In early 2016, President Joko Widodo visited Silicon Valley where he expressed his goal of shifting Indonesia away from commodity dependence and creating a more technologically advanced and digitalized economy (Sipahutar 2016). This shift requires modernization of digital infrastructure, improved scientific research, and greater innovation among large companies, but also support for startup innovation and creativity. The government has implemented a range of policies and programs in line with the transformation agenda.
For technology-based startup enterprises—tech startups—to establish themselves and scale, they require an enabling environment that includes a broad set of actors. This is the startup ecosystem, and, as this brief suggests, the best way to develop startups is through ecosystems at the city or subnational level that can support local expertise and competitive advantage. City governments and other local players can also leverage and tailor national-level action that creates a conducive regulatory environment, provides business incentives, and fosters global connectedness.