Brandon J. McGill's Startup Studio Is Building an Ecosystem for the Balinese Locals to Thrive

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Brandon J. McGill

Covid-19 has stopped the world in its track, and it has left the island of Bali decimated as it brought tourism to a complete halt.

Tourism makes up about 80% of the Balinese economy and there currently is no alternative, which has completely paralyzed the local community.

Brandon J. McGill, a serial entrepreneur and a former professional basketball player arrived in Bali back in July 2019 from his hometown of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, with a vision to add value to Bali wherever possible.

This vision turned out to be a startup studio called 10 Founders Club.

"On any given day I have at least 10 ideas that I believe can be scaled, and it has been that way for the last decade. But over time I developed my own filtering system, which allows me to be able to still execute at a high level. The perfect outlet for this constant flow state was a startup studio, which led to the development of 10 Founders Club."

10 Founders Club will utilize 5 week sprints to develop 10 tech companies per year.
These companies are all focused on the gig economy and developing the tech infrastructure necessary to give the locals the tools and knowledge necessary to reduce their reliance on tourism.

"When I first arrived in Bali, I stayed in Seminyak for a month or so, but I have since lived in Ubud, Canggu, Kerobokan, Nusa Dua and currently Uluwatu. And what became very obvious once the island closed, was that day to day life hadn't changed much for the 7,000 or so westerners who remained here. The reason, of course, is that we were already equipped with the skills and tools necessary to run businesses online."

McGill was invited to tour Venus One Tourism Academy in Tegalalang where he was able to meet the owner and was later invited to their graduation as a distinguished guest.

This experience allowed him to see the full picture and understand exactly how his ideas could support the local community.

"My goal with 10 Founders Club is to provide the locals more options to support themselves and empower them to be able to dictate the terms in which they make a living."

10 Founders Club launched Earnitt in March 2020 that will act as the control center for self-starting entrepreneurs who have an e-commerce business, podcast, in need of virtual assistance and app/web development

The plan is to roll out a free virtual assistant certification, in order to create jobs for the locals to not only provide support on the Earnitt platform, but also support busiensses in the US, EU and Australia.

"Currently the virtual assistant markets are in the Philippines, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and I believe it's time for Bali and the rest of Indonesia to throw their hat into the ring. This generation in Bali are really the first ones to have digital access via their smartphones and laptops and so they also should have the same opportunity to make a living online as we do."

10 Founders Club is currently in the second phase of development and connecting with SE Asian investors to bring the plan into fruition.

This article was first published on April 21, 2021