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Innovation is everywhere - Malaysia Innovation Ecosystem and Startup Scene


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Malaysia is a rather small country in populous South-East Asia, with 29 million inhabitants, North of Singapore and south of Thailand, with a "peninsular" part and half the island of Borneo (shared with Indonesia).

Malaysia has been early to invest a lot in high technology and has a Silicon Valley of its own since 1997. Is infrastructure enough to create conditions for innovation?

In this presentation, we share the milestones of Malaysia as an innovation ecosystem, we identify their best practices (in particular the neat organization of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur) and assess their strengths and weaknesses.

Read more about us as we roam the world to explore the emerging markets startups scenes, from Iran to Chile, from China to Nigeria.

Reach us at: martin@innovationiseverywhere

Innovation is Everywhere

Published in: Technology

Innovation is everywhere - Malaysia Innovation Ecosystem and Startup Scene

  1. 1. Malaysia’s innovation ecosystem Following the 4th GES in Kuala Lumpur October 2013
  2. 2. Innovation has no place in a global world, it’s everywhere Innovation ecosystems can learn from one another Local context matters and should be a source for innovators This is why… We’re on a world tour of innovation ecosystems! We believe…
  3. 3. History & context of innovation in Malaysia Two decades of government initiatives
  4. 4. A brief history of Malaysia innovation ecosystem • 1970s: NEP policy (controversially) gives more equity to ethnic Malays • 1996: Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), with high-speed internet, tax breaks, nearby airport and university/company mix • 1997: MESDAQ (Technology companies stock exchange)
  5. 5. A brief history of Malaysia innovation ecosystem • 2001: MAVCAP, a gov-owned VC starts operating for ICT companies • 2003: Cradle Fund, a gov-owned agency to nurture the ecosystem • 2008-2011: Community events (BarCamps, Startup Malaysia…) • 2013: Global Entrepreneurship Summit and Global Youth Startup
  6. 6. Traditional business have succeeded… • AirAsia: 135 aircrafts (352 more to be delivered), founded 1993 • Jimmy Choo: Born on Penang island, first shoe at the age of 11
  7. 7. ... and the tech field is already crowded
  8. 8. Malaysia is above Asia average for internet & social media use Malaysia 61% Asia 27%
  9. 9. Tradition still a key value for Malaysians
  10. 10. Malaysia innovation ecosystem today Pros & Cons, Top Connectors & local best practices
  11. 11. Pros and cons of Malaysia innovation ecosystem • Proactive gov for 2 decades with effective infrastructure (visa, equity, tax, internet access) • Existing success stories in traditional as well as tech biz • 4 out of 5 top listed tech companies of South-East Asia are Malaysian-based • Proximity of Singapore for talent, mobility, funding • Cheaper than Singapore, big airline Hub for Asia and Middle-East • Market size and too rare overseas expansion • Resource-based economy where ICT has less impact than in service-based economy • Innovation can be more in local context (oil&gas, religious finance…) • Singapore seen as competitor, not as a connector • Lack of successful entrepreneurs turned mentors for next generation • Potential ethnic issues & perception of unfairness PROS CONS
  12. 12. Top connectors in Malaysia Daniel Cerventus, @cerventus, Nextup Asia founder, TEDx organizer in KL, media connector Dash Dhakshinamoorthy, @DashInsights, Startup Malaysia founder, brain behind the Global Startup Youth Nazrin Hassan (LinkedIn) heads the Cradle Fund, after stints in banking, entrepreneur and gov. agencies Khailee Ng, @khailee, serial entrepreneur and angel, representative for 500Startups in Malaysia
  13. 13. Top connectors to bridge Malaysia to the world Bowei Gai, @bowei, sold his previous company to LinkedIn, and has been travelling for his Startup World Report Bjoern Herrmann, @bjoernlasse, is a co- founder at Startup Compass and the brain behind the Startup Genome Peter Tatischev, @tatischev, is an entrepreneur based in Moscow, Russia, knowledgeable about the local ecosystem Adam Stelle, @AdamStelle, is VP of Growth at UP Global, the umbrella brand behind Startup Weekend and more
  14. 14. Best practices of Malaysia innovation ecosystem Creating an ecosystem of side events per industry/market during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit to increase networking and discovery possibilities
  15. 15. Best practices of Malaysia innovation ecosystem Universiti Tun Abdul Razak co-designed a Bachelor of accounting with the Australian CPA, 2nd largest professional association of accountants in the world, so that students can work directly after graduation
  16. 16. Best practices of Malaysia innovation ecosystem Inviting 250 youth from 100 countries and team up with 250 Malaysian youth to foster creativity and bring new solutions to the world’s problem. Teams are pre-selected to mix skills & nationalities
  17. 17. What’s next for Malaysia? Recommendations to push forward the innovation ecosystem
  18. 18. Next steps for Malaysia innovation ecosystem Evolution of the role of the government, from leader to feeder • Government must learn to withdraw when useful “David Rose at #GES2013 "you don't pay someone to be an entrepreneur" talking of gov agencies #ecosystems #government” • Improving wages for developers in web technologies ".@bjoernlasse at #Ges2013: a dev in #Malaysia gets $2000/month. developed countries make their growth on tech co's: bridging the gap” • Improve diversity within the Malaysian ecosystem “Nazrin Hassan, VC in #Malaysia at #Ges2013 : innovation ecosystems need a diversity of people, networks. Do not build with local people only” • Make universities investors of their students’ projects “Universities backing students projects: #stanford got $336M back from Google, Univ. of Florida got $150M #GES2013 #edu #edtech c/ @annelalou”
  19. 19. Next steps for Malaysia innovation ecosystem The energy of the community can address new challenges • Identify local strengths and key economic industries “NY is the capital city for finance, for advertising, and many other industries. An ecosystem is anchored locally, and must take advantage of the existing entrepreneurial base“ (David Rose) • Do a startup to address an issue, not for the lifestyle “Too many people do their own thing for the sake of doing their own thing. They're not thinking of solving a problem #GES2013 @501Awani (@Cherish_Leow)” • Bet on local communities and make them entrepreneurs “Empower rural, women and religious communities to find your ‘Blue Ocean’ of innovation and expand in SEA and Middle-East rather than duplicating the Silicon Valley” • Improve the storytelling capacity of Malaysia as a startup Hub “M'sia need to market better its plenty of success startup stories to inspire. One M'aia startup sold out to google for 70M USD. #GES2013 (@airaniss)”
  20. 20. Next steps for Malaysia innovation ecosystem Start local, go global (global does not mean “Silicon Valley” only) • Stop benchmarking against the Silicon Valley “Benchmarking against the Silicon Valley makes no sense for #Malaysia #ecosystem : would you benchmark against Lionel Messi? #GES2013” (David Rose, NY) • Open Malaysia to the world “In the Silicon Valley, half the founders and 70% of PhD are foreign-born immigrants. Israel is ranked highly in entrepreneurs’ minds also for its capacity to link with New York, the Silicon Valley or Europe for its own startups” (Bjoern Herrmann, Startup Genome) • Using Singapore as a Hub for talent and mobility “If Malaysia was really bold, they could create a free zone for startups in Johor Baru to offer Singapore- based innovators easier visa, cheaper costs and same access to a global hub” • Create bridges with like-minded countries where local Malaysian startup can sell the same service “There’s a copycat syndrome too in Tanzania, but we push people to work on rural issues, which are key in other countries, even in Asia, where there is a great divide between urban elite and rural populations” (George Mulamula, CEO of Tanzania incubator DTBi)
  21. 21. Eager to learn about the other innovation ecosystems?
  22. 22. Documenting innovation through key events Hot posts, interviews, live-tweet, Google Hangouts Identifying key connectors on & offline Discovering alternative and emerging innovation ecosystems Beyond the Silicon Valley, local innovation hotbeds Tech, Social impact, Education, Life Sciences… Increasing mobility of innovators and ecosystem enablers Connecting doers and thinkers through monthly Hangouts Offering innovation ecosystem enablers to learn and exchange from peers About our project A world tour of innovation ecosystems
  23. 23. About our team Analysis, community & network Martin Pasquier Entrepreneur in Singapore (social media agency), long- time traveller Mixes economics, politics and travels to analyze ecosystems, reports on innovation Anne Lalou CEO of Innovation Factory & Web School Factory in Paris Transfer knowledge of ecosystems to new generation and to a network of top French companies Nicolas Loubet Serial entrepreneur in Paris with 3 companies, growth hacker Manages and nurtures creative communities on & offline
  24. 24. A world tour of innovation: 2013-2014 SUPPORT US! Travel & time of exploration isn’t free   Custom reports on emerging markets & trends  Workshops, talks on innovation trends  Connection to key local players for VCs, brands, tech communities
  25. 25. Links & resources to know more about Malaysia innovation ecosystem
  26. 26. • Our video to wrap-up the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit • Our blog to find more about the Summit, top keynotes and interviews • The Bluenod mapping of the top Twitter account during the Summit, to crawl top connectors • Follow us on Twitter: @martpasquier, @nicolasloubet, @annelalou • Support us for our world tour, get reports on-demand and more! The RockmyEcosystem project About
  27. 27. About Sources on internet • 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Kuala Lumpur, Oct 10-11, 2013 (official website, our blog) • Global Startup Youth, by Startup Malaysia (site) • World Startup Report (site) • Startup Genome (site) • 45 Year Review Of Technopreneurs In Malaysia Start Up Camp KL Gewmalaysia (Slideshare) • Top & Popular E-Commerce Sites in Malaysia (E-milo) • Malaysian Startup Life in 10 Slides (Slideshare) • Indonesia: Into The Hearts and Minds of Generation Asia 2013 (Slideshare) • We Are Social’s Guide to Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia (2nd Edition, Oct 2012) (Slideshare)
  28. 28. Thanks! Martin Pasquier, for Innovation is Everywhere