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Exploring the Startup Scene in Asia – Bali Startup Weekend 2017

Startup Weekend Bali 2017 – Ubud, Bali

Last month our Founder/CEO, Tyler Jensen, had the opportunity to be part of an all-star judges panel at Hubud’s Startup Weekend Bali. The event, organized by Hubud and backed by Techstars, was part of a 2017 global movement of Startup Weekends – with the tag line “take your ideas from concept to creation in just 54 hours” all of the events are geared to follow the same model consisting of open mic pitches, team building and building minimal viable products.  It doesn’t matter what you do or where you come from, Startup Weekend is designed as an event that brings all sorts of people together.

  • Day 1: Open mic pitches where attendees bring their ideas and try to inspire others to join their “team.”
  • Day 2-3: Assembled teams focus on customer development, validating ideas, start up methodologies and building a minimal viable product.  Teams present their ideas and prototypes to a panel of experts / feedback received & winner chosen. Winners are featured globally.

I sat down and talked to Tyler about his experience in Asia and Bali last week:

Tyler, what can you tell us about the Hubud Bali Startup Weekend event and the teams that presented?

There were people from all over the world at the event. It was truly an international startup scene, not just local.  People were there pitching their ideas on Friday night with the intent on recruiting people to be a part of their team. Team sizes ranged from 2-8 team members and the teams spent 2 days working together to develop their ideas enough to present to the judges panel on Sunday.

Did you pick up on any differences between the US Startup Scene vs. that in Asia and Bali?

One thing that stood out to me came from an all Balinese team. This team in particular, was looking at replicating a successful idea in the US wedding industry. While this isn’t a new idea or concept, I think there is still a tremendous amount of opportunity in developing countries for entrepreneurs to replicate successful ideas in western culture.

Many people are trying to replicate the successes in Silicon Valley. Is this similar to what the Balinese team or any other teams were doing?

Yes; but on a much smaller scale. I did spend some time in Shanghai as well and China is still trying to replicate the successes that we have seen for years in Silicon Valley. Companies that focus on meeting user needs dominate Silicon Valley – innovation comes from identifying a need and then figuring out how to meet that need and get a product to market quickly. Business strategy, communication and innovation strategy are very closely aligned. These larger markets are focusing more on breakthrough technologies whereas in developing countries there is more risk aversion and reinventing the wheel isn’t always a smart or viable option.

How would you characterize the entrepreneurs and people that you met in Bali?

I mentioned this before but I would characterize the overall landscape as being a truly international startup scene.  People seemed to be in Bali for a variety of reasons — some for business and others for personal reasons or adventure.  The cost of living is very inexpensive so it gives an entrepreneur a lot of flexibility to work and live. Because the country is still developing I wouldn’t expect to see tech or other high growth companies popping up but the cultural richness and diversity is inspiring.

For more information on Hubud and Techstars continue reading below.

*Global Startup Weekend events comprise over 1,600 events in over 700 cities and 120 countries and is considered a “global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals and teams to found successful startups.” (

Who is` is Hubud?

Hubud (“Hub in Ubud, Bali) is a unique international headquarter where people from all over the world can unite and be inspired by ideas and each other in beautiful, lush rice terraces of Ubud, Bali. Hubud offers Co-working, Co-Living and many special events and programs throughout the year. Founders and members value community, connectivity and creativity .  Click HERE to learn more…

 What is Techstars?

 “Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of community programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO.” Click HERE to read more…