March Madness

A mix between a new low of my life (or not) and some happiness spread here and there, hopefully will lead into a better month in April.

  • Covered how GushCloud raised funding and they have an office in San Fransisco now!
  • Penn Olson have officially rebranded – a lot have asked why we (or Willis) took that risk, it’s simply for the long term sake, although I love the old name but I couldn’t agree more since a lot of people phrase Penn Olson as either Penn Olsen or Penn Olsson. (sounds like a Swedish name or something)
  • Attended CyberAgent Ventures Net Impact 2012 and covered it (had fun too)
  • Announced Startup Asia Jakarta 2012 (finally!) and closed some speakers, translated the pages to Bahasa Indonesia too!
  • Rejected, twice, for my US Visa Application. Wish I could blame all of it to the bureaucrazy of the United States Embassy, but no, maybe I was underestimating the whole process.
  • Chelsea became the only team left in the Champions League after winning 4-2 against Napoli and had a great away win against Benfica, plus TORRES is BACK!
  • Watched B2ST Beautiful Show concert in Jakarta, surprisingly had a great time with several friends and ended up with 1GB (10+minutes of 720p video) fancam.
  • Celebrated my 1st year at TechinAsia. Crazy how time flew, and really happy and thankful that I’m able to get this opportunity.
  • To top the madness up, Google launched its Indonesia office (although we don’t know where yet)!

 

The Luckiest Donkey

In a preparation of Easter, and Jesus’ death, we will seek what is needed to prepare to get the Easter’s blessing.

Luke 19:28-30

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

In this verse, we are being pictured as the donkey. Jesus would have easily walked to Jerusalem as it was already near, but He chose to call his two disciples and told them to bring the donkey, a wild one, for Him to ride on.

Genesis 16:12

12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him,and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

We are wild, we chose to listen to our lust, to our hunger to get lots of money only to spend it in a worldly pleasures. We will have a lot of hatred for our enemies and a lot of enemies will hate us. As long as we are still acting like a wild donkey.

Exodus 13:12-13

12 you are to give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD. 13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.

Jeremiah 22:19
19 He will have the burial of a donkey— dragged away and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem.”

If and when we are dead, we will have a burial of a donkey if we stay as it is, we will be thrown away out of Jerusalem, the land of peace, and without God it means that we will be beaten by death, we will go through hell. There’s always a but..

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

But, IF you are ready to put Jesus on to your life, admits that HE is our savior and our only hope, HE will give us direction. He will give us vision and a life full of wealth, health and victory. Before God is on the donkey He rode, the wild donkey would probably worth nothing, but as we see on the verse, people spread their cloaks for the donkey to step on, imagine that!

Romans 5:1-5

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

We will see glory in our sufferings, what does it means? It means that if we suffered with and for God, we will have perseverance, character and hope in our Christian life. If we are buried and dead with Him, it means that we will be raised again from death to win with Him.

John 8:30-36

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

God has set us free from our sins through His death, we are free from sins who we are used to be slave to. We should be thankful, we should show God that we are truly free from sins by leading a life of a Christian.

This is a summary from Handoyo Santoso service from Gereja Kemah Tabernakel – 1st April 2012

Is This Failure?

Yes, I have been rejected, yet again, as I have wrote in this blog I was going to Stanford pending the visa approval. I have gotten the sponsor which is no other than a place I worked at, East Ventures, but unfortunately United States Embassy in Jakarta didn’t approve my application for a B1/B2 Visa.

It was such a depressing experience, especially the first application which took place at March 9, 2012. I was so confident of getting a visa that I only bring the letter from Stanford other than the other necessary document. Apparently I got the most cynical and hardest interviewer. The grim reaper, so to speak, put a long pause after I told him that I’m travelling alone. The fact that I am 19 and graduating next year puts another dent to my chances.

The second time, I bring all the necessary documents, whether from East Ventures, TechinAsia, or even from my married cousin who already had a U.S. Passport there. Yet, i was being rejected for the second time. This time, the interviewer looks really convincing that he’s going to accept me, but I think the fact that I was rejected not too long ago made me unavailable for the visa.

Yes, rejection is always painful, especially when it’s something you have been waiting for, and got through a lot of things from the application to the Stanford itself, then rejected from the scholarship by the Embassy, I got two sponsor offers, which I accepted one of it, yet the only step that I thought was the easier turns against me and brings me back to earth.

No, this is not the ending. I believe it was just another lesson learned, it was just a chance that I missed, there will be many more that will come, maybe this year, or next year, or even the year after. One thing I know is that when I set an eye to a dream, I will never let that dream go. I’m very thankful for a very supportive friends, colleagues and everyone that has given me support. Hopefully in the coming months I can link back to this post and happily said that I just repeated the rejected experience.

Faith, Action, Love and Character

This is the four things that shaped our life as a Christian. We simply aren’t someone who is worthy of God unless we are keeping this four in our mind, our attitude and what we do everyday. Today, we learned a lot from a centurion, whom has an admirable faith in God.

The Faith of the Centurion

 5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6“Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

What is inspiring about the Centurion is that he is someone who came from a nation which ruled the Jews back then and yet he came through, forgetting all the status, to his enemy to ask for help. Not for him, or anyone from his family if that matters, but for his servant. How many of us would go to church and lie under His cross and pray for our servant or maid? A very few people. Imagine the difference in status back then.

Jesus offered to come to his house, which is an honor, yet the Centurion felt unworthy of Him. He believed in God so much that he only hoped to hear His words, and only after that his servant will be healed. Even Jesus felt amazed by his faith and even said that no one in Israel has faith as huge as him, and he will have a feast, in one table, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, imagine that!

We must have faith in God, put love out there into our action which will instills that in our character. God bless us!

I Love February

This month is suppose to be the month of love. Well, although I’m single, I do feel the warmth of love by seeing my family and of course, God as He opens up more and more opportunities for me in this month.

  • The Startup Asia Singapore 2012 was a success.  Yes, there was a glitch of course, there is no perfect event but we did quite great for our first event!
  • Celebrated Valentine by surprising my sister for her birthday (yes, her birthday is on Valentine which is why her name is Michele Valencia)
  • Covered Angry Birds Facebook launch in Jakarta
  • Met with Nadiem Makarim, the co-founder of Gojek Indonesia, a Harvard Business School graduate, honored that he is able to meet me and spend his precious time answering my questions. (We arranged quite a few meetings but the schedule was never matched)
  • B2ST Beautiful Show in Jakarta was announced and I bought my Ticket at Tiket.com and had a review over at Penn Olson. Looking forward to March 17! (I’m accompanying my friends who are girls!)
  • Had quite a brawl regarding my post of Makemac acquisition by Apps Foundry which resulted in a post here.
  • Got rejected by U.S. Embassy regarding the Stanford scholarship then I posted this on my blog. Resulted in two meetings and yes, I will be going to Stanford pending the Visa approval!
  • Spent the second half of the month doing ground work for a huge upcoming event, exciting! Will talk more about it when I can.

 

Although the list is maybe shorter than January, I believe that February is a fun lovely month and March is going to be important leading to a probably best month of the year which is April. (yeah, it’s my birthday month!)

About Fasting

There has been a lot of question about fasting and a lot of ways that has been said about fasting for Christians. There is only one way which is not eating and not drinking, there is no Daniel way of fasting which is for example a week without eating steak only. In passages below we will learn more about fasting.

Zechariah 7:5-6

5 “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months [a]these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted? 6 When you eat and drink, [a]do you not eat for yourselves and do you not drink for yourselves?

God asks whether are we doing the right way of fasting, whether we are directing the fasting in the right direction, are we using fasting for the right reasons?

Joel 2:12-13

12 “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart,  with fasting and weeping and mourning.”13 Rend your heart
and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God,  for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love  and he relents from sending calamity.

Fasting is indicated being similar to regret, to wish that God can take away all the sins that we have done, to purify ourselves from the lust and all the deadly sins that we have done over and over again. God is gracious, He forgave our sins, He will always be there waiting with His warm love.

Judges 20:26

26 Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the LORD. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD.

So when is the right time to fast? When is the proper time? The key word is that day until evening means that after we ate our dinner, we don’t eat anything or drink anything until tomorrow evening. That is the proper way and time to fast.

Ezra 8:23

23 So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He [a]listened to our entreaty.

Matthew 4:1-4

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]

This two verse complete the answer of why we should fast. When we weakened ourselves and we left all of our lust and wants and needs behind for God, He listens, He answers. We should not live off of our needs and wants like money and all of the bling of the world. We live by His words.

This is a summary from Handoyo Santoso service from Gereja Kemah Tabernakel – 26th February 2012

Rely on Him

Most of Christians can say it out loud that they believe in Him, but that’s not enough. If we want to get His blessing, if we want to experience God in our life, we need to rely on Him. Most of us got into the step one, which is, believe in God, but when trouble came we rely on other things first and didn’t put God as someone that we rely the most.

2 Chronicles 20:1-4

1 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites[a] came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom,[b] from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

Moab and Ammon were ambushing Jehoshapat from all sides. He got nowhere to go. What did he do? He relied on God. He believes that He is the only way out. No one else. No where else to go. But it’s not a sense of desperation but a sense of reliance that this problem can only be solved if he face it together with God, and together they did.

2 Chronicles 20:4-12

5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard 6 and said:

“LORD, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

He ask for His help and not only him, but he ask all of the men of Judah to fast and together ask for God’s blessing, and to rely on Him. So what did happen after that?

2 Chronicles 20:22-26

22 As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing[d] and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah[e] to this day.

They sang praises, they put out their prayers, they rely on God to help them win the war and you know what? They did win. All of their enemies are dead, not even one alive. They earn more than what they can bring to their houses. That is what we will get if we trust and rely on Him. We will WIN and we will get more things than what we ever wanted.

This is a summary from Handoyo Santoso service from Gereja Kemah Tabernakel – 19th February 2012

Disclosure

Earlier today, I posted an article regarding Apps Foundry acquiring MakeMac. It didn’t get any great reaction, perhaps the opposite. But since I’m not the one doing the investment, I can’t say anything towards this investment. I say, you, the avid readers of MakeMac be the judge.

Now move on to the East Ventures & Penn Olson status, especially me as an employee in both company. Jon Russell, as quoted on his blog, said that:

There’s no doubt that investment of some form was needed to get the blog to the next level, bring on permanent staff etc, but there is valid question as to why an East Ventures associate is onboard and writing about stories with conflicting interests?

To put this straight, I am hired as Penn Olson’s writer [this post is even linked by TechCrunch]before I’m an Associate at East Ventures. Even before Penn Olson getting an investment by East Ventures. Hence, I can safely say it’s not that East Ventures is putting their employee to control or putting content into Penn Olson’s mouth.

I am a blogger, I love writing.  I was actually trying to write my own blog before I’m doing this gig for Penn Olson. But then East Ventures planning to build an incubator and offered a chance to work together, then as a 19 years old looking for experience in the startup scene he loves, he accepted it, wrong? I believe anyone would accept the once in a lifetime chance. If you’re talking about people my age in Silicon Valley, this might not be surprising. But until this day, I’m still thankful to be able to do this.

Regarding me posting East Ventures related articles. What different does it make if I’m the one writing it then it got posted with other accounts/authors? There will still be skepticism regarding the EV-PO connection, another note, all of my posts get through 3 editors and Willis himself, so there is no room for error and bias. And in the past couple of months, probably from November, I have been the sole contributor for Penn Olson covering the whole nation of Indonesia. I am trying to find more writers to accompany me, but it is hard, ask DailySocial. Blogging in English isn’t easy, tech blogging? :-)

I guess I can call it a day and sleep now. The fight and the debate won’t be over, but I’m done talking about it over and over again. Thank you for your attention and time reading this. And yeah:

Full Disclosure : Joshua Kevin is an Associate at East Ventures and Contributor for Penn Olson covering Indonesia

Looking For Sponsors

UPDATED: I have received more than one offers and thank you everyone for reading and ReTweeting or Sharing this post on their Facebook. Stanford, here I come! Thank you God!

Hi my blog readers or anyone that is reading this post, as the title suggest, I’m looking for sponsors.  I didn’t post anything about the Stanford ASES before here in my blog because if you looked at the picture above, I was hoping to get the scholarship from the U.S. Embassy. Unfortunately they chose only 2 people out of 22 excellent applicants as I quote their e-mail.

So, just to get to the main point. I’m looking for a company/a donor to sponsor my trip to Stanford and the fee to attend the summit. It is roughly US$ 2,500 but I will have all the bills submitted and return any change. How will my sponsor benefits from this?

  • I will write a blog post about my trip and mention the sponsor on it.
  • Actively talking about the sponsor/brand on my Facebook and Twitter.
  • I can even do a YouTube video talking about the trip with the sponsor logo on it.
  • More depending on what the sponsor demands.

 

The reason why am I doing this is that I really want to see for myself the Silicon Valley atmosphere and how the ecosystem works. I want to meet the successful and inspiring people over there and at the same time promoting what are we doing back here. And of course, when I’m back I want to share what I got in that trip to those who wants to know about it. I can just stop hoping and do nothing after being rejected by the U.S. Embassy but that’s not me, I just don’t accept NO as an answer. I simply want to help to boost entrepreneurship here, even if I can only do so little, I believe on a long run it will have an effect to the nation as a whole.

For those who are interested and looking for my CV+Application Letter+Recommendation Letter, please do e-mail me hello[at]joshuakev.in and for those who can’t help, you actually can help by spreading this post. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Startup Asia Singapore 2012

This post is a part of our coverage of Startups in Asia (Singapore), Penn Olson’s first tech conference. Our full coverage of the event can be found here, for our RSS feed, click here.

NOT! This is actually a post to sum up the Startup Asia, first conference that I’m in the organizing team and it was outside my home country. I might held the #StartupLokal 1st birthday party with a full day event but this was totally different beast all over again. This needs professional who has been in this kind of job for years. But then, we are a start-up, and we did learn a lot from our first experience.

I went to Singapore on 31st Jan, as early as I could because I won’t be able to spend my weekend over (Final Exams, fml) at the Lions. The flight arrived quite early, so thank you JetStar! And checked in at the V Hotel(Lavender MRT) – had a funny experience here, when I checked in apparently Minghao put me as Joshua Kevin instead of Kevin Tjong which was my name in my passport. I had to give out s$200 as a deposit to make sure it was really me who’s staying. Finished with that, I got up to my room and actually love it.

Had an e-mail sent to me to group up over at SMU, so I did and I finally met my editors at Penn Olson, which is Rick Martin, Steven Millward and Charlie Custer. We had a rehearsal for Startup Arena participants, we drilled them and I think these kinds of preparations which made our event is different than any other event. We want those who are up on the stage to be as best as possible. Done with that, we had our first team dinner, too bad the Biz Dev Chick couldn’t come. Had four pans of 12-inch-pizza together with Willis Wee, the editors, Minghao Teoh and Amelia Chen. After that, I thought the night was over, but apparently not. I went to The Studio with Joash and met Gabriel, Mohan, Dung and Claudia. We had some drinks and played the dice game! FYI, The Studio is owned by my fellow Indonesian – Angelina Pradana. Proud to met her, and proud to have a friend/entrepreneur/entertainer/drinking friend like her!

1st February, probably the toughest day of 4 days because this is the last day of preparation. We had start-ups who booked for booths coming to take a look and place their stuffs in their respective booths. Unfortunately, the start-ups came early, the booths weren’t prepared yet and so the booking should take place in a manual mode (someone look at a map, tell me what he/she wanted, I wrote down the number). Yet, there are start-ups who took the place without booking first to me, so it was quite a mess. Although it didn’t get to a brawl or shouts or something but we learned the most from it. We finally numbered the booths and they can just book the booth they want by writing the name of the start-ups on the paper pasted on it. In the afternoon, we had networking session/high tea with investors/overseas participants. It was fun, met NUS Enterprise directors who are taking care of Blk-71. Met some start-ups who are being incubated by JFDI Asia as well. And one more great thing is, to finally meet Dr Serkan Toto, which is one of my idols in the tech-blogging world. He was shocked to learn that I’m still in uni and haven’t even turned 20 yet. Went to The Studio again this night, got some pictures taken, not me but Angel, but yeah – my back was in the publication – so, I’m proud! :p

2nd February, the show finally begun. I was chosen to take care of slides, and working together with the sound engineer and lightning. Gabriel said to me my title is Event Production – quite cool, huh? So we had Dr. Lim Kuo Yi (CEO at Infocomm Investment), James Tan(Co-Founder of 55tuan), Discussion Panel on Starting up in Singapore, Dr Serkan Toto(TechCrunch contributor), Tetsuya Mori(Managing Director for DeNA Asia), Tatsuo Tsutsumi(Director of GREE Ventures), Discussion Panel on Cloud Computing and Entrepreneurship, and Startup Arena pitches part 1! Vibease took the climax from today by mixing Vibrator, Mobile App and Orgasm! (sex sells!) It ran smoothly although I made a tiny wee mistake and had fun being a bouncer as well earlier with Amelia and the volunteers! (P.S. Booth Babes ftw!) – Willis Wee had his birthday on this day, yet he chose to downplay it and focused on what is in front of him, making the event a success. Proud to be under his guidance! – Joash also had his birthday so there is Joash, Gab, Angel, Dung and more celebrating his birthday at The Studio (so this was my 3rd night in the row!). Had a couple of shots of tequila, HOT!

3rd February, the turnouts were as expected, maybe the late night networking took place, so a quarter of the participants didn’t make it until around lunch time. This day we had, Arvind Rajan(LinkedIn APAC VP), Steven Goh(mig33), James Tong(Partner at Gobi Ventures), Anuj Khanna Sohum(Affle Group), Angeline Tham and Tian Qiuyan (Co-Founders of Sold.SG), then it went off to the Startup Arena part 2. Had some more networking and chats with prominent people on Singapore. Exchanged half of my stock of namecards, which can only mean great. Then, we announced our winner for Startup Arena, Teamie.

A sum-up of Startups in Asia Singapore and De-brief of it was published. Yet, it couldn’t really picture what I got from this event. We, Penn Olson team, finally met each other and was in one room working hard for our event. (Met Yukari and Masaru too!) Make lots of friends over, not just for business but also for fun. The volunteers especially are kind and definitely would love to catch up with them. Some stats for those who love it: 800+ participants, 19 start-ups pitched for Startup Arena, 50 start-ups booked our booths, got sponsored by GREE, DeNA, Lenovo, Nokia, SingTel, iTwin, SkySQL, Monster.com, B Dash Ventures, Gumi, Crystal Horse Investments, Amazon Web Services. Quite a feat for our first event! Can’t wait to announce our next city! And thanks for reading!