Indonesian Women Founders Connected – Starting With One Tweet

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By Anita Schillhorn van Veen (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)

It all started with a tweet.

“Waiting for @women2 to write about Indonesian female founders,” tweeted Aulia Halimatussadiah, an Indonesia tech entrepreneur, in response to the article about the top 5 Singaporean women founders.

Little did she know that Women 2.0 CEO Shaherose Charania and I had been discussing how Women 2.0 could start to have a global impact, and that reaching out to Indonesia was already at the top of our list. I had a hunch that Indonesia would be a hotbed of startup innovation.

Why? I’d spent some time in Indonesia researching women in the film industry, and found a tight-knit and resourceful crew of women –- and men — that were constantly finding creative ways to make and distribute films. They were working in the wake of a 40-plus year dictatorship that was overthrown in the late 90s, and, like all true innovators, were making their own rules as they went along. I figured that there would be a similar spirit-driving startups in Indonesia.

On top of that, there are reasons that Indonesia is the second biggest country, after the United States, in population on Facebook. Couple a tech-savvy, youthful population with a highly social culture where everyone seems to know everyone already, and you have the recipe for social networking to take off. Would these ingredients also help startup culture thrive?

When we reached out to Aulia, we were introduced to an active, organized community of startups that exceeded our expectations. Not only are a host of young entrepreneurs creating and building upon systems of innovation, there is a sense of community around sharing and fostering that innovation.

StartupLokal is one group that organizes monthly events in Indonesia, not unlike Women 2.0’s Founder Fridays, as well as panels and learning events.

On Thursday, September 8, they are hosting an event on women entrepreneurs, and Women 2.0 will be joining the conversation in what we hope will be just the beginning.

The event is open to the public as well as streaming.

To learn more about women founders in Indonesia and contribute to the conversation, you can register for the event here or watch the panel here on Thursday, September 8, 2011 (8am EST).

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Anita Schillhorn van Veen is a Brooklyn-based strategist at a digital advertising agency. She started her career in documentary film and, after receiving her Masters in communications studies from Temple, she expanded into programming and digital communications for nonprofits and small companies. She currently helps global brands strategize their online and offline marketing, and writes Clickstream, a monthly column on digital culture. Follow her on Twitter at @anitasvv.