Although not exactly an achievement, but JKTFI’s Director Novistiar told us that one of the startups from the first batch actually turned down an angel investment offer. Hey, saying no to investor is the next cool thing, right?
Here’s the timeline :
Application start date: March 21, 2012
Early admission date: April 22, 2012
Application end date: May 13, 2012
Semester start date: May 24, 2012
Semester end date: September 13, 2012
Check out our interview with Novistiar from Jakarta Founders Institute.
After that first class, what do you expect to improve for the next batch?
Our priority for this semester will be providing higher quality mentors. During the semester, our founders rated the mentors on various aspects such as their presentation, involvement outside the session, support provided, etc. For this semester, we will prioritize to invite mentors who got good rating from the founders. Fortunately, many Jakarta Founder Institute mentors were rated high last semester. Two of them are even nominated for the Top Founder Institute Mentor 2011 and are invited to attend the Founder Showcase in Silicon Valley this April.
We will also invite new mentors to join the Jakarta Founder Institute. We have tight selection criteria, we will only invite successful entrepreneurs/professionals who have related skills and experiences that are valuable for our founders. These tight selection criteria also apply to our international mentors. This semester, we will prioritize to invite what we call “super star mentors” or entrepreneurs/professionals who have very high rating and/or are very successful in their business. Such persons are Phil Libin (Evernote), Gabe Zichermann (Gamification.co), Dave McClure (500Startups), Naval Ravikant (AngelList), etc.
In addition, we would like to improve mentors – founders interaction during and after the semester. Thus, one criteria that we will use in inviting our mentors is their availability to meet and talk with founders outside their session. That means mentors will be asked to hold more office hours for founders. Not only mentors, Directors will also spend more times with founders earlier in the semester to help them shaping their business idea and improving their pitch.
Beside the quality of our mentors, we will also improve the quality of founders who are accepted into the program. Based on the results of our program in more than 20 cities all over the world, the Silicon Valley Founder Institute continuously improves the test that must be taken by applicants. Each applicant will now be reviewed based on the following factors: Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Fluid Intelligence. We believe our method is better than before in accurately predicting/finding applicants with personal traits required to become successful founders. In addition, while English is still our preferred language, this semester we will allow founders to apply and do their assignments in Indonesian. By doing this, we will not eliminate good quality, strong founders who are not comfortable to speak or write in English. Anyway, if they only target local market, they don’t need to be able to speak English to success.
Last but not least, we (the Directors) and mentors will be more honest and strict than before. Founders will also get more challenging special assignments that are important for their startup. We learned that finding not committed founders and/or founders without strong idea earlier in the program will benefit the class as a whole, including the corresponding founders since they can rethink their idea and startup before they spend too much time and resources on it.
With all incubator programs now available for indo startups, how do you see JKTFI is unique from the others?
In general, there are three different types of incubator/accelerator: startup events/hackathons (Startup Weekend), full-time incubators (East Alpha, Project Eden) and Founder Institute. The first one is short duration with limited mentorship. The second one is long duration and one of their main objectives is to invest in the startup they incubate. In addition, they require the founders to work full time on their startup. Founder Institute is a long term incubator program with the main objective to help entrepreneurs launch their technology companies. We aim to improve the rate of startup success by providing high-potential entrepreneurs with expert training, critical objective feedback, and peer support. We don’t invest in our founders.
We also don’t require our founders to work full time on their startup, that means, they can complete our program while still working full time on their current job. This is very helpful, especially for more experienced founders who currently have good career. They can reduce their risk by getting feedback about and strengthen their business idea, learning from experienced mentors, building their network, or even raising funding before quitting their job.
Another unique aspect of the Founder Institute is our Bonus Pool. Each startup graduated from our program is required to give 3.5% of their equity into the Bonus Pool, which is shared amongst everyone in the program: graduated founders, mentors, and the Founder Institute. The Bonus Pool will encourage everyone to help each other cause when one succeeds, everyone succeeds!