6 Damn Good Reasons to Startup in Bali

April 8, 2014

11:00 am

When I went to Bali this January, I was expecting a peaceful getaway. I was working remotely, and I figured that all my interviews with entrepreneurs would be over the phone, juggling a 13-hour time difference.

I didn’t expect to land in a small hub of entrepreneurship, a place that digital nomads from across the world were calling home. But I’m not surprised. The Bali of Eat, Pray, Love may attract female 30-somethings seeking clarity in life, but the cost of living, balanced lifestyle, and growing tech scene are attracting a totally different group.

Here are six reasons why you should consider jetting off to Bali to build your next big idea.

1. Coworking space: Hubud

Opened in March 2013, Hubud is a beautiful, two-floor coworking space built in wood and glass overlooking ricefields and steps away from Ubud’s Monkey Forest. (Slight drawback: monkeys sometimes climb into the space and they have to chase them away.) Over 235 members from 29 different countries spend their days working out of Hubud, which is open 24 hours a day and has a café offering salads, gluten-free treats, and snacks.

Membership costs between $20 and $250 per month, and it has attracted entrepreneurs, designers, photographers, and locals. Cofounder Peter Wall, who came to Bali “for a year” but was enticed to stay by the thriving digital nomad community, gives newcomers a Living in Ubud manual to get them oriented.

In the future, Wall has dreams of creating a Hotel Hubud and an incubator.

Hubud - Hubud 1

Hubud Ubud

Hubud Ubud

Hubud Ubud

2. Community: Startup Getaway

If you want an all-in-one experience, Startup Getaway is a combination accommodation and coworking space. They have six houses with a pool, library, and gazebos. You won’t have to cook – three meals a day are included – and you can focus on building your startup as they take care of laundry and other chores. The community also organizes events like movie nights, sightseeing, hiking, and Cross Fit. Located in Gianyar, near Ubud, Startup Getaway also offers a one-month mentoring program.

ubud Startup Getaway

ubud Startup Getaway


3. Accommodations: Startup House Bali

Startup House Bali is a villa for entrepreneurs and creatives located in Ubud, now home to 15 entrepreneurs, designers, developers, and other innovators. They recently hired a chef, who provides three meals a day (six days a week) for only $5.50 per day. Startup House Bali was cofounded by Ivan Livic and Ivana Todorovski of TastyCarrot, and advisor Denton Hockley. They regularly host events like body painting, movie nights, and parties, as well as talks on company culture, copywriting, design, and more.

Ubud Startup House Bali

Ubud Startup House Bali

4. Events

Although you won’t find an event to attend every night, Bali still has plenty of ways for entrepreneurs to connect and meet each other. PechaKucha Night Ubud is an event like Ignite, where presenters share their ideas to the tune of 20 images, 20 seconds each. Secret {W} Business is a community for women entrepreneurs to network, attend workshops, and share skills, with a chapter in Bali. TEDxUbud started in 2011, and it’ll be back in September 2014. And a five-day retreat called Deceler8 will be gathering entrepreneurs on an island near Bali in October to share knowledge and refocus their energies – to decelerate, not accelerate (as so many others are doing).


5. Cost of living

By far one of the best parts about Bali is the cost of living. You could go to many island paradises around the world, but most of them would cost you an arm and a leg and maybe another arm. In Bali, you can find full apartments or villas for under $1,000 per month big enough to house yourself and a cofounder, if you can deal with no A/C. When I visited, I snagged a hotel room for two people with a pool, fast(ish) WiFi, A/C, and breakfast for under $1,200.

Food is even cheaper. For a four-star-quality meal and ambiance, you might pay $5 to $10. Lots of Western food is available, if you’re not brave enough to venture into delicious Indonesian and Balinese cuisine, as well as vegan, vegetarian, raw, and gluten-free options.

Ubud food

Ubud food

ubud food

6. Activities

The theme of Bali is peace and relaxation, so you’ll find plenty of opportunities for yoga, meditation, and staring serenely at the exotic nature and art around you. If you long for more adventure, you can rent a scooter and cruise through the ricefields, take a cooking class from a local, or see the sunrise over Mount Batur.

ubud activities

ubud activities


ubud activities

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact