#TechTalk 105: Building Interactions through A Community
Building a collaborative startup community is not easy. There are no specific rules you need to follow. A community has its own set of ideologies and shared dreams between all of its players. In east Java, communities such as suWEc, FB Dev Circles Surabaya and Gerdhu have grown an ecosystem through the interactions within their respective communities We find out more about these communities, who were present during Qiscus’ #TechTalk 105 held in February this year.
- Surabaya Web Community (suWEc)
Established in 2010, Surabaya Web Community (or better known as suWEc) started from a Workshop Web Development initiative in its Surabaya Dhezign office in 2009. When the organization started attracting more people, suWEc realized that it required a bigger space for members to interact and develop their ideas better. Thus, a community was chosen as a form for them to build strengths and collaborate.
suWEc gathers tech enterprises that are based in Surabaya. The proximity of location makes it easy for members to interact or discuss about their interest in technology. While members come from different specializations such as web, game, mobile developers, and even animators to business owners, they gather to fulfill a mission which is to get together, study technological developments together and celebrate their passion for technology.
- Facebook Developer Circles Surabaya
Another tech community is the Facebook Developer Circles Surabaya which is focused on social media. Since the membership in communities which function on social media is more fluid than in the real world, the members of the Facebook Developer Circles Surabaya can interact more freely with each other.
With no borders as boundaries, members can discuss inside or outside the group including face-to-face meetings. Members are free to network and meet up with any of the other members. Functioning within Facebook, it is easy for everyone to participate in conversations without any limitations.
- Gerdhu (Gedung Creative Digital Hub)
Located in Klampis Anom street, Surabaya, Gerdhu is a co-working space that allows members to interact with one another, such as via workshops that are routinely held. It does not stop there. Through the support from the members who mostly come from the digital field, Gerdhu is also an incubation platform for startups. Some of those startups include Lunaria (an Instagram marketing solution), Beecloud (an online accountancy software) and Jelasin.com (an animation and storytelling experts).
Build The Community, Build The Ecosystem
Why do we need to gather in communities? Through a community, members are able to leverage on their circles of networks to connect and interact with various people who may be previously unacceptable. These include investors, mentors and markets from big company or venture capitalists just to name a few.
A community also opens the possibility of collaboration and synergy amongst the stakeholders. It becomes a good facility to learn from one another, particularly in sharing and finding solutions when facing failures or hurdles.
But the biggest impact we can gather from joining a community is that we can build an ecosystem for all stakeholders. It was concluded during TechTalk #105 that even without capital, an ecosystem can grow since it is based on social idealism. However, once the ecosystem is set up, it will be in line with the growing business ahead.
Also read: “#TechTalk104: Apps with Chat or Without?“
According to the Founder Institute, it is suggested that the community can map out a startup ecosystem using the Startup Ecosystem Canvas to check how ready is the ecosystem that the community has built.
This is going to be very important for the sake of knowing your niche areas and how to work within it in order to create successes for startups. It will also play a key role in building your network so you can organize the ecosystem in a way that is lucrative for startups.
Mapping out your startup ecosystem is also a key step in properly laying out the infrastructure in your area. If your infrastructure is not properly laid out, you are setting your ecosystem up for failure.
The following are a summary of our takeaways from #TechTalk 105 which include tips to help you start and leverage on a community and entrepreneur system in your city:
The startup community must be led by the entrepreneurs
Although the membership of the community is fluid (meaning that everyone with the same interests can be part of the same community), to allow fruition of ideas, it is best to allow entrepreneurs to take the lead since they already tested real products in the market.
Be prepared to be involved for a long time
Once the community is established, don’t quit! Actively participate in activities and initiatives with other members to gather ideas, share knowledge and gear towards producing something tangible. Remember, great results will not appear if you keep jumping from one community to another.
Be inclusive of everyone at every level
This is not the time for competition, so you don’t need to be exclusive with membership, knowledge and ideas. Be inclusive with everyone and find opportunities for collaborations to gather insights from as many individuals as possible.
Set regular events to engage your members
A community that is not interacting for a long time will continuously lose its momentum and energy to create something. Thus, organize regular events to engage and involve members to participate in them.
Once the community has grown solidly and the ecosystem grows, the young people who are in it cannot work alone. It will need support from the government, other companies in the field and beyond, and even other communities to work together with. It no longer needs to run alone or compete with one another other, but instead collaborate to grow together.
We can’t wait to hear about communities you have created and success stories of your community! Please, contact us.