Small Indonesian start-up Go-Jek is getting plenty of coverage today after winning a US$10,000 prize in the Global Entrepreneurship Program: Indonesia. The company, which uses ‘ojeks’ (motorcycle taxis) as courier drivers, also accepted donations from a prominent US entrepreneur and is looking into further partnerships with foreign companies.

Click here for a CNN Video report on Go-Jek

Indonesia’s cities, especially Jakarta, have become notorious for traffic gridlock in recent years, as the booming economy puts more vehicles on the roads than current infrastructure can handle. Short of a helicopter, the best way to beat traffic jams is on the back of a motorcycle, and there are plenty of people offering the back half of their saddle for a reasonable price.

Go-Jek took the concept of ojek service and made it more reputable with a bright green branded image and reliable drivers. In operation since February 2011, they take passengers and will courier any package that can be carried on a motorcycle. As well as being cheap, the company offers a decent and much-needed income stream to Jakarta’s legions of motorcycle riders.

The Jakarta Globe has an interview with 27 year-old co-founder and chief executive Nadiem Makarim, who founded Go-Jek in February 2011 with partners Brian Cu and Michaelangelo Moran. The company now has seven full time employees, over 200 regular drivers, 80 pick-up points across Jakarta with over 600 unique customers and 50-60 jobs a day. The founders plan to use their new fame and investment to drive a large expansion over the coming year.

The Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia (GEPI) held a showcase of Indonesian startups in Bali from 22-24 July, attracting interested angel investors from the US and around the world. Organizers said the response was “beyond expectations”.

sources & articles: CNN, Go-Jek, gepi-indonesia.org, Jakarta Globe