Business & Entrepreneurship

John May and Angel Investors

Had a special opportunity to have lunch with John May, Managing Partner of New Vantage Group, a group of US Angel Investors. I must thank Mark Wang of GEPI (Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia) & Sara for inviting me. There are some other entrepreneurs coming for the lunch and we all sharing about our business and it’s interesting to hear stories from both side, especially on what Angels expect from entrepreneurs.

Well, the conversation getting a bit ‘higher’ than my brain capacity hehe so I’d like to share a lighter story about Super Camp for the young people of Telkomsel community. I represent StartupLokal, talking about techpreneur in front of high school students. We’ve been doing this in several cities with Telkomsel, to create awareness and encourage young people to start using internet to produce their own content, to start aiming to become a techpreneur. In Bogor last weekend, I watched 150 sets of sparkling positive excited eyes when I told them about young people behind successful startups in the world.


At the end of the speaking session, one of them, a girl, 12 years old, asking me, how to convince Angel investor to invest in her business. A Justin Bieber’s merchandise online store. I assumed the angel investor must be her mom and dad :D So, I told her this, if I’m your angel investor, I will want to know:

  • Whether you are trusted, have visions and very passionate with your business (or ideas) – clearly she’s very passionate about Justin Bieber
  • If you have a solid team or partners to get things done?
  • Did you(r business) solve problems? – I told her to convince the Angel saying that if teenager can be aware of the power of dreams that Justin Bieber has, from YouTube artist to mega-celebrity, then your business can bring positivity and the world can be a better place
  • Your business model, how you make money, show it clearly – first from retail but maybe many other possibilities coming

I’m amazed with the little girl. She’s 12 years old. I don’t know what I was doing when I was 12. I have a big hope for Indonesia, seeing her! What she need now is a mentor to show her the right way. So, answering Mark’s question about what GEPI can help, creating Angels network is one thing (Renald Khasali said we need 1,2 million Angel Investors to support Indonesian entrepreneurs), but GEPI can also help creating a mentoring panel for many stages of business. And to be specific about startup, a lot of Angels feel uncomfortable to invest in technology that they don’t know much about, GEPI dan StartupLokal can collaborate to create more awareness for Angels about startup scene in Indonesia.

Playing ‘investor’ as one of partners in Project Eden, the startup we incubate, Spot Med group, just launched Spot Dokter apps. SpotDokter will help you locate the nearest hospital or health facilities you need. You can Download SpotDokter on your Blackberry and Android, iPhone app will come soon. The founders are young docs from Bandung >> Mendy Candella, Jaka Pradipta, and Pascal Christian. Very proud of you guys and Eden team for rocking the launch last week!

Eden will launch 2 more startup soon, so, we’re excited! And quoting my new friend Kevin & Vincent said on our conversation at the recent #StartupLokal meetup, Indonesia: where the opportunities are.




A writer of 30 books. Co-Founder & CMO & Initiate StartupLokal, the biggest startup community in Indonesia. Co-Managing Director of Girls in Tech Indonesia.


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