As each year passes, we are more and more inspired by women in technology and the amazing inventions and services they found. Shinta Dhanuwardoyo and Jenny Q. Ta are each successful in their own right, but decided to partner and create VCNetwork, a solid venture capitalist network to bridge the gap between modern entrepreneurs and the forward-thinking VCs who have the means to fund them. Shinta also founded one of the first internet companies in Indonesia called Bubu.com. Her inspiring story featured below.
Boss Talks: What or who inspired you to start your company?
Shinta Dhanuwardoyo: I suppose it all started when I discovered the Internet in its early days, and it has been my passion ever since. After working at the computer lab when I was doing my MBA, I taught myself how to code through the Internet and learned more and more about technology. I continue to believe how impactful it will be in our lives and that became my reason for building my first company Bubu.com. This company also happens to be one of the first Internet companies in Indonesia and has now grown into a leading digital agency in the country. With my 19-year tenure in the technology industry, I want to continue to contribute to its development, which is why I also delve into investing. I truly want to help build the tech startups ecosystem of the country and hopefully we will see more ‘unicorns’ coming from Indonesia.
BT: How has the transition been from VC to startup entrepreneur?
SD: Well, I was actually a startup entrepreneur from the start, and I do call myself a serial tech entrepreneur. Now, I do a bit of angel investing and initiated one of the first angel networks in the country called, Angel eQ Network. However, I do also agree with Jenny that the two are interchangeable roles, and equally important to the tech ecosystem. I have previously started a VC in Indonesia myself, but we started too early. So, yes, I’m looking forward to VCNetwork and what we can do.
BT: What are 2-3 life lessons that you have learned that have helped you in business?
SD: One of the main things I learned is obviously that failure is the best lesson for an entrepreneur. Outside of my company Bubu, I have started and failed many other startups, but I cherish those failures as invaluable life lessons. I also believe that as entrepreneurs we always have to think big, even though compared to others we are still small. By thinking big, and aiming to be the best, we will be able to achieve success.
BT: What are some of the major challenges that you experienced and how did you overcome them?
SD: I tend to start things way too early. For instance, I built Bubu.com – a web design agency- back in 1996 when Indonesians barely had access to the Internet, let alone understand its importance. And as I’ve mentioned earlier, I started many other ventures which failed. But, I persevered, and analyzed where I went wrong, so that in the future I won’t make the same mistakes again. Now all these failures have become my valuable lessons learned and that’s what makes me a trailblazer in the tech industry both in Indonesia and the region.
BT: How do you define success?
SD: Success to me is something that should be a humbling experience. To me, success is when you make an impact and contribution to your community. Most of all I would consider myself successful when I can balance work, family, social and spiritual in my life….so far it is a constant learning curve for me. 🙂
BT: What do you want your legacy to be?
SD: My legacy would be to contribute to the development of the tech industry ecosystem in my country and the region (read: emerging countries). Indonesia is known to be one of the biggest Social Media “ users” globally. I am not really proud of that claim, since it is my personal goal and mission to see that Indonesians act as “ producers” instead of just “users”. So I am all about supporting and encouraging Indonesian tech startups to create world class companies that can become major global players just like tech giants Facebook, Uber and Google.
To learn more go to http://vcnetwork.co/