Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Vanessa Hendriadi, I am an Indonesian-born and raised entrepreneur. I studied chemical engineering but was inspired by my entrepreneurial parents to start my own business, GoWork, in 2016.
Upon graduation in the US, I had a chance to work in my family business for a couple of years. However, I believed that I had a different calling -- to run my own company.
Connecting with people and building communities has always been my passion. Thus, I started my own path by peeking into the Venture Capital industry and started to expose myself to a plethora of startups. Alongside my desire to build communities, combined with my business professional interests in real estate -- that's how I started GoWork.
How do you engage with startups?
Through GoWork, I had a lot of opportunities to meet startups, especially in the early days, where we only operated in 2-3 locations. Back then, I was able to meet startups one-to-one and chat with them about their innovation ideology. Currently, we operate 25 locations which make it harder for me to know everything. Thus, we hold a lot of events, and I seize those opportunities to be on the ground and allocate a good portion of my time to meet startups.
What are some of the highlights as a mentor?
I think my greatest highlight as a mentor is knowing that every company is different. Whether a new startup is exploring something that already exists in the market or not, every company progresses differently and has different reasons as to why they’re doing it. Every company presents something different. It’s really not just about their business model, but also about who they are and what they stand for. And that’s the beauty of it. Early-stage founders bring in a lot of flavor in where they want to take the startups and that gives me a lot of spark and excitement about my business as well.
As a mentor, I get to be part of their journey of building their business ideology and guide these startups. It is very exciting but I can also feel their fear. Starting a new business comes with lots of fear as it does with excitement. So knowing that I’m not alone and being surrounded by like-minded people who continually do their best in making their visions into reality is what keeps me going in this space and more so, to keep mentoring the next generation of startups.
What do you look for in a startup? What advice do you think you can give?
One piece of advice I would give is, they have to be ready for change. Just as how the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us all to adapt to change, whatever situation that we encounter in life is laced with challenges. We need to be prepared for challenges and learn to accept change. Accepting change and pivoting is not the same as giving up.
And that’s exactly what I look for in a startup - Persistent founders who are full of grit to overcome change.
What made you want to become a mentor with Plug and Play?
I believe in paying it forward. Back then when I was starting out my company, it was Plug and Play who believed and supported my company. So of course, Plug and Play has a special place in my heart and I want to give back as well. But more than that, I believe that Plug and Play is playing a pivotal role in bringing out the best in each startup they’re engaged with and I want to be part of it as well.
GoWork Indonesia is committed to building inspiring co-working spaces and fully-equipped private offices to empower artists, creators, and entrepreneurs to reach new heights of success in Jakarta. They provide thoughtfully designed shared workspaces for productivity and collaboration to thrive and offers an ecosystem of tools and a network of support for businesses and companies to expand.
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Vanessa Hendriadi is one of our Global Innovation Alliance Mentors, and she is the CEO & CO-Founder of GoWork.
Interested in being one of our mentors? Join our platform here!