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

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!

Hey January

A great, hectic, busy but still great first month of the great year ahead. Summing up what happened over the past month:

  • Celebrated the New Year together with my family at my uncle’s house around Ancol area so the fireworks are really close and pretty because we did climb up to the rooftop. (Don’t do this at home, except if you actually have one that you can comfortably came up to)
  • Minor project defended. Lecturer fucked us up. Got C as a result of weeks of all-nighter. FML, right? That is one of the reason I don’t really care much about grades anymore.
  • Held the third Jakarta Ventures Night which is JVN 2012. Had some fun as we hosted 30-40 Japanese investors, entrepreneurs and delegates from a total of 100+ invite-only guests. Hired Police Riders to open the road for the bus to go through which was a great experience for them. Over 10+ start-ups pitched and held the East Ventures Alpha graduation day as well here.
  • Went to Purwokerto for the first time as part of the Telkomsel Smart Camp for TSC – spoke in front of 300 high school students and most of them were questioning how can I worked for two companies in Singapore while still studying. Answered with “Do 200% of great work, and people will pay attention to you. Money follows great work, always.”
  • Attended Boost Conference (Jan 17th-18th) which have founding team of YouTube and Kiva on stage. As well some big names such as Aki Sano (Founder of CookPad – IPOed in Japan), Ariawan (Co-Founder of FlutterScape), Jameson Hsu(Co-Founder Mochi Media) and more. Props to Ryu Kawano and the organizing team for this first event by them.
  • Came to Jogjakarta for the first time for Gamelan4th meetup. It was an eye-opening experience as I met some great game developers that is still very raw and saw so much potential. Presented East Ventures Alpha second batch program as well there.  Ate Gudeg, but unfortunately didn’t get to Candi Borobudur/Candi Prambanan. Oh yeah, it was also my first time going outside the city through the 3rd Terminal of Soekarno-Hatta.
  • Had such a great Finnish to the month(pun intended) as I attended launch of Blaast, Nokia Asha and had a private lunch with the Rovio CMO – Peter Vesterbacka himself which resulted the best scoop/post on my whole career as a tech blogger.
  • Flown to Singapore for Startup Asia Singapore 2012!

Although I missed a service in January, and the blog isn’t updated as much as I wanted to, but I think I have shown some improvement. Hopefully I will have an even more lovely February!

Reject. Rejection. Rejected.

In life, we face rejection from people. Even we, ourselves, reject some things that we don’t like, or what we think are not good for us. Rejecting something/someone is easy most of the time, but at the other end of the table, being rejected is tough.

Being rejected is like being shot down, whether it’s your ideas, your proposal, your dream. All we can do is really try our best again, again and again. Because success came to those who tried the hardest. I’d like to share my experience myself. Graduating from senior high school, I always wanted to go to overseas to study for my degree. Most of my friends already applied to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia or even United States of America. Honestly? I’m full of envy.

My parents already told me it’s quite expensive, and we might or might not afford it, because at the same time my sister is also graduating from junior high school and he’s going to the best high school in town which is SMAK1 BPK PENABUR, Jakarta. I applied anyway, and I did get in, but in the end my parents said it’d be better if i don’t go to abroad. If i want to do postgraduate degree then i can go.

Filled with disappointment i applied to Bina Nusantara University. Always told myself that i despise private universities in Indonesia because of their lack of quality(my own opinion though). Basically because they don’t really put much quality and focusing on quantity.

And where does it got me? If i was at Malaysia right now, I’d be studying right now and knew nothing about startups. I wouldn’t be #StartupLokal apprentice, I wouldn’t be knowing all these great guys from Indonesian startups scene who inspired me day by day.

Another rejection? I applied for an ‘internship’ in a local news site months ago. BOOM! I was rejected. Days later, Willis Wee from Penn Olson mentioned me on Twitter said that a position for a writer there is available and he wanted me to fill it. Yup, and until right now I’m still writing for them and I’m happy that i have such a great mentor/editor/boss/friend in Willis. From then on, I am also appointed as Associate at East Ventures.

As people said, rejection is probably a God’s way of saying that it’s not great enough for you to have, I have a better plan for you. Keep going, and you’ll find your way!

Inspiration. Inspiring. Inspire.

Everyone can be an inspiration, well why don’t we inspire people? With inspiring one,two,seven,one-hundred, to thousands of people – we can actually make a change to people’s lives. How?

Imagine your idols, the person you look up to, or the person you want to be. What they are like? They are enjoying what they do. They are doing their passion every single second of their life. They are smiling, maybe you thing it’s because they got paid a lot, but no, money doesn’t actually give you much satisfaction once you get to the top.

So, how can we do it you say? Start from small steps, start by finding things you love to do, what you are passionate at. For me, I love being an entrepreneur, I love the startups scene, I love reading & writing hence the reason I joined the local startups community #StartupLokal (an Apprentice now) and East Ventures(as an Associate) also a contributor for Penn Olson(one of EV’s portfolio)

I believe when you’re doing what you do, even if people are dissing you or you kept finding dead-ends, in the end you will get out of it and fulfill your dream. Money will and are going to follow great works. Believe it.

April, April, APRIL!

It has been three months since I updated my blog. Yes, I know I have promised to update this blog regularly, hey, I even promised myself I would update it at least three times a week. Well, life caught up with me and so am I, but now I’m back and this time hopefully will be different. Once a week, at least.

So, what has been going on with my life?

  • I’m 19! I’m getting older, and hopefully more mature. A little bit different this year though, I didn’t blew my candle with my own family but my second family. Which is my friends! Here’s one of the picture(thank you Jeanette Jusuf, Fenny Natalia and Valentcia Trifonia !) :

Me and My beloved ‘sisters’

  • Academically, last semester which is the third semester i got the 4.0 GPA which is quite a surprise to me as I felt like it was going to be my worst semester to date. Yet, life surprises you! This semester, I’m in the Applied ERP class which is full of people that are far more dilligent than me, and now I’m having such a difficulty to catch up!
  • Profesionally, it is super great! Ever since I said yes to be the Project Manager of the #StartupLokal birthday, I get to meet the initiators quite regularly more than the others, which is a privilege to learn more from the four inspiring people. Then, i get to the point where Sanny Gaddafi, one of the initiators asked me to manage startuplokal.org because of my work at Inageek, and so I did, and people are quite satisfied with it. Time goes by and Willis Wee from Penn Olson approached me to write for them, and again so I did. Recently, Penn Olson got an investment from East Ventures and so I get to meet Willson Cuaca of EV a couple of  time and we got something in the motion!

So, these are what i can compile in the last 3 months. It supposed to be a lot more than this but hey, I probably can make a book out of it! Talking about a book, I do co-curated a book with Rhein Mahatma#StartupLokal Kita. Do visit the site and buy it! See you all on the next update! :)