February 22, 2024

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Future-ready ‘technopreneurs’ important to Malaysia’s transformation

Technopreneurs, who combine tech savvy with business know-how, are important to Malaysia’s transformation into a knowledge-based economy, a recent report notes.

Much has been talked about the role of technopreneurs – entrepreneurs who combine their passion for all things tech with business know-how in transforming Malaysia into a knowledge-based economy.

Government and government-related agencies have, on their part, created an environment that encourages start-ups. Organisations such as MDec, Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (Magic), and Cradle Sdn Bhd offer funding opportunities, business advisory services and physical infrastructure.

The founder of a leading Stem (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) educational provider, sees the partnership with MDec in the company’s early years as one of the turning points.

The provider, which was started in 2012, was one of the pioneers in using Lego in the teaching of Stem subjects.

A few years after the company was set up, MDec introduced the Digital Maker Initiative in line with the government’s education policy to encourage Stem, and made the provider a partner.

The educational provider has since mapped its curriculum against the country’s education blueprint, collaborating with the Education Ministry, MDec, as well as other government agencies and international schools to offer a variety of Stem-based programmes and camps throughout the country.

These cover a variety of themes from robotics to mechanics engineering and construction.

Over the years, the company has grown from strength to strength. Besides schoolchildren, the company offers courses for teachers and educators as part of its goal to build teaching capabilities.

Partnerships with organisations governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations on a variety of projects saw rural school children exposed to Stem, 3D printing and other disruptive technologies. In addition, the the company also worked alongside the Selangor state government to implement its Stem Selangor initiative, which promoted hands-on, participatory approaches to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Hothouse For Ideas

Apart from government and government-related agencies, the innovators credit their alma mater for inculcating the spirit of entrepreneurship.

One of the innovators stated that that universities in general are an ideal place for students to learn and hone entrepreneurial skills, whether through organising events, fundraising or running projects.

In his case, subjects like business and accounting have helped him in running his company.

The other innovator credits his final year project supervisor for helping him commercialise his project which became the basis of his start-up.

While creativity and innovation have long been one of the outputs of universities, increasingly institutions of higher learning are seeking to marry this with entrepreneurship, helping students get their inventions to market.

At UTP, for example, students are offered mentoring and coaching to help them determine the value proposition of their invention and designing their business model.

The head of UTP’s Technopreneurship Office stated that UTP’s goal is to have 10% of its students pursue entrepreneurship and set up their own companies by 2025. In addition, the university assists students financially through seed funds to start micro businesses on campus and funding to upgrade their prototype for early market validation.

The university also has a co-working space and workshop with rapid prototyping machinery (like 3D printers, fabrication tools, to name a few), computer labs, fabrication workshops, booths and business outlets as well as networking events with UTP Alumni who are entrepreneurs. There are also start-up master classes and workshops.

The rationale is to change from the job-seeker to the job-creator mindset among students. The goal is for 10% of UTP students to pursue entrepreneurship and set up their own companies by 2025.

Since its establishment in 2016, UTP’s Technopreneurship Office has incubated 36 start-ups and helped to successfully commercialise 30 projects. A further six technopreneurs are currently being developed.

The aim is to have more governmental agencies, private companies and institutions of higher education working to help develop the technopreneurs of Malaysia.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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