Kiwi tech entrepreneurs to
learn about tech giants in Indonesia


Five leading Kiwi tech entrepreneurs are heading to Indonesia from 12 to 17 November as part of an Asia New Zealand Foundation programme that will take a deep dive into the country’s flourishing tech scene.

Five entrepreneurs standing in a line

The five tech entrepreneurs heading to Indonesia in November

The five who have been selected are:

  • Brandon Hutcheson, CEO of Aware Group, Hamilton
  • Marko Kisa, co-founder and director of Firefly Search, Auckland
  • Dr Sasha Kljakovic, co-founder of Well Revolution, Auckland
  • Dr Angela Lim, CEO and co-founder of Clearhead, Auckland
  • Mat Weir, CEO and founder of First Table, Queenstown

“Indonesia has four unicorns [billion-dollar tech startup companies], so clearly there is something we can learn from them,” says Adam McConnochie, Asia New Zealand Foundation’s programme manager for leadership and entrepreneurship.

“Here in New Zealand, Indonesia is not usually on our radar when it comes to technology and innovation – yet the tech industry in Indonesia attracts about half of all the tech investments in Southeast Asia –  more than US$3 billion in 2017,” he adds.  

“This is why we are taking five outstanding Kiwi tech-entrepreneurs to Indonesia — so they can learn more about the tech scene, connect with their Indonesian counterparts and hopefully even find ways to work together.” 

The group will visit venture capital (VC) firms and leading companies such as ride-sharing app Go-Jek and customer loyalty app Fave. They will also connect with the start-up scene by visiting co-working spaces and meeting innovative companies at the leading edge of consumer tech, artificial intelligence and medical technology.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation will take advantage of its existing links with leading Indonesian entrepreneurs who have visited New Zealand previously as part of the Foundation’s programme. They include coffee exporter and leading blockchain advocate Indradi Soemardjan, who first came to New Zealand through the programme in 2014 and is now the chairman of the Indonesia - New Zealand Friendship Council.

Auckland entrepreneur Angela Lim, CEO and founder mental-health focused tech company Clearhead, says she wants to learn more about how to scale a start-up for a larger population.

 “This trip is unique because it will provide an immersive experience that will help us to truly get to know a country's people and culture, which is fundamental in building meaningful business relationships in Asia,” Dr Lim says.

“Indonesia, being the fourth largest country in the world population-wise, is a great place to learn about scale.”

Brandon Hutcheson, CEO of Hamilton-based Aware Group, says visiting Indonesia will help his company’s aim of becoming the largest artificial intelligence products and services company across Asia-Pacific.

“The purpose of going over there is to understand how the innovation in the tech scene and primary sectors of Indonesia have been impacted so far by artificial intelligence, the use of data in general and IoT [Internet of Things].”

The tech-focussed trip is part of the Foundation’s ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative, which the Asia New Zealand Foundation delivers on behalf of New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The programme aims to deepen connections between leading entrepreneurs from New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

Established in 1994, the Asia New Zealand Foundation is New Zealand’s leading authority on Asia. Through a range of programmes, the Foundation provides experiences and resources to help New Zealanders build their knowledge, skills and confidence to thrive in Asia.

For more information:

Rebecca Inoue-Palmer
Acting Director Strategic Communications and Media
(04) 470-8701
[email protected]