Insights from Antler's e27 Echelon Portfolio Showcase

Three founders share their recent experiences attending the showcase for the first time

Antler Indonesia

June 4, 2024
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The Antler Indonesia portofolio took center stage at e27 Echelon 2024, and the energy was electric! We had the chance to chat with three inspiring founders - Aditya Brahmana (Dash), Christa Sabathaly (SPUN), and Armando Chandra (Lunash) - about their experiences at this electrifying event for the first time.

Antler's presence wasn't limited to just these three startups. Joining Dash, SPUN, and Lunash were PLans, Alter, Sqouts, Kora, Stofee and ClubKyta, all contributing to a dynamic and optimistic atmosphere. Teaming up with the Antler Singapore portfolio, they presented a force to be reckoned with.

Lessons from the Arena: Aditya Brahmana

Aditya, Co-founder and CEO of Dash, described the event as a thrilling mix of excitement and nerves. "The audience was a who's who of venture capitalists, not just from Indonesia, but globally," he shared. "With so many startups looking for attention, the pressure to deliver a standout pitch was intense."

But the experience went beyond initial nerves. "We learned a lot by observing other startups' approaches," Aditya explained. "Seeing how they framed their stories and presented their strategies gave us valuable insights to refine our own pitch and business model."

He also noticed a shift in investor priorities. "While potential was once the golden ticket," he noted, "the focus has decisively shifted towards results. Today, investors are keenly interested in a startup's traction and financial performance across different regions."

His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? "Build a strong foundation from the very beginning," he emphasized. "Focus on developing a product that gains traction and generates revenue quickly. Don't wait for perfection - get your product out there and use customer feedback to continuously improve."

Unveiling the Knowledge Exchange: Christa Sabathaly

Christa Sabathaly, Co-founder and CEO of SPUN, highlighted the valuable knowledge exchange that took place. "Interacting with other startups within the Antler portfolio was an eye-opener," she reflected. "We gained insights into various growth stages, effective fundraising strategies, and navigating different markets."

Beyond knowledge transfer, Christa emphasized the event's supportive environment. "The audience was incredibly encouraging," she said. "It felt like a safe space for startups to present their visions and receive constructive feedback."

Christa also stressed the importance of a product-centric approach for Demo Day or showcase opportunities. SPUN's philosophy is to prioritize the product, even if it's not yet perfect, by getting a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to market quickly. "Think of it as validation," Christa clarifies. 

This real-world testing is crucial for SPUN. “By the five-month mark post Antler residency program," Christa proudly states, "we had a product that had been rigorously tested and validated by our customer base."

Making a Last-Minute Splash: Armando Chandra

Armando Chandra, Co-founder and CFO of Lunash, emphasized the importance of standing out. "Presenting to a large group of investors was a game-changer compared to one-on-one meetings," he revealed.

So, what was his secret weapon? "Preparation," he declared. "Even with limited time, I practiced relentlessly beforehand. That focus definitely helped me stay calm and deliver a confident pitch."

Efficiency was another benefit. "Reaching a diverse pool of investors was efficient," Armando explained. "Unlike time-consuming one-on-one meetings, the showcase allowed us to present to a broad audience in a single session."

Armando highlights the role of industry fit when it comes to showcase selection. "Well, with Lunash, I think we were given the opportunity because we are fortunate to be in a hot industry and have a trending product right now. We all know that online lending is on the rise, and the idea of people not paying back their debt is always a concern. This might have given the impression that our industry and the product offered by Lunash are quite attractive in the market.."

The Key to Success

So, what does it take to land a coveted Demo Day or showcase spot? All three founders agreed: traction is king.

Their advice? These founders offer a valuable roadmap for aspiring entrepreneurs. Remember to prioritize product development, learn from others, and don't be afraid to showcase your ideas. The world awaits your next big innovation!

Ready to launch your startup journey with us? Find out more about Antler in Indonesia here.

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