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Navigating Growth: Continuation of Entrepreneurial Odyssey

AsiaBerlin’s Expansion Lab – Indonesia and Singapore


In the dynamic landscape of international business exploration, the Expansion Lab Batch 2 embarked on a transformative journey, unraveling new opportunities and forging collaborations in Jakarta and Singapore. This narrative delves into the enriching experiences, surprising insights, and fruitful connections made by participants such as Chris Georgiev of Kelvin Health, Alevtina Evgrafova of Researchpreneurs, JooSang Lee of Iamchay Music Group, Fabio Muroni of Weavii, and Katka Nagyova from betahausX during their 3-week expedition.

Jakarta Program – Week 1

The Expansion Lab Batch 2 dove headfirst into the Jakarta program, where we had the privilege of meeting Jacob Rost, a fellow Berliner and the Founder of AyoConnect. As a former MD of Lazada in Jakarta, Jacob shared invaluable insights into the complexities of business growth in Indonesia. AyoConnect, Southeast Asia’s largest finance-as-a-service platform, stood out as a revolutionary force in the financial services sector.

Venturing further, the participants explored Impact Hub Jakarta, a dynamic coworking and innovation space dedicated to fostering positive sustainable impact in Indonesia. Immersed in a plethora of programs, events, and inspiring collaborative spaces, the team absorbed the vibrant atmosphere designed to nurture creativity and innovation. Subsequently, a meeting with the Hi Incubator team and AsiaBerlin Ambassador Daniel Tumewu unfolded, revealing an expansive network that laid the foundation for potential fruitful collaborations. Hi Incubator is a haven for innovators and change agents, serves as a platform to ideate and develop impactful products and startups.

Midweek led the Expansion Lab participants to BAPPENAS (National Development Planning Agency), where Andianto, the Deputy Director for Ecosystem & ICT Utilization at the Ministry of Planning, emphasised the government’s steadfast focus on digital transformation. The unveiling of several pilot projects in Energy, Tourism, Forestry, and cutting-edge technologies such as AI, blockchain, and metaverse underscored Indonesia’s forward-thinking approach.

We had an insightful engagement with Daniel Schroeder, the Head of the Digital Transformation Center at GIZ, who provided our participants with insights into project execution supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the German Federal Foreign Office, and the European Union. Their collaborative efforts are centered around Energy, Environmental Protection, and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for economic development, showcasing a commitment to sustainable initiatives.

The day concluded on a high note with a networking dinner that connected Expansion Lab participants with impactful individuals from the investment and venture capital space, as well as fellow entrepreneurs spanning diverse industries. The participants met peers from their industries who helped them in quick orientation in the market, such as Weavii’s Indonesian counterpart Nino Fernandez from kruuu ( This convergence of minds and expertise set the stage for potential collaborations that would resonate beyond the confines of the Jakarta program, fostering an environment of innovation and growth.


Jakarta Program – Week 2

Starting the busy week of building connections, participants ventured for a visit to Indigo Telkom, an all-encompassing startup incubation and acceleration program of the Indonesian Telecom group. This program, fostering creativity from pre-startup stages through incubation and acceleration, extends to business synergy initiatives and subsequent follow-on funding. The participants immersed themselves in Indigo’s dynamic activities, engaging with tech companies from their portfolio, some of which expressed keen interest in expanding their operations to Berlin. These connections sparked collaborations and follow-ups both ways.

As the week progressed, the participants had the privilege to explore the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), situated within the Ministry of Health. This valuable connection was especially interesting for the HeathTech and researchers in the program. At the heart of DTO’s mission lies the transformation of healthcare in Indonesia through the strategic use of data and technology. Another enlightening visit unfolded at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), illuminating their dual role on the global stage – to actively participate in global initiatives while simultaneously becoming a provider of science and technology-based solutions for a myriad of societal challenges.

The expedition continued with a visit to the Habibie Center, hosted at the Library of the Former President, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, and now led by his son, Ilham Habibie. Leveraging the knowledge base and the extensive network of the Habibie family, the Expansion Lab participants enjoyed a fruitful conversation and gained direct access to potential partners and end-users in Indonesia, streamlining the expansion process for a seamless transition. This meeting showcased that when the right ideas, timing and network meet, great solutions can take shape.

The high-rise headquarters of Astra Digital on the 59th floor became the next stop, where Andi Suwandi and Arthur Guslim facilitated an exchange of ideas. Astra Digital’s comprehensive service portfolio, encompassing Startup Financing & Deal Sourcing, Synergy Execution, Portfolio Management, and Advisory, resonated with the participants, offering valuable insights into the intricacies of the startup ecosystem.

The week then led into the highlight of the program – the grand celebration of the 30th-anniversary event in Jakarta. This occasion which marks the 30 fruitful years of the city partnership of the entrepreneurial metropoles, a remarkable convergence of entrepreneurial spirits from Jakarta and Berlin, was co-hosted together with GIZ at the Future City Hub, the brand new innovations space jointly opened by Berlin and Jakarta only a few months prior. Themed as “Uniting Digital Visions for Global Entrepreneurial Success,” the event provided a unique platform for Berlin-based businesses to seamlessly connect with local ecosystem players. Amidst the vibrant atmosphere, participants delved into innovative discussions, exploring cross-border connections poised to evolve into enduring partnerships. The highlight of the event was a panel discussion featuring respected figures such as Ilham Habibie, the innovator and son of former President Habibie, alongside venture capitalists Arya Setiadharma and Nicko Widjaja, as well as Katka Nagayova, Chief Product Officer at betahausX and DirectorProject Lead of the Expansion Lab.

Having the participants from creative tech onboard, the week in Jakarta concluded with a move to Bali where the group attended meetings and a networking dinner with the Bali tech community. Fresh insights into the Bali Blockchain Center, serving as a hub for education, collaboration, and innovation, further fueled the ambitions of creating a thriving blockchain ecosystem not only in Bali but beyond its geographical boundaries. The participants started connections with the FabLab Bali and had insightful exchange with potential partners from the local hospitality industry.

Singapore Program - Week 3

Following the insightful and extremely productive journey in Indonesia, our team eagerly embraced the commencement of the Singapore Program at The Scale Factory. Renowned for their prowess in building and expanding commercial entities globally, The Scale Factory’s expertise spans strategic initiatives and outsourced commercial support across Asia, setting them apart as industry leaders. We tapped their network and discussed the week’s plan over dinner at the local hawker centre.

We had the privilege of starting off with a visit to ACE.SG (Action Community for Entrepreneurship), the foremost advocate for Singapore’s startup ecosystem. ACE.SG is committed to nurturing entrepreneurship, facilitating growth avenues, scaling startups, and championing local enterprises. Grateful for the insights shared by Alan Yuen of ACE.SG, we engaged in discussions revolving around the EntrePass, facilitating eligible foreign entrepreneurs to establish and operate ventures in Singapore. The community building always goes both ways, and we also tapped the topic of community collaborations and welcoming the local talents in Berlin’s ecosystem. Subsequently, we enjoyed a delightful networking dinner at the Singapore Polo Club alongside partners and also our AsiaBerlin Ambassador, Nav Qirti.


Our exploration continued with a visit to NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of this Singapore’s leading university which is overseeing innovation hubs across Singapore. NUS extends support to affiliated startups, including university alumni and certified entities, with a current focus on sustainable solutions, connected devices, medical, and food technology, addressing the heightened demand for food production post-COVID. At BLOCK71 Singapore, an international startup incubation center under NUS Enterprise, we marveled at the diverse industries and the campus’s hardware lab. Additionally, we visited the HQ of Start2 Group, formerly known as German Entrepreneurship, which facilitates startups through all stages of readiness for expansion across key markets in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East. We were warmly welcomed by Rotem Blanc Inbar, Program Director, who actively supports AsiaBerlin Initiatives.

Going straight to the point, meetings in Singapore were in the spirit of personal visits to the target partners. An astonishing number of individual partner meetings were arranged through the support and connections provided by our key partners in the city. The partners we have met include names such as: Singapore Repertory Theatre ( , FathomX (, Synapxe (national healthtech agency, Lasalle ( College of The Arts), InsurTech Asia, TalentKraft ( and more.

Online Networking with partners & peers

Two weeks after the onsite experience was concluded, we hosted a touchpoint with the participants where we continued the engagement and collaboration with the partners and stakeholders. The online event brought together for a review the existing partners, as well as served as an invitation to network for the participants who remained online. Our participants were able to delve deeper into their experiences and share outcomes and follow ups from their visits to Jakarta and Singapore. Additionally, for online participants who were unable to attend the onsite experience, the event provided a platform to engage with partners and stay connected with the broader community.

Celebrating Success: Batch 2 of Expansion Lab

The resounding success of this cohort in Singapore and Indonesia speaks volumes. For those contemplating expansion into neighbouring Asian countries, stay tuned for further updates on ExpansionLab. Seize this exceptional opportunity to broaden your horizons and become part of an extraordinary journey.


The summit is being hosted at the following venue:

Spielfeld Digital Hub GmbH
Skalitzer Straße 85/86
10997 Berlin

Note: satellite events take place at various addresses