By Draper Startup House
Bali is nicknamed Pulau Dewata–’Island of the Gods,’ a truly magical land for being a paradise filled with stunning beaches, jaw-dropping landscapes, scenic views, peaceful temples, wildlife, good food, budget-friendly five-star resorts, exotic sunsets, and the list can keep going. As they say; you can work like a holiday everyday in Balinese-style. So, whether you want to experience an island blessed with abundance of life or to start a business, Bali is the best of both worlds.
Read on our travel guide if you are an entrepreneur thinking of setting a business or growing one in Bali, a powerful startup hub with an incredible environment and people.
Bali has recently exploded from an island paradise of cultural and multiple identities into now a home to digital culture and innovative ideas, attracting a huge number of local and international talents from all over the world. You can also find the world’s best start-up hubs are in Bali as the cost of living is cheaper than elsewhere.
Meanwhile, it has also become all about collaborative coworking spaces where people not only collaborate but form new partnerships, great friendships and hear ideas they’ve never heard before.
Besides, time also works differently in Bali and by this, we don’t mean the time zone, of course, it matters but the point here is, Balinese don’t work according to linear time management like in European countries or other parts of the world. It’s an island, so their concepts of time, schedules, deadlines, and urgency can be one of the most challenging aspects of running your business in Bali. Before starting or opening a business in Bali, be mindful of the local work culture, which Balinese call it as the cyclical time management approach.
In general, Bali for you means:
- Affordable factors of production (land, labour, enterprise, and capita) and so low operational costs
- Friendly environment to work in and with
- Low cost of living: eat, drink, and live your life stress-free
- High quality of life: relax and reflect in paradise (escape the daily grind of big cities and stresses of everyday life)
- Enjoy Bali’s growing nomadic culture and strategic position as a launch pad into the rest of Asia.
WATCH OUT FOR TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
Make sure you check for relevant updates on Indonesian’s Government sites before planning to fly in: in light of Covid-19, there are additional measures, directives and information about notices to serve during this period.
We always check the website Flatten the Curve for information on travel restrictions in Indonesia. Stay informed, and buy a plan such as travel insurance, treatment, and testing, i.e, through Safetywing Nomad insurance and Safetywing Remote health insurance.
FUNDAMENTALS OF SETTING A BUSINESS IN BALI
Working in Bali is of course different than coming here on a holiday. Bali is in many ways an incredibly wonderful place to live and work, and there are many expatriates from all over the world in Bali, who have come here and never left. Curious to know why?
Language: There are two official languages; one is Bahasa Indonesia and another is Balinese. English by far is the common third language and most popular foreign language. Find out more about the Bali Custom in the Guide.
Currency: The currency in Bali is the rupiah (Rp). Things you should know:
- Usually the rates are poor in Indonesia, so check the currency online before you exchange at a local trusted money changer
- Euro or US dollars are widely accepted if you do not want to buy local currency
- If you are looking for a physical money changer, despite local banks, foreign exchange bureau or local reputable money change will do good. Do not exchange elsewhere!
- Do not withdraw money from any local ATMs except for cash machines connected to a bank branch.
- Always choose to be charged in the local currency without conversion
Our best recommendation would be to use a travel card, preferably Transferwise to avoid ATM fees or high rates. So if you are using a travel card, you can get cash from any ATMs including local ones without fees.
Cards + Cash: Cash is king in Bali except for luxury and mid-range hotels, travel agents, large restaurants, and exclusive shops. So it’s better to carry a handful of 10,000 to 100,000 rupiah notes for daily expenses and purchases. And if you don’t have a local currency, check out the above currency section on what you should do.
Climate: Although Bali is a nice destination to visit all year-round, the best time to visit depends on what you want to see and do. As our aim is for startup companies, all you need to know is Bali’s high-season is split into two periods, once during summer in July and August/September and again from December to January/February.
Banks: As a foreigner in Bali, you need to meet two requirements before opening a bank account. Unlike other nations, you will firstly require a temporary residence permit (KITAS). Next, the Bank in Indonesia has a list of countries that cannot open the account in Indonesia, the list is dynamic. However, if you are not from a conflicted country, that would not be a problem. Make sure to do some research about your options before choosing a bank. And if you still decide to open one, then some of the popular national bank options are: Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Mandiri, Bank Danamon Indonesia, and Panin Bank. But out of all banks in Indonesia, we recommend international banks like HSBC if you wish to transfer to & from other countries, HSBC Premier has free “me-to-me” transfer around the world. However, the minimum balance for a Premier account is 500 million rupiahs. Anyway, they have a HSBC Regular account with a 20 million minimum balance without the “me-to-me” facility.
Otherwise, our recommendation would be to open an account in a neighboring country like Singapore which is much easier, expat benefit options are plenty, faster and less riskier. Check out our top suggestion of banks in Singapore here; OCBC, DBS, HSBC, and CIMB.
GETTING AROUND IN BALI
Car: If you want to travel further beyond the main tourist spots, rent a small 4WD for under US$30 a day or get a car and driver for US$60 a day. We recommend getting a car with a driver as most drivers have good local knowledge and know their way around the island.
Rent a motorbike: If you want the freedom to explore the Island on your own, rent a motorbike for as little as US$5 a day. But you will need a license. It doesn’t matter if it’s international or local and for your safety, always wear a helmet too as traffic is quite hectic in Bali.
Public transport Bemos (small vans) provide very cheap transport on fixed routes but are very infrequent and hard to find – most locals have switched to motorbikes.
Tourist shuttle bus Combine economy with convenience.
Taxis are fairly cheap, but only use Bluebird Taxis to avoid scams.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE BUILDING A STARTUP
Do you need a visa to go to Bali?
Citizens from more than 160 countries can enjoy 30 Visa-free days when traveling to Bali. This is non-extendable. However, it’s also possible to buy an extendable visa upon arrival that can be extended for 30 more days. For a work visa or other types of visa, check here.
Government: The Indonesian government continues to support the development of startups in this country. There are two main methods to achieve this goal. One of them is through the Innovation Innovation Indonesia Exhibition (I3E) conducted by the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education. The other one is through providing incentives for startup companies who want to build a research and development (R&D) unit. Since 2016, the government is doing its part to give its startup’s ecosystem a leg up by the “1001 Digital Startup Movement” to achieve a target of 1,000 startups program.
Company Registration: The requirements for starting a company in Indonesia can be found here and all the up-to-date and reliable information and documents you will need before setting up a business can be found here. Need any help with the registration process? Contact EMERHUB and you can start operating within 2-4 weeks depending on the business classification.
The following famous venture capitals will help you convert your creative ideas into viable projects and startups.
- DSH Ventures is a global syndicate created for the sole purpose of helping entrepreneurs receive better access to funding, while helping to cultivate a network of entrepreneurial growth.
- East Ventures brings success to early-stage ventures in Southeast Asia and Japan.
- 500 Startups, an early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator.
- Monk’s Hill Ventures, a portfolio company that provides data-driven financing solutions for small businesses.
- Fenox Venture Capital works with emerging technology companies across the world and specialize in helping entrepreneurs achieve global expansion into North America, Asia, and Europe.
Famous Startups of Bali:
Some of the local popular startups to learn from are:
- Amacall, an app that provides quick and easy access to homecare services for mothers and children with professionalism.
- Gringgo, a startup about ecology and recycling trash.
- Gotomalls, a breeze for its users and visitors to stay up to date with the latest promotions, discounts, coupons, offers, deals and events from their smart directory of malls, shopping centers, merchants, brands and stores.
- IDN Times is the leading multi-platform media company for Millennials and Gen Z.
- Reblood, an application for people to live a healthy lifestyle and save the lives of others through blood donations, by developing technologies that facilitate access to information related to blood donations.
Startup Training Providers:
Here are some training providers you can seek help from.
- MTEC provides a testing service which combines the use of state-of-the-art equipment and analytical techniques with expertise in the area of materials characterization.
- Startup Grind Bali is the mix of the work environment, peer review, training sessions, shared resources and access for helping expats to accelerate progress in a way that no other consulting or in-house training can.
- Entrepreneur Institutes is a leading entrepreneur education group.
- Draper University x DSH where you can join a 15 day live entrepreneurship program and have the option to stay at one of our startup hotels free-of-charge.
Co-working Spaces & Events:
Co-working spaces: Draper Startup House Bali is our shared coworking space, providing a perfect environment for entrepreneurs to learn, connect, and of course, get work done.
Events: Draper Startup House in Indonesia are hosting events regularly such as webinars, online workshops like fun quizzes, live events, and much more. Always check out the DSH Indonesia socials here Facebook and Instagram for upcoming events.
Given the current climate, no other events are happening anytime soon but you can still look out for future events in StartupGrind Bali.
Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.
Other popular Bali attractions:
Food: Balinese food will get you excited with unpretentious flavours and time-tested spices that result in mouth-watering food that you can’t just get enough of. So if you want to eat like a local, the top-10 food you must try are:
- Pisang Goreng, fried bananas that usually come in a small size, served with honey or palm sugar syrup, a little bit of flaked coconut or vanilla ice cream or just plain from the roadside stalls
- Mie Goreng, a classic Indonesian staple of fried noodles is often served with vegetables and a choice of chicken, shrimp or pork.
- Nasi Goreng, similar to Mie Goreng, but fried rice instead of noodles. This is the most popular staple of the Balinese. They literally eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Sate is a mashed chicken blended with an array of spices, melded onto a stick (usually lemongrass) and barbequed.
- Babi Guling is Bali’s most famed dish – the suckling pig.
- Nasi Campur, a local favourite, Nasi Campur means “mixed rice” and usually consists of small portions of vegetables, fish or meat with a mound of steamed rice. There’s no 1 “right” combination of flavours, so it’s rarely the same.
- Bebek Betutu, smoked duck is probably one of the more unique dishes in Bali.
- Spring roll filled with mixed vegetables and minced chicken, served with a peanut sauce or a sweet chilli sauce.
- Gado-gado is one of Indonesian’s best-known dishes. Essentially it is a vegetable salad bathed in a classic peanut sauce.
Nightlife: Kuta, Legian and Seminyak reign supreme as the epicentre of nightlife in Bali with its rows of bars, pubs and nightclubs. Here is the list of the top 12 best nightclubs in Indonesia.
THE HOME FOR ENTREPRENEURS
DRAPER STARTUP HOUSE in Bali provides you with the best opportunity to explore, engage, and connect with people who are creating the future, including yourself! DSH Bali is a space for you to explore and engage with diverse-minded people, built upon the community of start-ups in Bali, Indonesia.
Stay in the heart of a humble and tranquil village 4km from the centre of Canggu. Work from our communal desks, private booths and beautiful garden in full view of the luscious rice paddies. Our living spaces and shared co-workspaces provide the perfect environment to connect, inspire and empower each other. When you are ready – Come stay with us to join the network of the larger entrepreneurial community—-let’s GO BIG, pay it forward, and drive progress!
If you are raising funds and are ready to take your business to the next level, please apply below
WHY CHOOSE US
What Draper Startup House means to you:
- Access to opportunity
- Involvement in community + support quickly — Draper Startup House in Bali has everything to take care of your needs: from meetups and networking sessions, to pointing you to the best food in the heart of the city, or connecting you to the relevant business partners, and much more
- Meeting your capital requirements
- Efficiency in paperwork approvals (while some places take months for processing, Singapore’s efficiency is up to speed here where incorporating a company can be as quickly done so in a day.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out at email@example.com.
START NOW, WITH US!
We hope you find this blog post insightful, and if you do, please share it with anyone who you think might be interested and useful for their goals! Our blog post is created to educate and improve business opportunities for many entrepreneurs like yourself who want to make use of their best time in one of the booming startup cities like Bali.
Let’s GO BIG, pay it forward, and drive progress—💪
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