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How Malaysian start-ups are enhancing life through tech – Part III

Recently, a report noted that Malaysia’s homegrown innovators are cultivating tech-driven ecosystem, thereby pushing the nation’s Industry 4.0 agenda.

OpenGov Asia covered this is in a three-part series; Part I can be found here and Part II, here.

Part I covered how one start-up in the region is creating safer roads via an app and how another SME is helping Malaysia’s struggling Millenials find better housing conditions.

Part II noted that Malaysian start-ups are leading the way by using tech to help make better HR decisions and encourage human development.

Thus, taking all this into account, it is clear that Malaysia is making its way to becoming a global innovation hub.

Part of the reason why Malaysia is blossoming is that it operates as a microcosm for the Southeast Asian digital ecosystem.

The region’s online housing start-up believes that localisation in the region is effective because the fundamentals of putting up a tech start-up are established in Malaysia, making it a suitable platform to scale up into different territories.

While the housing start-up is a beneficiary of government support and guidance though MDEC, Cradle, and Magic, it is worth noting that Malaysia’s start-up ecosystem provides a very supportive for each player.

The learning analytics company is also contributing back to the start-up community with the launch of a programme offering 90% discount for the use of its product for start-ups in Malaysia and Singapore.

Funding also poses an important role for many players.

It was noted that being a tech start-up involves heaving in machine learning and predictions.

Start-ups have attributed a significant amount of their success to government grants, crediting much of their success to state-sponsored financial support.

Meanwhile, the learning analytics company believes there is no doubt its early and rapid growth was made possible by the invaluable support received from agencies such as MDEC and TalentCorp. The firm highlights that the private sector has been equally amazing, demonstrating their willingness to collaborate and innovate.

This is important because it sets an example for other countries in the region.

Levelling up

When asked what Malaysia could do better in terms of supporting start-ups and innovation as a whole, the creators of the mobile telematics app suggested allowing budding entrepreneurs to experiment with technology and innovation right after secondary school by funding innovative ideas.

They also suggested starting with a fund as small as RM2000-5000 with no expectation of return. If any of the ideas grow, then nurture it with bigger fund or assistance to help it go to market.

The creators echoed this sentiment, saying that education plays a major role. Support should start from education, especially since Malaysia has always had the talent potential as well as the resources.

They believe that it’s always best to have innovation and entrepreneurial thought nurtured from a young age. This means the government should acknowledge that the previous educational system has not addressed this area and that private institutions should create and invest more funds to build a stronger start-up ecosystem.

On the other hand, the online housing start-up believes that Malaysia could benefit from better public awareness and understanding of the ecosystem landscape.

Thus, the start-ups mentioned earlier in this report all agree that in order to holistically enhance the growth and impact of tech innovators requires adequate funding, sufficient support to nurture creativity, and educating both the players in the start-up ecosystem as well as the general public.

This will nurture better tech innovation and continued enhancement of human experience and will simultaneously push the Government’s Industry 4.0 agenda.

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