Naressa Khan looks at the timeline of Cyberview’s 4th Living Lab Accelerator Programme to uncover the recipe for a smart city
MUCH like Silicon Valley, Cyberjaya is home to those who intend to change the country — and the world — through technology.
Since its conception in 1995, the IT-themed city has emerged not only as a thinking space for tech-savvy residents but also as a system housing the works of tech hub enabler Cyberview.
The latest instalment of Cyberview’s annual Living Lab Accelerator Programme (CLLAP) is by far the greatest indicator of Cyberjaya’s status as a burgeoning tech mecca.
Held from March to August this year, the event witnessed five local startups, including Techare Innovation, SERV, and JomParking, championing societal solutions in the areas of Fintech and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Mahadhir Aziz, Cyberview’s head of Technology Hub Development Division, says: “The programme is part of an ecosystem Cyberview has put in place to target companies that are at the tipping point of commercialisation, including high performing startups with the potential to thrive.”
Each startup bore an exponential growth that has since rendered Cyberview a proud contributor to the Asean startup ecosystem.
“We see ourselves carving a niche in the growth of the Asean entrepreneurship ecosystem by providing a platform for entrepreneurs and innovators who build products and services that contribute to smart city solutions,” says Aziz.
HEALTH MAKES WEALTH
A smart city without healthy citizens capable of smart and well-informed choices is a lost cause.
At least that was Techcare Innovation’s Khor Kang Xiang’s consensus when he introduced his rehabilitation and fitness devices into CLLAP.
The engineering student at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) was clueless about his future, not knowing which career path to follow. But things took a different turn when he and a few friends decided to join Robocon (Malaysia Robot Contest) in 2010.
“My team and I spent a whole year building a robot. I was suddenly interested in what I was learning. That all happened before I founded this company,” he says.
Two years after starting Techcare Innovation, Khor decided to volunteer at the National Stroke Association of Malaysia. “I remember meeting someone who was around my age. He had suffered a stroke; even walking a short distance was hard for him.
“I noticed the tools used at the centre were very basic yet fundamental to facilitate the body’s core movements. It was then that I realised that I could help them by doing more with my skills.”
The Fibod is not limited to stroke patients; the programmed interactive games that come with it can also be used by the able-bodied to work their core movements and release tension.
So what did Khor learn from his CLLAP experience?
“Being in Cyberjaya makes me aware of the business side of things. It has also helped me learn about finance and expand my mission.”
REDEFINING SPACE, DIGITALLY
The success of a smart city relies on the intimate relationship between its inhabitants and the space it contains. Where efficiency is prioritised, systematic city layouts are a must, and productive human routines an expected direct result of them.
In the case of co-working space managing app CampFyre and parking payment app JomParking, repurposing space is the core passion that unites their different causes.
Asked about the inspiration behind CampFyre, CEO Mac Jake says: “CampFyre was inspired by the sense of community you feel when you sit around a campfire with new friends. It was not an idea that my partners and I decided on a whim. There was a purpose to it: To open a 24/7 coworking space managing platform.”
Targeting KL-based digital nomads from around the world, Jake believes CampFyre is, at its core, a space-maximising holistic venture that’s also timesaving. “Even your nearest Starbucks does not stay open the whole night,” he exclaims.
Meanwhile, Nasir Habizar aims to revolutionise Malaysians’ attitude towards car parking with the easily installable JomParking.
“The idea for JomParking came about when my team and I at AppCable were tasked to provide solutions for Smart Parking Solutions (SPS). We were supposed to collaborate with Amano Corporation, but it didn’t work out so we did further research and development to develop our own product,” says Habizar.
Like Khor, Jake believes his participation in CLLAP equips him with a better understanding of business strategies. “Being in Cyberjaya, you get to really feel the connectivity in the tech world and push your limits.”
Meanwhile, Habizar is excited by the prospect of a regional expansion one day. “Perhaps the app can operate throughout Southeast Asia and leave a huge impact.”