Astra International (ASII), a highly diversified conglomerate in Indonesia has identified at least five startups to mentor through its partnership with global accelerator Plug and Play that specializes in the development of startup businesses.
The five startups are engaged in the automotive and financial businesses, built with fresh ideas from the younger generation in the field of startups. They are selected from a pool of 400 other candidates and will be granted the chance to participate a 3-month entrepreneur camp.
In the early stages, Astra International will help the startups develop the potential in their ideas and getting them ready for real market competition.
“When we talk about startups, the first thing they need is mentorship and this is where we come in. Finding funding is easy but finding mentorship and guidance is not,” Paul Bambang Widjanarko, the Director of Astra International said.
About 50 percent of Astra’s businesses are derived from the automotive sector. The firm has monopolized the distribution of brands like Toyota, Daihatsu, Isuzu, Honda, BMW, and Peugeot in the country.
Apart from collaborating with Astra International and investment advisory firm Gan Kapital, the accelerator has also partnered with Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Sinarmas, and Bank BTN.
Plug and Play previously said that it will commit to investing in about 50 Indonesian startups annually, deploying as much as US$10 million.
Astra International, on the other hand, has decided to invest after having a clearer investment allocation.
“Now is still not the time for investing, we should build the market first. If the startup shows good potential, only then will we invest,” said Bambang.