Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Ideas for Indonesia and Beyond


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recognized that entrepreneurship holds the key to the future of the developing world. Starting in 2006 and after 50-plus years in business, Dr. Ciputra began a vigorous effort to launch an entrepreneurial revolution in Indonesia. He created a new university, Universitas Ciputra (University of Ciputra), with entrepreneurship as the main theme for all students. He reached out and lobbied government and business leaders for support for a national entrepreneurship initiative, eventually obtaining the endorsement of the President of Indonesia. He engaged with the Kauffman Foundation and formed the Global Faculty Visitors Program to accelerate the teaching of entrepreneurship.

Part of the goal of my trip to Indonesia for the Startup Boot Camp was to begin a conversation with Indonesia about Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, taking what we have learned at MIT and helping Indonesia adapt the MIT experience into a workable Indonesia version.

What is my message here? We in the U.S. are lucky to have a system that lets us pursue our dreams with relatively little interference from government and with a culture that is somewhat supportive of entrepreneurship. U.S. entrepreneurship has created personal wealth and vibrant economic activity in parts of our country. However, its biggest impact may well prove to be as a role model for other countries seeking to create opportunity, economic improvement and political stability, something the U.S. has not been able to do in 10 years of military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So for you serial entrepreneurs out there, after you have launched your nth company, take a moment and reflect on the impact that Dr. Ciputra has had. Then think about how you can use your skills to make a real “dent in the universe” by spreading the entrepreneurial virus around the world.

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Joe Hadzima is a managing director of Main Street Partners, a venture development and technology commercialization firm. He is also a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and has been involved with more than 130 new ventures in areas such as speech recognition, advanced materials, nanotechnology, networking, and life sciences. Follow @

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