Tell us a bit about yourself
I’ve been involved in the South East Asian startup scene for almost 10 years by now. I started a few companies myself, scaled, raised multiple rounds of financing (everything from pre-seed to Series B rounds). I also advised several VC funds and entrepreneurs. So I can say in the past 10 years I’ve seen a lot and from different angles and perspectives. I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs not to make the same mistakes I’ve done. I am also very familiar with topics related to market entry and fundraising. I am currently director of 8 different entities in 6 different markets so I can share a lot of insights.
Please share your engagement with startups thus far.
I’ve been advising startups for the past 6 years, primarily in Indonesia but not only. I’ve been a Plug and Play core mentor in Jakarta since batch 1, and advised more than 20 different startups to date. I’ve seen different business models and currently, I am able to identify certain patterns that first-time entrepreneurs might not immediately see. Without going into specifics I am proud to say that some startups I’ve advised in the early days are on the path to become a unicorn.
Please share what you enjoy about being a mentor thus far
I love seeing different business models and identifying the right strategies to tackle business challenges. I am very passionate about technology and I believe that in South East Asia there are so many different pockets of opportunity. Again, what differentiates successful and not successful entrepreneurs is the time they need in achieving certain milestones. I believe by avoiding simple mistakes you can shorten this time, hence what gives me satisfaction is sharing my experience with entrepreneurs and propelling them for a faster growth.
Why did you decide to become a mentor with Plug and Play?
I believe that entrepreneurship is something you cannot learn in a classroom like any other subject, hence it is very important at a certain point to give back and share your knowledge. Plug and Play is a great platform for me to achieve exactly that.
For you, what is the value in being a mentor?
The key value is seeing people succeed and accomplish their dreams on one end, on the other is seeing solutions to real-world problems being implemented to improve our society overall.
This article was written by Ilya Kravtsov.
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