PRESS RELEASE

NUS Enterprise partners Salim Group in new start-up hub - BLOCK71 Jakarta  

New initiative supports innovation and entrepreneurship development in Singapore and Indonesia


Singapore, 28 July 2017 – NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), in partnership with Salim Group, today announced the launch of BLOCK71 Jakarta. The launch event was officiated by Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) and Mr Enggartiasto Lukita, Indonesia’s Minister of Trade.
 
Modelled after the successful BLOCK71 in Singapore’s entrepreneurial hub – JTC LaunchPad @ one-north, BLOCK71 Jakarta is a 1,500sqm incubation facility that is located in Kuningan, an area popular amongst Jakarta’s thriving technology community. It aims to support innovation and entrepreneurship development in both Singapore and Indonesia, by being an ecosystem builder and global connector, which catalyses and aggregates the start-up community. Indonesian and Singaporean start-ups may use BLOCK71 Jakarta’s global network of resources and contacts to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey and gain access to international markets. At the same time, the initiative will allow greater information exchange and connectivity between the Singapore and Indonesia start-up ecosystems.
 
“BLOCK71 Jakarta will be a launchpad for Singapore entrepreneurs and innovators to build ties with the Indonesian start-up community, and explore opportunities to work together. This is an example of what we hope to achieve with a network of partners to build a Global Innovation Alliance, which was a recommendation by the Singapore Committee on the Future Economy earlier this year. This Indonesia-Singapore partnership is also a timely one, given that 2017 marks the 50th year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Indonesia. We hope BLOCK71 Jakarta will foster a healthy two-way exchange of ideas, innovation, and expertise between Singapore and Indonesia,” said Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade).

Enabling entrepreneurs and innovations to scale globally
BLOCK71 Jakarta is the latest extension of a global network of entrepreneurial hubs set up and managed by NUS Enterprise together with strategic partners. It takes its name from its birthplace – the Block 71 building within the Ayer Rajah industrial estate in Singapore, where a disused industrial building was transformed into a renowned landmark for innovation through championing the aggregation and growth of the local technology start-up community. In addition to Singapore and Jakarta, BLOCK71 has been established in San Francisco in the US and will expand to Suzhou, China in the near future.
 
In Jakarta, both NUS Enterprise and Salim Group will work closely to cultivate a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem and build bridges for business development in Indonesia and beyond. BLOCK71 Jakarta supports entrepreneurs by providing:

  • Access to global networks – NUS Enterprise and Salim Group have a comprehensive network, including investors, corporate partners, mentors and industry. Singapore start-ups can gain easier market access within Indonesia and Indonesian start-ups can leverage upon NUS Enterprise’s entrepreneurial hubs in the US, China and Singapore, to venture into these markets;
  • Incubation support – NUS Enterprise organises a range of support programmes to help entrepreneurs kickstart and develop their ideas;
  • Opportunities to pilot and test business ideas and technologies in the Indonesian market;
  • Opportunities to participate in entrepreneurial initiatives organised by NUS Enterprise – These include business competitions, validation programmes, talks and conferences, and other start-up related events; and
  • An ecosystem and community – A strong start-up community provides synergies and opportunities for collaborations. It also enables sharing of best practices. Regular start-up events and activities are organised at BLOCK71 Jakarta to strengthen the community further.

“BLOCK71 Jakarta will allow entrepreneurs and innovators from Singapore and Indonesia to work together and tap upon the combined experience and resources of NUS Enterprise and Salim Group. We have been identifying relevant Singapore technologies and start-ups that are interested in piloting or test-bedding their ideas in Indonesia and introducing them to BLOCK71 Jakarta. This new facility will also be a useful platform for NUS students who are interested in learning more about regional markets,” said Dr Lily Chan, CEO NUS Enterprise.
 
“We are delighted to partner with NUS Enterprise in launching BLOCK71 Jakarta. We have embarked upon this initiative as we want to support entrepreneurs as well as encourage new developments in Indonesia. The Salim Group’s networks and experience will facilitate the entry of start-ups and innovations to the local market and benefits the community here,” said Mr Axton Salim, Salim Group’s Executive Director.
 
Preliminary operations in BLOCK71 Jakarta commenced since March 2017. Some 20 start-ups are based at the facility, half of which are from Singapore. Pioneering companies include Carro (a next-generation vehicle dealership and auto-financier), Viddsee (an online video platform), Circles.Life (a digital telecommunications operator), HelloBill (a mobile, point-of-sales start-up), pslove company (created heat therapy patches) and 8villages (rural community empowerment portal).
 
Dr Lily Chan added, “BLOCK71 Jakarta is open to all start-ups and entrepreneurs who are keen to explore the Indonesian market. In particular, we strongly encourage companies which are developing innovative technology solutions with the potential to scale globally, to apply.”
 
 
For media enquiries, please contact:
 
Chan Yiu Lin                                      
Greener Grass Communications (For NUS Enterprise)                   
Mobile: +65 9765 5897
Email: yiulin@greenergrass.com.sg
 
Diah Andrini
Fortune PR (For BLOCK71 Jakarta)
Mobile: +62 812 9659 5706
Email: diah@fortunepr.com
 
 
About National University of Singapore (NUS)
 
A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.
 
NUS has 17 faculties and schools across three campuses. Its transformative education includes a broad-based curriculum underscored by multi-disciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. Over 38,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community with their diverse social and cultural perspectives. NUS also strives to create a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within its community.  
 
NUS takes an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to research, working with partners from industry, government and academia, to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in NUS’ Schools and Faculties, 30 university-level research institutes and centres, and Research Centres of Excellence cover a wide range of themes including: energy, environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing; advanced materials; risk management and resilience of financial systems. The University’s latest research focus is to use data sciences, optimisation research and cybersecurity to support Singapore's Smart Nation initiative.
 
For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg.
 

About NUS Enterprise
 
NUS Enterprise plays a pivotal role in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at NUS and beyond. It actively promotes entrepreneurship and cultivates global mind-sets and talents through the synergies of experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry partnerships for technology and commercialisation, holistic entrepreneurship support and catalytic entrepreneurship outreach. Its initiatives and global connections support a range of entrepreneurial journeys and foster ecosystem building in new markets. As Asia’s Thought Leader for Innovation & Enterprise, it augments and complements the University’s academic programmes and acts as a unique bridge to industry well beyond Singapore’s shores.
 
For more information, please visit www.enterprise.nus.edu.sg
 
 
About Salim Group
 
Salim Group was founded in 1949 and is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia. Today, Salim Group is an Asian based company with global presence. Its diversified and integrated business activities span across industries such as food, agribusiness, distribution and retail, telecommunications, automobile, building materials, real estate and industrial parks, hotels and resorts, financial services, infrastructures, chemicals, as well as resources and international trade.

 
Annex 1 – Some of the start-ups at BLOCK71 Jakarta
 
Carro
Carro is an online marketplace for car buyers and sellers to deal directly, providing increased convenience, transparency and trust. The company is one of the largest wholesale marketplace for cars in South East Asia. Carro first launched in Singapore in 2015, and to date has raised over S$25 million in funding.
 
“Carro set up in BLOCK71 Jakarta in April this year, as one of the pioneering Singapore start-ups there. The environment is superb as we get to interact with like-minded entrepreneurs and more importantly attend community events organised by NUS Enterprise and Salim Group. Our plan is to expand Carro’s presence in the Indonesian market rapidly, to become the most dominant online marketplace for cars here,” said Aaron Tan, CEO and Co-founder Carro.
 
 
Circles.Life
Circles.Life is Asia’s first digital telecommunications operator, providing data-savvy customers with a digital experience designed for the smartphone. The company was set up in 2013 and based in BLOCK71 Singapore. At BLOCK71 Singapore, Circles.Life found the ecosystem conducive for rapid growth, and decided to partner with BLOCK71 Jakarta, when expanding to Indonesia. Circles.Life chose Indonesia as their key market outside of Singapore, as Indonesian consumers are data savvy, heavy users of smartphones and spend significant time in front of their phone screens – factors that make them ideal Circles.Life users.
 
“The BLOCK71 ecosystem across Singapore and Jakarta is special, in that it creates an environment where genuine sharing can happen. Entrepreneurs can learn from each other, and not repeat mistakes; investors can meet entrepreneurs informally to get to know each other better; and talented people can meet potential employers or co-founders. This has not happened in the region before, certainly not at this scale or magnitude,” said Abishek Gupta, Co-founder Circles.Life.
 
 
pslove 
Launched in 2015, pslove has developed its flagship product MenstruHeat, an adhesive heat patch that alleviates menstrual cramps through natural heat therapy. The positive feedback from MenstruHeat users led to pslove expanding its product portfolio to include NeckHeat and BackHeat, with each product being designed to fit body contours and calibrated to release the right level of heat. Thousands of women use MenstruHeat, NeckHeat and BackHeat each month.
 
“Indonesia makes up 40 per cent of South East Asia’s population. We look forward working with the community at BLOCK71 Jakarta to explore opportunities for bringing our products to Indonesia, in order to alleviate pain through heat therapy across the archipelago. BLOCK71 Singapore has been our home from the beginning and BLOCK71 Jakarta is an extension of this indispensable community. Basing ourselves here will not only help us enter the Indonesian market quickly, but also benefit from the cross pollination of local experience,” said Tan Peck Ying, Founder pslove.
 
 
Viddsee
Founded in 2013, Viddsee is a digital entertainment network for short movies that also produces, distributes and markets Asian content to a global audience. With its headquarters in Singapore, Viddsee joined BLOCK71 Jakarta in May 2017.
 
“Knowing that our Indonesia team would be situated remotely from our HQ, we chose to locate at BLOCK71 Jakarta, as we knew it would be a vibrant working space. Having our roots in BLOCK71 Singapore, we were already familiar with the importance of having a supportive community,” said Ho Jia Jian, Co-founder Viddsee.
 
 
8villages
8villages is an Indonesian social enterprise that has built an education and communication application to empower rural communities. Initially, this start-up is focusing on helping Indonesian farmers and micro-businesses to increase farming yields and connect rural communities.
 
“We chose to base ourselves at BLOCK71 Jakarta since May 2017, and have found the community excellent, in helping us to grow 8Villages rapidly. Our plan is to continue developing our education and communication app, building it into a technology platform that can be used to hasten village development, leading to better lives for rural dwellers,” said Sanny Gaddafi, CEO and Co-founder 8villages.
 
 
HelloBill
HelloBill is an Indonesian start-up that has developed an industry-specific, mobile cloud, point-of-sales system, to help SMEs and micro business owners to manage their business better. The system is relevant specifically for food and beverage, retail and beauty businesses. In addition to providing point-of-sales functions, HelloBill plans to include logistics, customer loyalty and customer experience features.
 
“BLOCK71 Jakarta is not just an ideal workplace for HelloBill, it is also a place where we interact within a vibrant community in which we can share knowledge, attend insightful events in the IT start-up industry. By calling BLOCK71 Jakarta home, the HelloBill team will surely grow together with the community here,” said Ponky Sutanto, CEO and Co-founder HelloBill.

 
Annex 2 – BLOCK71 Jakarta factsheet
 
About BLOCK71
BLOCK71 is an initiative by NUS Enterprise in collaborative and strategic partnerships with established corporates and government agencies. It is an ecosystem builder and global connector which catalyses and aggregates the start-up community, as well as spearheads new initiatives and provides mentorship and growth opportunities in local and global markets.
 
In every instance and location, BLOCK71 embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship, collaboration and partnership by optimising the unique experience of each entity, the research capabilities and technologies of the university, and  the investment and business acumen of the partners, to support entreprenuerial journeys within the local geography and beyond.
 
BLOCK71 locations provide a physical locus for expanding start-ups to access new markets while leveraging NUS Enterprise’s global network of resources and contacts. Entrepreneurs in the BLOCK71 family also enjoy comprehensive support services from NUS Enterprise such as dedicated mentoring support, access to funding, exclusive networking opportunities that go beyond physical space, and assistance to integrate into the local ecosystems seamlessly.  In addition to Singapore and Jakarta, BLOCK71 has been established in San Francisco, the US and will expand to Suzhou, China in the near future.
 
BLOCK71 takes its name from its birthplace – the Block 71 building within the Ayer Rajah industrial estate in Singapore. It is there that NUS Enterprise, along with Singtel Innov8 and the then Media Development Authority of Singapore, averted the fate of a disused building through championing the aggregation and growth of the local technology start-up community. In continuing the support of entrepreneurial journeys beyond Singapore, it is a fitting reminder of its heritage.
 
For more information, visit www.block71.co
 
 
About BLOCK71 Jakarta
 
BLOCK71 Jakarta is an exciting partnership between Singapore’s most established higher learning institution, the National University of Singapore, and Indonesia’s Salim Group. The partnership taps the synergies from the experience of NUS Enterprise, widely acknowledged as the engine behind Asia’s leading university-based entrepreneur ecosystem, and the entrepreneurial track record and passion of the Salim Group, whose products are known and present in just about every Indonesian household.
 
Strategically located in the heart of Jakarta, Indonesian and Singaporean start-ups may use BLOCK71 Jakarta’s global network of resources and contacts to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey and gain access to international markets. At the same time, the initiative will allow greater information exchange and connectivity between the two start-up ecosystems. Start-ups exploring opportunities in Indonesia can leverage this facility and community to better understand the Indonesian market and expand their networks into a new tech community. Indonesian-based entrepreneurs, companies and investors too can find out more about Singapore and other markets through regular programmes, events and activities.
 
For more information, visit www.block71.co/jakarta

 
Pioneering start-ups at BLOCK71 Jakarta
 

Company name
 
Description
8villages ​This is an Indonesian social enterprise that has built an education and communication application to empower rural communities. Initially, this start-up is focusing on helping Indonesian farmers and micro-businesses to increase farming yields and connect rural communities
 
99.co A property portal that aims to make the experience of finding, moving into and living in a new place seamless and hassle-free.
 
ACCalls An on-demand mobile application providing installation and servicing for air conditioners. The startup is currently building a smart device to track air conditioner performance.
 
Airfrov​ This is a peer-to-peer platform to match requesters and travellers for the purchase of items that are not available locally. Travellers are rewarded for helping requesters buy and bring back items from overseas.
 
Algoritma ​This is a data science school providing data science workshop and bootcamp.
 
Artawana ​This is a peer-to-peer lending platform
 
Asian Parents ​This is Asia's most popular online parenting magazine.
 
Bildeco ​This provides convenient e-commerce solutions of building materials to help construction companies get the best deals through its large network and reputable suppliers.
 
Carro ​This is an online used car marketplace that cuts out the middleman, thus creating a better customer experience.
 
Cashshield ​This is a fraud management solution aimed at optimising the profits of merchants through the use of passive biometric analysis, big data and machine learning.
 
Castko ​This is a Korean news aggregator with presence in Southeast Asian countries.
 
Circles.Life This​ is Asia’s first digital telecommunications operator, providing data-savvy customers with a digital experience designed for the smartphone.
 
Codigo ​This is an award-winning, Singapore-based mobile app development company. The company focuses on iOS, Android, Web, Social, Games, UI, UX & SEO. 300 apps have been developed since 2010.
 
Data Science Indonesia​
 
This is a data-focused community for data science in Indonesia.
eFishery ​This provides an integrated feeding solution for fish and shrimp farming. Its machine can feed fish automatically, sense appetite levels and adjust the amount of feed to match the appetite. The solution is also connected to the internet.
 
Financial Wisdom
 
This​ is an education platform for financial literature.
 
Flolab This is a design agency based in Jakarta focused on User Experience (UX/UI) Design.
 
HelloBill ​This has developed an industry-specific, mobile cloud, Point-of-Sales system, to help businesses manage their operations better. The system is relevant for food and beverage, retail and beauty businesses.
 
Holistics ​This has developed a cloud business intelligence software that automates the preparation of raw data and visualises them as business insights.
 
KliknKlin ​This builds an on-demand laundry service app and runs laundry business networks.
 
Pinjam This is ​an online pawn shop.
 
Popbox ​This is an automated parcel locker that allows you to send, receive and return a parcel conveniently.  
 
Skyshi ​This is a software development company based in Yogyakarta.
 
Viddsee This ​is an online video service specialising in the curation and dissemination of short films from Asia.