Category Archives: Malaysia Startup

Malaysia Startup

The JobStreet Way: What I learned from Mark Chang

I still remembered Mark Chang’s parting advice to me when I told him that I was leaving JobStreet to start my own company.

“Go (forth and) take risks.”

I liked that so much that I got a poster made and mounted on my wall here inside the HackerHub where I work.

mark-chang-poster

Hanson Toh (ex-Google, now running his own startup Service Clicks) came to visit HackerHub a few weeks ago. When he saw the poster, he laughed and remarked disbelievingly, “Mark said this? Really? Mark Chang?

True enough, ‘taking risks’ perhaps won’t be something that immediately comes to mind when Mark is mentioned in any casual conversation. Indeed, the people who know Mark would usually describe him as “practical“, “conservative“, “thrifty“, “humble” and “grounded“. “Taking risks“? Nah… not that much.

But I know otherwise.

For someone the Focus newspaper called “the most successful techno-entrepreneur ever to surface in Malaysia”, Mark Chang is a low-profiled man. This was by design; he never enjoyed basking in the limelight that much.

I had lunch with a couple of startup entrepreneurs last Saturday, and we talked about the JobStreet billion ringgit deal.

To quote someone at the meeting verbatim, “I’ve heard (Mark) speak at a JobStreet fair once. A typical Chinaman.  You won’t imagine him to be the kind who makes billion dollar exits. And I heard he’s a real penny pincher, too!” I didn’t bother with a response.

I know that he may not fit into the swashbuckling entrepreneur-hustler archetype which we commonly associate with billion dollar exits. But to call Mark Chang a pussy-footed country bumpkin who penny-pinched his way to a billion bucks is a travesty.

And there’s this other side of him that’s not immediately obvious to many people (especially those outside JobStreet) – and that is his enormous benevolence.

I know this because Mark (and one of his other partners in JobStreet, Suresh Thiru) have been the people most generous to my career.

After leaving JobStreet, I asked Mark to mentor me, and he agreed. Additionally, I took a side consulting gig which required me to go back to JobStreet one day a week. I also had a weekly one hour slots with him where I would update him and get his advice on things that mattered.

And through Mark, I have had many doors opened, numerous pitfalls sidestepped and some hard questions answered.

I have connected with people who probably wouldn’t take my calls if not for Mark’s referral. I stopped short making a deadly blunder that could have left my budding business dead in a pool of blood if not for his advice (more on this later). I learned from him how to deal with unlimited requests with limited resources – especially relevant to a startup where time and money are scarce.

I kept in contact with Mark for about two years after I left JobStreet. However, for most of last year I had been working around the clock on building GoodPlace.my (a startup in the online property vertical), and in the midst of the hustle and bustle I have somewhat let my mentor-mentee relationship with Mark lapse.

Foolish, I know.

Then in February the news broke about the JobStreet deal with Seek. When I heard it, I had little butterflies in my stomach. The deal was enormous at MYR1,730,000,000 (spelled out for effect) for a complete buyout, representing the biggest ever exit for a Malaysian dotcom startup.

During a gathering with tech entrepreneurs at the HackerHub, we discussed about what the deal means for local startups, and how we could emulate JobStreet’s success in our own businesses. The following is a summary of what I shared during the meeting.

Work Hard And Wait For The Rain.

Mark used to quip, “I know only of the ‘kerbau’ (buffalo) way, that is, to work hard and wait for the rain.”

Truth be told, for a long time I have disagreed with him (albeit quietly). Indeed, for much of the early part of my entrepreneurial career, I was rather opportunistic in my focus and and short-term in my thinking. Instead of working hard on one thing and then wait for the proverbial ‘rain’, I would instead “look for places where rain is plenty, and then get a buffalo to do the work” (an antithesis to Mark’s approach).

My approach was scatter-gun by design, and it worked well. I made money in the online lead generation business; in simple terms, I provide a steady stream of potential customers to businesses online for a fee. At one point I had some 150 websites spitting out dollar bills in all the “hot” consumer niches – weight loss, self improvement, dating, meditation – you name it. There was absolutely zero focus; I had fingers in every pie where there was money to be had.

In short, Mark’s “work hard on one thing and wait for the rain” concept absolutely played no part in my business plan. In full hustler mode, I had simply gone to places where money was being made by the minute, hand over fist.

Churn-and-burn was the name of the game, and as such, the business model was deliberately mercenarial. You see, I didn’t care how the sites looked as long as they did what they were supposed to do: to capture, warm up and then redirect traffic to my clients’ websites. The lead generations sites could look as hideous as a Geocities site in 1998; as long as they made me money, I didn’t give a hoot.

And then things changed.

The KLCC Condominiums Database (a precursor to GoodPlace.my) was a hobby project which got started when I was interning at a property agency (more on this later).

And as I have never expected it to be a instant moneymaker, I decided to follow Mark’s approach for a change. Just as an experiment, I had thought.

The KLCC Condominiums Database was a collection of reviews of upmarket apartments located in the KLCC enclave. Different from the usual cookie cutter stuff that one would find at the developer website or a property portal, I wanted to provide impartial reviews of the condominiums, exposing the properties for what they truly were – the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

The proverbial ‘kerbau‘ then went to work. I had meticulously researched each property (mostly online, and also by talking to tenants, agents and building managers), collating and cramming as much original information as possible into each review.

I spent a good few Saturday afternoons wandering in the KLCC area taking pictures of the condominiums (and getting chased by the overzealous security guards in the process). I laboured over the website’s user interface with my limited Photoshop skills, ensuring that every pixel was in its rightful place. Exploiting my meager PHP skills, I manage to code a simple aggregator which pulled listings from external classifieds sites.

Sticking to the ‘wait for the rain‘ philosophy, promotion was deliberately kept at a minimum. Traction was painfully slow but I waited patiently.

And as I waited, I wrote more reviews, took more pictures and wrote some posts at the property section at the Low Yat forums. I also reached out to other property bloggers, local and international.

Eventually, the ‘rain’ did come, and when it did, it poured.

Traffic was initially trickling in from Low Yat and the other blogs, but then the search engines decided to place my site on top of the search results page for the majority of the property names (even beating some of the more established property sites). As a result, I was receiving hundreds of targeted search traffic per day which would have cost me a bomb if I were to buy them by the click.

For the last few years demand had been lagging supply in the KLCC property market, and with my website driving the majority of buyer leads online, it was easy for me to pitch property agencies. I didn’t do much shopping around although in the end I did close a nice six figure deal with an agency which I liked.

I am following the same blueprint for GoodPlace.my, and I am happy to report that it’s working well so far. At the time of writing, the GoodPlace network (which includes all our sister websites) is already servicing some 32,000 home buyers and agents a month despite near zero effort in promotion and marketing. All the on-site metrics look good – engagement is high, feedback is consistently good and email open and click thru rates are reportedly above industry average.

Make a superior product, get the word out and then wait for opportunities to knock; it worked for JobStreet, and there’s no reason it won’t work for your startup.

Build A Kickass Team.

Suresh Thiru is the Chief Operating Officer of JobStreet, and I have known him as one of the hardest taskmasters in my entire career.

suresh-hackerhub

Suresh ran JobStreet’s engine room. With a team of handpicked people with strong operational background, getting things done efficiently was the order of the day. Indeed, the guiding mantra was “serve fast, fill all” (the “fill all” part referred to job vacancies).

The competitive spirit was feisty. Eric Sito, one of Suresh’s ablest managers told me during my on-boarding at JobStreet, “Mark decides which war to win. My job is to fight that war.” I had never told him this, but I had greatly admired his work ethic and fighting spirit.

Suresh’s “get the work done” focus was the perfect complement to Mark’s strategic vision and moral compass. And together with Albert Wong (engineering), and Greg Poarch (finance) the foursome made a formidable team.

Mark’s ability to assemble a strong team reflected on my current struggle to recruit A-players into my own business.

Admittedly, I have been doing a reluctant job at reaching out to people, and as a result, I could have grown more quickly with a good team in place but I didn’t. Suresh knew that this was my biggest bottleneck, and he gave me a good dose of arse-walloping over my piss-poor effort at recruitment. Upon further reflection, I have decided to put in more effort to build up a team for the rest of the year – in particular, good hackers and people with strong operational background.

I still routinely go back to JobStreet to meet Suresh because I know that he gives me the straight talk that I need to hear (and yes, I am a sucker for pain). This brings me to my next point.

Listen To Your Elders.

In any industry, there are inevitably people who have already done the things that you want to do. Get them to help you. Ask them what the typical mistakes are. They can save you from months or even years of chasing rabbits.

Before I started GoodPlace.my, I had thought of joining a company which is already running a property classifieds website to learn more about the business.

Mark asked me not to do it. “Things might get complicated later,” he said.

Suresh was absolutely livid about the idea. I had defended myself, “I need to learn more. I know nothing about this business. I have no idea what I want to do exactly, and I might not end up competing with them anyway. And besides, I think it’ll be really fun.

But Suresh wouldn’t have any of that. “Yes, I know, STEALING can be FUN. Don’t do it.

He then offered, “If you want to learn about the property business, why don’t you work for my friend instead?” He then asked Previndran Singhe to take me in as an intern, who eventually gave me my first break in this business after I have launched GoodPlace.my.

Later I had found out that the property classifieds company that I had wanted to join had a rather chequered history – they seemed to take a leaf out of the Cut Throat Corporate Playbook with a history of attacking  competitors through frivolous lawsuits and mass poaching of employees.

What if I had indeed joined that company and then quit in six months to start a property site? I might have gotten sued into oblivion, putting a premature end to my budding entrepreneurial career with a single knock-out knee in the groin.

Truth be told, heeding the advice from the elders in the game have saved my hide, many, many times.

In most situations startup entrepreneurs will never have the benefit of hindsight, and as such, the advice of the those who have been-there-and-done-that is worth the weight in gold. Seek out the elders in your industry and ask for guidance; they will save you from a lot of unnecessary grief.

The JobStreet Way At Startups

At the end of my presentation at HackerHub I was asked, “JobStreet was founded some 16 years ago. Will this still work today?”

I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that it would.

For me, the JobStreet Way is a disciplined, level headed approach to building startups into profitable (and ultimately defensible) businesses.

Note the emphasis on the phrase “level headed”. Conservative management of growth is key. As such, for startups going down the “grow-quick-and-then-sell-for-a-million-bucks” route this may not be relevant at all. But for a long-term business delivering solid value to the user then this is a good blueprint to follow.

Indeed, these are the principles that GoodPlace.my get stitched into its founding DNA.

Eight figure exits are awesome, but that won’t be GoodPlace.my’s raison d’etre. It wasn’t JobStreet’s. It’s hard for me to imagine Mark thinking some 16 years ago, “I’m starting this job site, and I’m gonna sell it for a billion bucks.” That would be rather out of character for him.

Knowing Mark, he would probably have thought, “We’ll deliver a good service that fulfills a need or solves a problem, and the society will then reward us.“

And that’s exactly what I am going to do with GoodPlace.my.

The Start-Up Entrepreneur Series: HealthWorks inspire you to be a healthier and happier you! Part 2!

Rue-Hann Lim, the Co-Founder of www.healthworks.my. She is on a mission to inspire fellow Malaysians to make better choices for their health and wellness.

Health Works

Getting to know about The Start-Up

1. Tell us more about Your Company – What have you built? What is your product or service to your customers? What is your track-record so far?
HealthWorks.my is Malaysia’s online health hub. Our mission is to build the largest health community in Malaysia and inspire Malaysians to make better choices for their health, fitness & happiness. It will serve as Malaysia’s one-stop-health-hub for education, shopping and community.
Driven by the purpose of providing localised health information and making healthy living easier for people, our approach is multi-fold:
1) Education through expert advice and interesting localised health content
2) eCommerce with health-related products & services
3) a thriving community of health enthusiasts.
Ending our first month, we’re quite amazed that during the first 10 days after the launch of our website, we had over 10,000 unique visitors. This shows that Malaysians are indeed interested to know more about health.

healthworks

2. Why did you decide to go into this business? Is it because it is a lucrative market? Is it a Blue Ocean which your talents and expertise through your business can provide?
We couldn’t find a user friendly interesting health site that serves multiple purposes in Malaysia. For urban young people like us especially – we tend to neglect the importance of health when we’re busy with work and social life (not forgetting lying on our bed scrolling on social media networks). We’re busy people who want to know “what to do now”, “how to do it”, “where to get it”. On the other hand, we have great local healthcare professionals that are yearning to reach out to people too.
With this gap not being filled, I see a need to provide an online one-stop health hub for younger Malaysians where they can find practical, enjoyable health information, purchase health-related products/services and get into action, and find suitable community to embrace this active healthy living lifestyle together! It’s that one place which empowers you to take action and live healthy.

rue - healthworks
(right) Rue, (left) Jolene, the content strategist of healthworks.my

4. Where do you see your business growing into, for the next 5 to 10 years?
There are many opportunities in the area of Health. In the short term I see HealthWorks.my to become the first place Malaysians go whenever they want to find health information, buy health-related products, or connect to other health communities or services.
In the longer term, I am looking forward to work with hospitals, clinics, beauty parlors, gyms, health insurance companies and various healthcare providers to streamline a person’s healthcare experience in Malaysia. It will be awesome if one day we can build a Health Village in Malaysia!

5. What is your vision for the industry that you are in? Do you see a trend coming up that your business can capitalize?
There are two trends on the rise in Malaysia. One is the trend of going mobile (even baby boomers are on mobiles now!) Second is the increased consumer awareness for preventive healthcare which leads to the rise of self-directed consumers. Gone are the days where consumers wait for the doctor to give them answers. Now, we have more people using the internet to get health information to help them make a decision throughout their health journey. They consult the internet before and after visiting a healthcare professional. What they got from the internet, helps facilitate their discussion with healthcare professionals. I see an opportunity for us here in Malaysia to tap on technology and help the community to get what they are looking for. In simpler words, facilitate their journey of living a healthy active lifestyle.

 

HealthWorks

 

 

 

Find out more about HealthWorks: www.healthworks.my & Follow them on Facebook!!

To be continued… The Start-up Entrepreneur Part 3

The Start-Up Entrepreneur Series: HealthWorks inspire you to be a healthier and happier you!

Rue-Hann Lim, the Co-Founder of www.healthworks.my. She is on a mission to inspire fellow Malaysians to make better choices for their health and wellness.

Health Works

Getting to know about The Start-Up

1. Tell us more about yourself – Who are you, what do you do, what are your qualifications (If any) and what have 

Rue-Hann Lim

made you into the successful entrepreneur that you are today?
I’m Rue and I love purposeful ideas, helping people to be better in life and also all things fun! I’m running a health start-up called HealthWorks.my. Our mission is to build the largest health community in Malaysia and inspire Malaysians to make better choices for their health, fitness & happiness. It will serve as Malaysia’s one-stop-health-hub for education, shopping and community.
I graduated with a first class honors in Nutrition & Community Health degree. Worked at a health-communication company and took on projects from global brands. I then spent 3 years kick-starting Groupon Malaysia’s Operations team and was part of the leadership team.
As we are fairly new, I wouldn’t consider myself as a successful entrepreneur, yet. What made me the person I am today are the experiences and hardships that God took me through.

2. Why did you get started on this path towards building your own business?
I wanted to build something purposeful that can help Malaysians. I’ve learnt a lot about people & process management during my experience in Groupon MY. So I want to take these learnings to a different level of playing field. I also want to build a company that has great culture, and provide awesome work experience for its people. Together we can make a positive difference greater!

HealthWorks

3. Was there any inspiration or anyone who inspired you to pursue your dream to become an entrepreneur today?
Many people inspired me in different ways. From big names like Richard Branson, Gurbaksh Chahal, to someone closer to home – my leader Joel Neoh and Chen Chow. But these people are the ones that inspired me most: my mother, my pastor, the hairdresser I visit, the family that runs a western restaurant at my neighbourhood, and the tailor who alters my dresses. They have such perseverance to run a mission or a business for decades, and focused on their service quality for the community around them. So I decided to take this step, get out of my comfort zone and start something that can benefit others!

4. In your experience, what are the 3 Winning Traits that Entrepreneurs should possess when they start their business?
I’d like to see this as the Entrepreneurial spirit – which you can find in people who might not have their own businesses but are doing epic stuff in their company too! In the past 4 years, I’ve learned that these 3 traits are vital:
1) Be purpose driven. Knowing why you are doing something drives you forward, even when all else fails. It helps you communicate clearly to stakeholders, leaders, team members, clients, even friends!
2) Be a teachable explorer. Be curious. Ask questions. Imagine stuff. Talk to people. Read a lot. Explore. Dream. Discover.
3) Have grit. Having the grit to persevere on is vital because there are too many temptations asking you to give up – like that Korean drama chase.

 

HealthWorks

 

 

 

Find out more about HealthWorks: www.healthworks.my & Follow them on Facebook!!

To be continued… The Start-up Entrepreneur Part 2

 

With The Right Shoes, Christy Ng Can Conquer the World

Yes she can. Christy Ng is a successful businesswoman turned from a successful shoe designer in Malaysia. Her online shoe store ChristyNg.com with its slogan “Welcome to Shoe heaven” is growing very well and selling globally since she started it in July 2010. Recently, she also won the inaugural Alliance Bank BizSmart Award.  Here are some of my conversation, I had with her about being a designer and e-commerce entrepreneur.

 

Q. Normally great designers are not good at doing business or management and via versa. What’s your thought on this?

A good fashion designer might not be a good businessperson and similarly, a good businessperson may be a lousy designer. The idea is to focus on your key strengths and get people with complementing talents and skills to help grow your business.

 

Q. Selling shoes online is even more difficult than selling clothes online as if customer can’t be comfortable with shoes and her feet can feel painful. Things are much touchier when you’re selling custom-made shoes coz customers are very stylish and likely have more demands to touch and try real shoes. How can you deal with it?

Contrary to what you say, we find that buying shoes on the Internet is easier then buying cloths. As long as the customer knows her shoe size, the process is pretty straightforward. As for comfort, our high heel shoes come with an elevated platform front with thick insoles. Our products come with genuine leather back counter and are handmade from top quality materials. As for custom made shoes, our sales numbers are growing consistently from quarter to quarter because there is high demand for custom made shoes around the globe. We try our best to provide detailed and elaborate descriptions on our products on our web store. We also put extra effort to produce high quality studio images of the actual product, which we sell so that consumers can have a very good idea of our products before purchasing them.

Q. What are your top three customers’ countries in Southeast Asia besides Malaysia? Are their styles different?

1. Singapore
2. Indonesia
3. Philippines

Yes, their styles and tastes are very different. However, we obtain better sales from first world countries like America, Canada and Australia. Malaysians tend to prefer neutral or earth colors like nude, black and beige when they shop for high heel shoes whereas Filipinos and Indonesians love funky, edgy and colorful designs.

 

Q. What is the most difficult thing to sell products online over many countries?

It is definitely easier to target first world countries where Internet penetration and credit card usage is at its maturity.  The difficult part of selling products to different countries would be anticipating the different international customs rules and regulations of different countries. Some countries impose heavy import taxes and fees making it very difficult for online sellers to sell into such countries.

 

Q. Which factors involving in starting a new shoes design?

Understanding the customer’s needs and demands will be the most crucial step before we start designing a new product. We need to ensure the design WILL SELL before making it.

 

Q. Your FB page has an impressive number with nearly 200.000 fans. But I’m much more impressed with 100% 5 star rating from your shop on Etsy with more than 90 reviews. What is your secret to make them satisfied with such a high level? 

Our goal is to create the perfect pair of shoes for all women across the globe. We live by this mantra everyday. As the saying goes, “With the right pair of shoes, she can conquer the world.” Customer satisfaction will be the key to every success! It’s that simple.

 

Q. What are your priority next year: increase no of designs, quality of design, sales volume or?

Quality will always be our key priority. We believe that as long as we provide good value to all our customers, the sales will come automatically. The more happier customers you have, the higher your sales volumes will be.

 

Q. Finally, how about the role of Malaysia as a starting point market for your business? 

Being a Malaysian and starting my business here in Malaysia has been great. Malaysia is indeed the Shoe Capital of the world. We have many talented shoe designers and manufacturers here who have generations of skills in crafting handmade shoes. Malaysian made shoes are a class of its own. Apart from that fact, Malaysia’s booming economy and vibrant business opportunities makes my home country a stimulating marketplace for start-ups and SMEs. Also, the government has implemented several initiatives to help digital businesses propagate in Malaysia. The reduction of company tax by 1% in the recent budget 2014 is also another positive move in helping young businesses like myself thrive.

Examples of government initiatives include the Digital Malaysia initiative, which is aimed to drive the nation’s wealth creation and improve standards of living within the country in efforts to create a developed digital economy by 2020.

 

 

MALAYSIA’S TOP 16 START-UPS EYE VENTURES VIA MAD TECHVENTURES

MAD-TechVentures-Logo

MALAYSIA’S TOP 16 START-UPS EYE
VENTURES VIA MAD TECHVENTURES

Kuala Lumpur, October 24 – Malaysia’s top 16 new start-ups are eyeing to secure the commercialization of their ideation and innovations with potential ventures and investors through MAD TechVentures, a premier launch pad for top start-ups.

The event held at Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil today saw the 16 start-ups, selected from more than 55 nominations, keenly contesting for a spot in the five categories: mobile and communications, creative contents, business applications and productivity, community & social network, and subscription & commerce marketplace.

MAD Techventures“MAD TechVentures is the only launching platform for Malaysia’s tech start-ups. We are happy to see the participation of start-ups as well as corporate sponsors, investors, media and entrepreneurs giving support to this event,” said Andrew Wong, Chief Executive Officer of MAD Incubator.

“In Malaysia, launching a venture or a product takes a significant amount of money and resources which startups do not have such luxury. What MAD does is to bring the entire ecosystem – media, buyers, industry, investors, entrepreneurs and startups together and launch these ventures and products together. This will allow start-ups to build their visibility in market,” he added.

Speaking at the event, Encik Shahazman Abu Samah, Vice President, Park Management and Services of Technology Park Malaysia Corporation Sdn Bhd (TPM) said the event by MAD TechVentures was an excellent platform to support and assist new start-ups to promote their commercialization potential.

“The efforts by MAD TechVentures complement the role of TPM and we are happy to lend our support to the event. Such initiative bodes well to foster closer collaboration between the public and private sectors to boost the development, transformation and growth of technology and innovation sector to support the Government’s aspiration of building a strong k-economy,” said Shahzman.

The competing companies were required to showcase their products and new ventures to event attendees, as well as a panel of judges comprising of industry luminaries, who in turn evaluate each start-up’s presentation and overall value proposition, then determine the winning startups.

The winner of “Best of the Best” Award among the 16 competing start-ups will receive a trophy and certificate from MAD TechVentures and cash prize of RM1000 as well as marketing support for a year.

The winner in each of the five categories will receive a certificate from MAD TechVentures, while MAD Coach Academy will sponsor a two-month Entrepreneur Startup coaching program with a total of eight personalised one-on-one sessions. Exabytes sponsored email marketing system to the winners, whereas Mexcomm sponsored 1,000 SMS credits for each winner.

Following MAD TechVentures 2013, the organizer will still find ways to continually support all the winners, in terms of exhibition space, network/linkages, incubation services, etc.

Previous MAD TechVentures produced winners that went on to do well in their ventures; some obtaining grants and investment with most winners obtaining good market traction for their respective ventures. Companies such as Web bytes and Convep Sdn Bhd have gone on to do well in their respective businesses.

“MAD TechVentures is a great platform to showcase your ideas and receive instant feedback to further improve it. An award such as this is an integral part of the startup ecosystem and I hope to see more efforts in developing MAD TechVentures into a regional launch pad in the future,” added Wong.

About MAD TechVentures

MAD TechVentures is a launch pad for Malaysia’s Top Tech Startups. It is a platform for Tech Startups to launch their products / solutions in front of the influential investors, powerful media members, and impactful industry leaders. MAD TechVentures was started in year 2010 with the objective to identify the top tech startups and provide them with a platform to launch their products / solutions to gain more exposure and eventually MAD Incubator will nurture them through MAD Incubator’s incubation programs.

Finalists will be featured according to the categories the MAD TechVentures identified: Mobile & Communications, Creative Contents, Business Applications & Productivity, Community & Social Networks, and Subscriptions & Commerce Marketplace. Each finalist will need to launch and demonstrate its product / solution in order  to (i) gain the attention from venture capitalists or angel investors, (ii) gain more publicity, (iii) awards from MAD TechVentures. This is a perfect opportunity for start-ups to showcase their potential in front of their peers and potential investors who can participate the MAD TechVentures by invitation only.

MAD TechVentures is not all about the financial rewards but the recognition that startups can get from publicity and awareness about their technology ventures. MAD Incubator hopes that MAD TechVentures will be the premier platform to cultivate new ideas, promote innovation, identify new promising startups, create new technopreneurs and subsequently create world-class startups.

For further information, please log on to :

MAD TECHVENTURES – Website :www.madtechventures.com

 

About MAD Incubator Sdn Bhd

MAD Incubator is Malaysia’s leading and largest private incubator. Formed in 2009, MAD Incubator is an MSC Status Accredited Incubator. MAD Incubator specializes in incubation programs from ideation to business venture and business acceleration. Its mission is to develop 1000 entrepreneurs in Malaysia achieving USD1mil by 2015 and have every entrepreneurs equipped with the tools, skills, knowledge and know-how to navigate their business challenges.

To-date, MAD has incubated more than 80 business ventures and is supporting more than 300 companies through its Business Incubation and Coaching Program. It wants to democratize entrepreneurship by making entrepreneur assistance and incubation affordable for all entrepreneurs through MAD’s high value quality programs, mentoring, coaching and handholding services, as well as business facilities, networking opportunities, training workshops, facilitation on funding access, etc.

The Local platform for Technology Start-Ups Launchpad is coming!

MAD-TechVentures-Logo

A Local Launch Pad for Technology Start-Ups

Kuala Lumpur – The platform for Startup Launchpad is coming! The launching pad-event created by MAD Incubator will take place on 24th October, just about a week away.

The MAD TechVentures was initiated in 2010 with the aim to provide startups a launch pad to launch their products. The aim is to find the best new start-ups and launch them in front of the industry’s most influential, venture capitalists, corporations, fellow entrepreneurs and the press. It was conceived as part of MAD Incubator’s vision of creating new startup ventures, publicizing them and eventually nurturing them through MAD’s incubation program.

MAD TechVentures 2013 is to launch Malaysia’s Top Technology Start-ups Tech Ventures. The platform is all about tech startups and will feature startups under various categories which are, Mobile & Communications, Games & Creative Contents, Business Applications & Productivity, Community & Social Network, and Subscription & Commerce Marketplace, making it all simply a golden opportunity to showcase their products in hopes to receive venture capitals or angel investors’ attention, publicity and well-deserved awards.

A Local Launch Pad for Technology Start-Ups mad venture

The 16 Technology Start-Ups that will be competing this 24th October 2013, are:

  1. Sync Media Sdn Bhd – An academic social network – a cloud-based and interactive communication platform exclusively for schools.
  2. Aushlabs Sdn Bhd – A community marketplace for wedding. It covers everything about wedding, features various service providers, ranging from catering to wedding planners.
  3. Tapway Sdn Bhd – OneTap Event Hub – A platform for event organizations or other businesses to launch an engaging and fun event. This platform consists of an event portal, a few event kiosks (with tablets or mobile devices), a beautifully designed event app for the kiosk and Near Field Communications (NFC) wristbands.
  4. TableApp Sdn Bhd – provides a business application for fine dining restaurants and hotel merchants to organize table booking for their customers, meanwhile users also allowed to book tables and get exclusive offer by using its Birthday Dining App, a mobile application (iOS & Android) which linked with merchants.
  5. Sonovis Sdn Bhd – Mobriq, a cloud-based service for freelancers and agencies to design and generate mobile sites in an easier, quicker and cost effective way. It is optimized for multiple mobile platforms.
  6. dLoop Experience Resources – A travel portal for users to share their passions and interests with those who seek for unique experience during their travel. The system allows users to list, discover and book unique life and travel experiences and accommodation around the region – online or from mobile.
  7. Strategic CT Sdn Bhd – HomeDeco2u.com, a Malaysia-based online home decoration social community, featuring home living enlightenment and inspiration, and aiming to extend into complete social commerce platform in vertical industry.
  8. OpenRecruiters Pte Ltd – OpenRecruiters is the region’s first cloud-based recruitment platform that revolutionizes the way employers manage their recruitment vendors supply chain, acquire and retain top talents all in one place. OpenRecruiters also assists in managing the entire process (i.e. remuneration, contracts, placement, payment, etc) in an unified platform.
  9. National Advanced IPv6 Center – Energy monitoring with Virtual Power Meter System (VPMS). VPMS is an initiative towards monitoring total power consumption, thereby reducing energy costs and consumption for buildings. The ultimate goal of the system is to reduce energy costs through improved energy efficiency and energy management control.
  10. Dynamic Pivot Sdn Bhd – Adz, a digital advertising platform which utilize the lock screen of the mobile phone to display advertisements. Lease lock screens from mobile phone users (thus rewarding mobile phone users), and bundle together as a platform and offer to advertisers to advertise.
  11. MyMobileUni Sdn Bhd – MyMobileUni is a global CSR initiative. It is a FREE learning platform offering academic , lifestyle, lifelong and consumer education for those who want to learn, re-skill and up skill themselves.
  12. Internet Academy Enterprise – Provides e-Learning platform to guide entrepreneurs to learn from basic to becoming an expert in marketing online.
  13. Makerzone Sdn Bhd – Provides an online 3D printing platform to allow affordable 3D printing in an effective way.
  14. ProfitVision Sdn Bhd – Provides a discount platform which combines promotions and loyalty program together.
  15. Joot Ventures Sdn Bhd – Joota is a social content network aims to help users to build meaningful social networks around content. A bookmarklet tool will be provided to users to choose any content on the Internet, organize it and connecting with others on same or similar content, and this is being named as “Jooting”. Joota can be utilized as a better engagement tool for branding, lead generation and sales purposes.
  16. Insight Software Sdn Bhd – “Engage” offers a solution that enables an effective social-media brand endorsement from your customer in real time. Marketers can effectively combine social-media with engaging events. Social-media objects such as company logos, videos, custom messages and app games are embedded on social postings on the customer’s Facebook without any disruption to the customer’s activities. This solution provides measurable marketing ROI via social-media reach. Detailed analytics about customer behavior and participation is captured through “Engage”.

MAD TechVentures will be held on the 24th of October 2013 on a Thursday, from 9am to 7pm, at Enterprise 4 – Auditorium, Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil. Admission is free. Registration is required to control the number of audience.

Each participating startup will need to launch and demonstrate their product / solution in order to gain the attention from venture capitalists or angel investors, gain more publicity and awards from MAD TechVentures. This is a perfect opportunity for start-ups to showcase their potential in front of their peers and potential investors who can participate the MAD TechVentures by invitation only.

They will be given 6 minutes each to launch or demonstrate, give out handouts, cards, demos or samples which are allowed during or immediately after each finalist’s launch/demo. The launch or demo is followed by four (4) minutes of Q&A by the panel of judges.

MAD TechVentures is not all about the financial rewards but the recognition these startups can get from the publicity and awareness about their technology ventures. This launching pad-event will be the premier platform to cultivate new ideas, promote innovation, identify new promising startups, create new technopreneurs and subsequently create world class startups. These finalists will be judged by the panel of industry luminaries from the MAD ecosystem such as, venture investors, corporate officers, proven entrepreneurs, and participants that will evaluate them from the onstage launch and to the overall value proposition, in order to determine the winners. The announcements will then be made at the close of the event itself.

Past MAD TechVentures winners have gone on to perform very well in getting business traction, recognition in Asia Pacific, venture capital funding and CIP500 grants. Three past winners will be featured in the forum during the MAD TechVentures.

For registration, please logon to madtechventures.com or email to [email protected] For further clarification and information of the event, please do not hesitate to contact Alice Foong at +603-8319 1751 or via email at [email protected]

About MAD Incubator Sdn Bhd

MAD Incubator is Malaysia’s leading and largest private incubator. Formed in 2009, MAD Incubator is an MSC Status Accredited Incubator. MAD Incubator specializes in incubation programs from ideation to business venture and business acceleration. Its mission is to develop 1000 entrepreneurs in Malaysia achieving USD1mil by 2015 and have every entrepreneurs equipped with the tools, skills, knowledge and know-how to navigate their business challenges.

To-date, MAD has incubated more than 80 business ventures and is supporting more than 300 companies through its Business Incubation and Coaching Program. It wants to democratize entrepreneurship by making entrepreneur assistance and incubation affordable for all entrepreneurs through MAD’s high value quality programs, mentoring, coaching and handholding services, as well as business facilities, networking opportunities, training workshops, facilitation on funding access, etc.

For further information, please log on to :
MAD INCUBATOR SDN BHD – Website: www.incubator.com.my
MAD TECHVENTURES – Website : www.madtechventures.com

D.A.R.E. BizStart Showcase Makes Its Way Back For 2013!

 The D.A.R.E. BizStart Showcase is back with its 3rd-annual entrepreneurial showcase and this time it will be hosted in Cyberjaya with the target of placing Cyberjaya in the map as the “Startup Capital of Malaysia”.

D.A.R.E. BizStart Showcase is an annual premier event that focuses on business startups. Following the succession of the Showcase in 2011 and 2012, D.A.R.E. BizStart Showcase 2013 continues its third run in Cyberjaya with two days of intensive business startup showcase with high impact activities that promotes business opportunities, learning, knowledge gathering and investment opportunities in Cyberjaya.

It is an event that has entrepreneurs’ interest at heart. The D.A.R.E. philosophy, Dream, Accelerate, Realize and Empower; itself encompasses the processes that are most important to any entrepreneurs who are aspiring to start their own business ventures. D.A.R.E. BizStart Showcase 2013 aims to promote the entrepreneurial mindset by bringing potential entrepreneurs closer to the resources they need, such as collaborators, suppliers and prospects. D.A.R.E. BizStart Showcase is poised to be the one stop platform for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs to obtain latest information, knowledge, skills, expanding their networks and looking for business opportunities.

The event will be organized in Knowledge Workers Development Centre (KDC) in Cyberjaya, on the 22nd and 23rd of November 2013, from 9:00am to 6:30pm, on both days.

DARE-BizStart-2013_logo4-300x300

It will be one of the largest entrepreneurial events in Malaysia with 2 Conferences and 10 seminars covering more than 90 workshops and 90 speakers, speaking on various entrepreneurial and business topics.

D.A.R.E. BizStart Showcase 2013 will be offering many programmed activities, just to name a few in the agenda – Growth Hacking Mini Conference, Startupz! Jobs Fair Malaysia, Program Transformasi Usahawan, The Essential Entrepreneurial & Business Building, One-on-One

Business Clinics, MIRC Funding Forum 2013, Software and Services in the Cloud for Your eBusiness and lots more. It is expected to attract more than 3000 visitors in Cyberjaya.

Well-respected entrepreneurs like Benjamin Levy from the Silicon Valley, Rodrigo Martinez, a Chilean from hpG, Ng Boon Jiun from Hometuitionjob.com and Joblogy.com, Ai Ching, the co-founder of Piktochart Malaysia, are some of the invited ‘Growth Hacking Mini Conference’ speakers that will be presenting on the event day.

The end goal at the end of the day is to build a vibrant entrepreneur eco-system that converge technology and non-technology entrepreneurs in the hope of creating a vibrant marketplace for entrepreneurs to collaborate and trade together. It is an expanded vision that the D.A.R.E. BizStart Showcase 2013 will be the biggest entrepreneur showcase and learning stage in Malaysia, as well as, throughout South East Asia.

It is also a need to build a vibrant community of business startups by creating opportunities through learning, knowledge acquisition, business network expansion and new business opportunities. Cyberjaya will have an annual premier event catering to Startups and the foundation of the Startup Capital of Malaysia is therefore laid.

Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer of Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDeC), who will be attending the showcase said, “We are proud to work with MAD Incubator over the last 3 years on the D.A.R.E BizStart showcase to help empower entrepreneurs to learn, acquire knowledge, build business networks and create business opportunities. MDeC, as driver of Digital Malaysia, the national digital economy initiative and the national ICT initiative via MSC Malaysia is highly supportive of programmes and initiatives which are aimed at inspiring Malaysians to become digital entrepreneurs”.

To see how the entrepreneur ecosystem and the community contribute to the development of this Project is indeed one of the objectives of MDeC in engaging with the community. We are heartened to see that the community and ecosystem remains vibrant and pro-active.

For further clarification and information of the event, please do not hesitate to contact Kent Tan at +603-8311 9605 or via email at [email protected]

Joot Ventures, Joota – Social Content Network just secured a total of USD 700K funding from two investment sources!!

Joot Ventures, Joota – Social Content Network just secured a total of USD 700K funding from two investment sources!!

Joot Ventures Sdn Bhd, the company that developed Joota, a social content network, today announced that it has recently secured a total of USD 700K funding from two investment sources – USD 500K in funding from Interactive E Solutions JLT of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and, USD 200K in funding from an individual angel investor. The new funding will be used to finance product development of Joota’s social content network platform, as well as, to support its global marketing and promotional efforts.

Company Overview: http://feedback.joota.com/knowledgebase/articles/189017-company-overview

The Joota web-based platform was released as public beta in June 2012. Joota takes a unique approach compared to existing platforms today by making social networks dynamic and connecting people through content. It helps users build meaningful social networks around content that matters to them.

Joota

Mr. Ashran Ghazi, co-founder and chief operating officer at Joota said, “We are excited to receive this new round of funding. It allows us to support our technology team to continue to improve Joota as well as our increasing efforts in marketing and promoting our universal social content network platform to Internet users around the globe. We are thankful to Interactive E Solutions JLT and our private angel investor for granting us their trust and recognizing our strategy to grow.”

Mr. Shahid Mahmud, Chairman/CEO Interactive Group said, “We are extremely excited about Joota. There is an information overload on the Internet and having Joota Internet users can easily filter the content into manageable information clusters. The way Joota engages online community around content is very interesting. Broadband markets offer immense appetite for social networking and content sharing. With Joota we will usher in a new era of Internet usage proliferating the positive effects of content sharing amongst the people. We at Interactive E Solutions JLT are equally excited about Joota’s approach to making the social network a meaningful experience.”

Prior to these latest investments from the two sources (Interactive E Solutions JLT and an individual angel investor) Joota had raised approximately USD 1.6 million in funding from various other investment sources.

Joota is a social content network accessible via web-browsers. The platform allows users to build their community based on shared interest around content.

Upon signing up, users will be able to utilize features such as, a Joota bookmarklet. The bookmarklet not only helps users collect content from the Internet but also start a conversation immediately after the content is bookmarked and a Joota card opens up; all without having to leave the webpage from which the “joot” originated.

Joota is also built with integration in mind, so users can choose to share content they have collected and curated with friends on social networks and embed “joots” on blogs and websites.

Joota

“Joota wants to help people build meaningful social networks around content. That is why we are making this a reality using our platform that connects people through content that they’re interested in. On Joota, we provide users with a tool to easily select content that are relevant to them and discover like-minded people on the same platform. This is important in building a meaningful relationship,” Mr. Ashran Ghazi added.

About Interactive E Solutions, JLT (an Interactive Group Company)

Interactive Group is the leading ICT provider in Pakistan and provides a vast portfolio of products and services in the ICT domain to the public and corporate sector in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey. Interactive has undertaken large telecommunications infrastructure project like establishing Paktel Limited with Cable & Wireless; now Zong a China Mobile a cellular company, first Nationwide VSAT networks for the Public sector, free to air TV channels over satellite; National Police ICT infrastructure; building tens of data centers; a public safety network that interconnects all the police stations in Pakistan amongst others. Interactive Group’s Ultimate purpose is “To solve pressing issues of society” by leveraging technology to address the challenges of the 21st century.

About Joota
Joota helps users build meaningful social networks around content. With Joota, users can easily collect and socialize around images, videos, text and more. Joota is owned by Joot Ventures Sdn Bhd and is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with an office in Portland, Oregon, USA. Visit Joota at www.joota.com.