The startup Mengasihi, founded by SBM ITB Entrepreneurship students Zakaria Khori Hermawan, Desya Zalfa, Muhammad Razan, and Adi Mahendra Wibowo, emerged victorious in the national-scale business plan competition, Pertamuda Seed and Scale, Early Stage Startup Category 2023. The award ceremony, which defeated participants from 247 universities across Indonesia, occurred at Patra Bali Resort and Villa on November 29.

Mengasihi offers a unique service—powdering breast milk (ASI) for personal use through the lyophilization method. This freeze-drying technique preserves the nutrition and immunity of breast milk.

Zakaria Khoiri Hermawan, CEO of Mengasihi, shared that his team was motivated to participate in Pertamuda Seed and Scale as they considered it a legacy from SBM ITB. CodyKit, another startup from SBM ITB entrepreneurship students, secured victory in Pertamuda Seed and Scale in 2022. Additionally, the team sees Pertamuda as a valuable platform to assist early-stage startups in seed and scale processes.

Zakaria explained that Mengasihi utilizes a proprietary method developed by his team, rigorously tested in the laboratory to ensure the preservation of breast milk nutrition.

“We understand the challenges breastfeeding mothers face with excess breast milk stock. Storing it in the refrigerator can compromise the taste and nutrition. Therefore, we developed breast milk powder that is simpler, preserves nutrition, and has a longer shelf life,” said Zakaria.

Following their Pertamuda victory, Mengasihi plans to establish a breast milk powdering laboratory in Bandung. The team is also committed to researching to make their services more affordable.

“We aspire for Mengasihi to be a solution for breastfeeding mothers in Indonesia. Additionally, we hope to leave a lasting legacy within Wirussian (the nickname for SBM ITB entrepreneurship students) by continuing the tradition of achievement,” expressed Zakaria.

Zakaria extended a message to fellow students interested in similar competitions, encouraging participation in IMK Artha ITB’s “Sandbox Environment” by Artha Enterprise. He emphasized that the Sandbox Environment can assist students in developing various business soft skills and credited collaboration with Artha Enterprise for Mengasihi’s sustainable success.

Written by Student Reporter (Fairuuz Fawwas Alfarizi T, Entrepreneurship 2024)