‘Start small, think big’

> Lack of con­fi­dence, net­work­ing and in­for­ma­tion shar­ing have im­peded growth of new star­tups among Malaysian en­trepreneurs: IBM Ven­ture Cap­i­tal

The Sun (Malaysia) - - MEDIA & MARKETING -

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian en­trepreneurs need to start small, think big and move fast to evolve with cur­rent trends in the world of ven­ture cap­i­tals, star­tups and new en­trepreneurs.

US-based IBM Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Group’s soft­ware strat­egy di­rec­tor Deb­o­rah Magid said a lack of con­fi­dence and net­work­ing, as well as shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion, has im­peded growth of new star­tups among Malaysian tech­nol­ogy en­trepreneurs.

“The gen­der bias fac­ing women en­trepreneurs, as well as a re­luc­tance to build a strong net­work in in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, has also been a ma­jor con­straint in the growth of new tech­nol­ogy en­trepreneurs in Malaysia,” she told a group of se­lected me­dia here re­cently.

In this re­spect, she em­pha­sised the need for a global eco-sys­tem to help Malaysian en­trepreneurs build great busi­ness models that pro­vide in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to solve prob­lems, in line with the de­vel­op­ment in new tech­nolo­gies and dis­rup­tive in­dus­try trends.

Magid was speak­ing dur­ing her pre­sen­ta­tion on “The Next New Thing: Dis­rup­tions In the World of Ven­ture Cap­i­tals and Star­tups”, or­gan­ised by the Malaysian Global In­no­va­tion and Creativ­ity Cen­tre (MaGIC). It was also held in con­junc­tion with the two-day Global En­trepreneur­ship Com­mu­nity 2016 Sum­mit on Dec 8 and 9 in Kuala Lumpur.

“A new phe­nom­e­non is tak­ing place glob­ally with new tech­nolo­gies dis­rupt­ing tra­di­tional busi­nesses such as bank­ing, with the rise of star­tups that pro­vide so­lu­tions to peo­ple’s prob­lems in niche spe­cialised ar­eas,” Magid said.

She pointed to re­cent trends, where star­tups that pro­vide dif­fer­ent busi­ness models in line with the needs of in­dus­tries, are able to grow faster and at­tract ven­ture cap­i­tal funds and in­vestors.

“In the global fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy space, star­tups or new en­trepreneurs that align with young peo­ple’s be­hav­iour, are small and nim­ble enough to move fast in niche ar­eas, have been very suc­cess­ful,” she said.

Magid quoted ex­am­ples of the cur­rent global de­vel­op­ment of star­tups in fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy which pro­vides spe­cialised ar­eas such as cross-bor­der fi­nanc­ing and per­sonal fi­nanc­ing, which are tak­ing the busi­nesses of banks.

New emerg­ing busi­nesses in fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy, she said, have be­come “ex­plo­sive” re­cently, with in­vest­ments grow­ing at a phe­nom­e­nal phase. “Sim­i­larly, star­tups that solve big prob­lems in the ar­eas of agri­cul­ture and food dis­tri­bu­tion, as well as trans­port and re­tail, are re­shap­ing the in­dus­tries.”

In the Asian mar­ket, she said, new emerg­ing bou­tique busi­nesses are in trans­port, fi­nance and food de­liv­ery.

Val­u­a­tion of star­tups, she added, is im­por­tant, as in­vestors look at busi­ness met­rics such as rev­enue, em­ployee num­bers, busi­ness models of new com­pa­nies and the man­age­ment team.

She said it is dif­fi­cult to get fund­ing and busi­nesses should stop once fi­nanc­ing be­comes a ma­jor is­sue.

“While IBM does not in­vest di­rectly in start-ups or ven­ture cap­i­tal funds, we con­tinue to have a re­la­tion­ship with peo­ple who man­age funds in the Asian re­gion through pro­grammes that sup­port en­trepreneurs,” Magid added.

Mean­while, Ashran Ghazi, CEO of MaGIC, a gov­ern­ment-based or­gan­i­sa­tion to sup­port Malaysian en­trepreneurs, said most busi­ness ideas from star­tups are sim­i­lar and there is a need to ex­pose them to prob­lems and har­ness en­ergy to­wards solv­ing it.

“The Global En­trepreneur­ship Com­mu­nity 2016 Sum­mit in Kuala Lumpur is an ideal plat­form to build net­work­ing for the eco-sys­tem of cor­po­rates and en­trepreneurs,” he said on the side­lines of Magid’s pre­sen­ta­tion.

The Global En­trepreneur­ship Com­mu­nity 2016 brings to­gether an ecosys­tem of in­flu­encers, startup com­mu­ni­ties and in­dus­try lead­ers from all over the world with an eye on col­lab­o­ra­tion. – Ber­nama

Magid says Malaysian tech­nol­ogy en­trepreneurs must move fast to keep up with evolv­ing trends

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