A few months ago I wrote about the nascent, juicy Web market in Indonesia. It’s Facebook’s second largest market, and a place that is causing surprising swells in traffic throughout the Web 2.0 world. Yet Indonesia has been virtually ignored by Western Web companies and venture capitalists. Until recently, that is.
Since my trip I’ve had more than a dozen investors, startups and large companies ask me to introduce them to some of the country’s up-and-comers on-the-sly. I’ve heard of even more Valley execs quietly flying to Jakarta to figure out exactly what is going on and how they can profit from this surprising and chaotic Web and mobile powerhouse.
Sources calling me for information? Well, that’s a nice change. Clearly, I need to go back to Jakarta and meet more startups. So I’m speaking Indonesia’s first big startup conference called the SparxUp Awards on November 5. Like the early days of TechCrunch50, the event is organized by a handful of bloggers and entrepreneurs who just thought it should exist to support Indonesia’s nascent, collegial Web ecosystem. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are also sponsors — three companies that barely had Indonesian operations last time I visited.
The event is aptly named: Something is indeed sparking in this country, and for anyone else trying to figure out why the chain of 17,000 islands keeps crashing your servers, the link to the conference is here.