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 Radyum Ikono, Founder and COO of Nanocenter Indonesia, a company that conducts research and education in nanotechnology and incubates initiatives that uniquely apply nanotechnology to solve important national or global issues. In addition to research, they are conducting educational workshops that will feed the public’s imagination.
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 play and watch soccer/futsal. I am involved the society activity “Sahabat Beasiswa” which is a platform to share and educate people on scholarship and study abroad. I love to be dynamic, to create an idea, realize it with friends and to contribute to society with that.
What inspired you to start this venture?
First, I spent 6 years learning materials engineering and nanotechnology related subjects. I know and realize that this field is a very emerging field in developed nations, and not only emerging, but also a disruptive and game-changing field. But why in Indonesia do people not put any effort to excel in this field, let alone have an interest in this field?
Second reason, many Indonesians who study abroad, either do not come back, or come back to Indonesia but have not made any significant contributions.
I have a confidence that my venture would be the first of its kind to be able to tackle both issues and inspire others to form expertise-based initiatives managed by Indonesian diaspora alumni.
What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?
Convincing investors. Unlike other start-ups that are most likely digital based, we are a “conservative” business that needs to build factories, do physical activities, etc. And it has been quite difficult for us to pitch to most investors that usually look more for digital based start-ups.
What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program?
Experience. Network. Investment.