Inspired by Silicon Valley, many cities and nations around the world are trying to build startup and technology hubs – to spur innovation and economic development. In Asia, Shenzhen, Singapore, Indonesia, and Bangalore have become known as startup hubs. But another nation that’s fighting to earn a seat at the table is Malaysia.
On the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city and home to 1.6M people, is district of Cyberjaya, which has for years been a place for technology companies to plant roots in Malaysia. It’s also the home base of a newly created government agency, MaGIC (Malaysia Global Innovation Centre), which seeks to transform Malaysia into Asia’s startup capital.
My friend Cheryl Yeoh, founder of Reclip.it (acquired by Walmart Labs in 2013) was selected to be the founding CEO and helped kick off the new org this April. Over the summer, she told me about her plans to bring founders, makers and startup folks to KL and share their stories and lessons on building companies with the Malaysian community.
Of course I was in. So this November, I got to spend three very interesting days with Malaysia’s emerging startup community. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading…