opportunity of doing something. This is where Zero to Infinity came into being.

In depth there was a bigger problem too. In 1990 students conversion rate to science was 42%. In 2015 it’s only 22%. And Zero to Infinity is up to fix this. We are publishing science and mathematics monthly magazines, books on different fields. We arrange workshops, public talks and science camps. We work with the ministry. We discuss with policy makers, private companies, NGOs and journalists. And now we look forward to expanding our reach beyond Bangladesh, to fight the same problem the whole world is facing.

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

The most annoying problem every entrepreneur faces here are questions. ‘Why you are not doing a job, why risk your life doing something on your own?’ I’ve overcome it through gaining their confidence by financial success. For me the next challenge was to build a market that never existed before. As there were no science magazines for the last 7/8 years before ‘Zero to Infinity’, we had to build and grow the market on our own. We did it by arranging workshops, Olympiads, camps at schools and colleges.

Convincing people to invest here in science is another problem. People aren’t convinced enough to advertise here, or make donation for science. Moreover, easier and less conditional finance policy is rare in Bangladesh. We are dealing it with the revenue generated from our gradually growing customer base.

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

As Zero to Infinity is growing, I need to develop an analytical eye on organizational behavior. Learning the corporate culture of engaging with investors would be a vital point for me. And I want to learn to visualize the whole process from generating ideas to building viable global businesses from our leading mentors.

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.

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