The 5-minute guide to Malaysia’s 2014 startup landscape

MaGIC’s Cheryl Yeoh intends to help entrepreneurs in Malaysia better understand the local market and build a healthy ecosystem

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Just two months into her new role as CEO at Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Cheryl Yeoh told e27 about her plans to educate and build a healthy ecosystem for founders in the country.

MaGIC was first announced during the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last October. Aside from helping entrepreneurs secure funding from banks or investors, the ‘one-stop centre’ also looks to help with intellectual property registration and provide facilities for training purposes.

According to Digital News Asia, via Malay Mail Online, the Malaysian government had directed an initial sum of MYR 70 million (about US$22 million) to MaGIC.

“I’m still trying to figure out what entrepreneurs really need in the region,” she said, “By end of the month, I will have a complete picture and presentation as to what I want to do.”

Also Read: Malaysia’s FLEXIROAM receives US$230K from MDEC to launch device

Specifically, she is looking to help entrepreneurs look at the whole startup life cycle — from cradle to grave, acquisition, merger or IPO.

She added that there are 70 entrepreneurship-centric government agencies in Malaysia. “That was the problem. It was very fragmented and very ‘silo’-ed,” said Yeoh, who is focused on co-ordinating existing resources and helping founders navigate through a sea of information.

Recently, she had launched a five-minute guide to the 2014 startup landscape in Malaysia, in collaboration with World Startup Report. According to the infographic (below), Malaysia does have its fair share of startup successes, even though there can always be more of such stories. Furthermore, it noted the advantages and disadvantages Malaysia has, like good infrastructure and inconsistent education system respectively.

Going forward, MaGIC will be launching a web resource tool in August, and consolidate information about entrepreneurship and technology in a single platform.

In addition, Yeoh will be hosting a dialogue session. “People always complain that the government doesn’t understand, so I’m trying to take a very entrepreneurial approach,” she said.

Also Read: Echelon 2014: Asia isn’t for grantrepreneurs

She had previously launched a virtual session where people can comment and chat with others about challenges and various obstacles.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, she concluded, “If this is my startup, then my customers are entrepreneurs. I want to talk to them more and more. I have been talking to entrepreneurs, but it’s just me. I want to make it a bit more formal.”

WorldStartupReport-Malaysia_v0.3

Elaine Huang

Elaine is a fervent believer that if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, we will all be snapping away at them with our phones and posting them onto Instagram. A Mass Communication graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies, she enjoys writing about technology and entrepreneurs. When not hashtagging her way through all sorts of trouble, Elaine is probably contemplating how to write in the third person.

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  • Curry Khoo

    3 of the success stories were started in Penang, totally awesome.

  • Elaine Huang

    Totally awesome and exciting! I would love to visit Penang soon to check out its startup scene :)

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