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‘Angry Bird’ to aid entrepreneurs in Bali

Peter Vesterbacka, the former Mighty Eagle behind hit mobile game ‘Angry Birds’ has joined Finnish-based study abroad provider Asia Exchange and Indonesia’s Warmadewa University to connect international entrepreneurs with Bali’s growing startup scene.

The program aims to connect Finnish entrepreneurs with Bali's burgeoning starting up scene. Photo: Asia ExchangeThe program aims to connect Finnish entrepreneurs with Bali's burgeoning starting up scene. Photo: Asia Exchange

Suominen said it was a logical next step for his organisation to connect Finnish and Balinese businesses

Set to take flight in September, the Bali Business Foundation will provide international and domestic students with the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship, with an emphasis on practical experience.

“Finland has one of the largest startup scenes, and Bali is one of the hottest destinations”

“Normally, it is quite boring [in] class, listening to some 50-year old professor and not learning too much at school,” explained Harri Suominen, AE’s managing director and co-founder.

“We wanted to change it, and we’re taking students to meet the entrepreneurs and founders of different kinds of companies in Bali and learn from a very practical approach.”

As part of the Bali Business Foundation, WU’s curriculum will be blended with business site visits, guest lecturers and mentors, and partners so far include co-working spaces, restaurants and hotel chains, such as Colabo, NQ Location and Marriot Hotels.

Speaking with The PIE News, Suominen said it was a logical next step for his organisation to connect Finnish and Balinese businesses, after offering several short-term mobility programs through Asia.

“We have one of the largest startup and entrepreneur scenes in Finland, and Bali is one of the hottest destinations these days for co-working, cyber-working and digital nomads and generally young people to go there and get inspired,” he said.

“Every entrepreneur has a story to tell, so everybody’s telling why they ended up in Bali and what they’re doing there.”

Chief among the mentors will be Vesterbacka, who helped develop mobile game Angry Birds and is described as the godfather of Finnish startups.

“I think this is a great example of the entrepreneurship program that’s needed not only in Bali but everywhere. It’s very hands-on and that’s what entrepreneurship is all about,” he told The PIE.

The BBF is the second major announcement for Asia Exchange, after the company expanded outside of Asia in New Zealand for the first time in late 2018.

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