Written by: Lynn Yu
July 19, 2013
Hello world! Welcome to the blog of the first ever AITI program in Indonesia.
With more than half of the program already over (we are currently on week 4), it seems like high time to begin documenting some of the highlights of the program so far.
Week 1 was a week full of firsts. We met our students for the first time, and gave them a more detailed overview of the course. Upon hearing their personal introductions, we realized that our students came from a diverse range of backgrounds –different schools, different majors (although all had some relation to computers and I.T.), different regions of Indonesia, and different age groups. Our youngest student just finished his freshman year of college, while our oldest students have had several years of work experience and are working towards post-graduate degrees.
Photo 1: Nicole, our Entrepreneurship Lead, giving an overview of the program
Photo 2: Students of AITI Indonesia 2013 on the first day of class
Photo 3: The only two female students in our class, Tri and Martha
Throughout the week, students were introduced to entrepreneurship through lectures on the entrepreneurial mindset and case studies of entrepreneurs who have succeeded and “failed”. But it wasn’t long before they were pushed out of the comforts of the classroom and into the real world –by day 2, they had to go out into Yogyakarta to interview a local entrepreneur.
Our 4 student groups managed to collect the stories and advice of a variety of different entrepreneurs –one had founded his own freelance IT solution company, while another was a lady who owned a small, street-side restaurant nearby (as well as a few other small businesses). Students were delighted and shocked by the stories of these entrepreneurs. We heard about how optimism and determination can bring success to an entrepreneur who had next to no capital to begin with, the value cooperating with other teams to tackle bigger projects, and the inspiring story of how one woman coped and moved on after her best friend and business partner stole from her.
Photo 4: Presenting on an entreprenur in the local community
Photo 5: Four AITI students meeting the founders of Tonjoo, an IT solutions business. From left, Fahmi, Haidar, Panji, the 2 founders of Tonjoo, and Yusviar.
However, immediately after this “finding inspiration” activity, students were thrown into becoming entrepreneurs themselves. We challenged them with activities such as teambuilding exercise “The Marshmallow Challenge” (inspired by this: http://marshmallowchallenge.com/TED_Talk.html), and then “The Chocolate Challenge” wherein 4 teams were given 12 chocolate bars each to sell to make the most profit possible. One team, due to a failure to hand in a previous assignment on time, was only given 11 bars to compete with.
However, much to everyone else’s surprise, they won the challenge! They earned a total of 500,000 rupiah (or around 50 US$), while the 11 chocolate bars had cost us no more than 3 dollars. They shared with us the unique marketing strategy they used: they decided to sell the chocolate bars in one bundle, and pair it up with the offer of 1 specially designed IT solution. In the end, a professor at a nearby school on campus recognized the sweet deal and made team “Chocoleven”, our initial underdogs, the winners of the day.
Not only did team Chocoleven win everyone’s earnings from the day, they also chose to become a company team, when team formation occurred on Friday. Throughout the week, we had also been doing “problem identification” exercises, pushing students to think about the issues they cared most about in their lives for which they wanted to develop mobile applications. Thus, by the time teams had to be formed on Friday, students had not only become acquainted with each other through group challenges, but had also gotten more in touch with their own passions and interests, around which groups could be formed.
Say hello to 4 fantastic new startups: Chocoleven, Ijoroyoroyo, FARS Tech, and RokuRi! (Learn more about them by clicking on their respective Project pages on the AITI Indonesia 2013 program home page).