MALAYSIAN Global Innovation and Creativity Centre’s (MaGIC) Global Entrepreneurship Community (GECommunity) 2016, organised last week, has reinforced the government’s commitment to create a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The two-day event, held on Dec 8 and 9 here, saw nine cluster labs with 150 experts from 60 countries leading 1,500 participants to develop 50 initiatives, all of which were launched during the closing ceremony.

Among the initiatives were Blockchain for Assets, a new public-private-partnership to promote the adoption of blockchain technology by financial institutions; Artistlabs, the first of its kind in the region to equip artists with practical skills to scale their businesses; and M-Powered, a new inclusive technology platform for Malaysia by Microsoft.

The programme also saw the Global Entrepreneurship Movement (GEM) strengthening Malaysia’s connection to the global entrepreneurship ecosystem, with the establishment of 10 ecosystem partnerships and the signing of five memoranda of understanding.

Partners included GEN Global,
a European consortium of start-ups called Allied for Start-ups, Bangladesh’s Team Engine, Malaysian Association of Asean Young Entrepreneurs, MyPerintis, SIS Consortium, Start-up India, South Africa’s Entrepreneur Traction, Entrepreneur G Lebanon and Vietnam Start-ups.

“These partnerships will help create market access for local entrepreneurs and build global connections. Working with these ten partners, GEM will help Malaysia’s entrepreneurs connect with ecosystems in other markets and start-ups around the world as well as supporting youth development,” GEM said.

MaGIC chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah was quoted as saying that the event had brought many start-up ecosystem partners together, besides linking governments with such ecosystems.

“We have seen demonstrable value creation over the past two days, culminating in the launch of eight innovation-driven initiatives.

“We know how important global connections are for entrepreneurs — to share, learn, create access and offer new perspectives — that is what GECommunity has brought and, through this, shows that Malaysia is a thriving hub for entrepreneurs around the world.”

The GECommunity had taken place alongside Malaysia Commercialisation Year (MCY) 2016, an exhibition hosted by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.

During the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who launched the GECommunity, announced the second wave of MCY for next year, dubbed MCY 2.0.

He also announced programmes and initiatives that would begin
in June, which include MaGIC’s Global Accelerator Programme, Global Impact Challenge and SE Certification.

The closing ceremony featured the National Blue Ocean Strategy Innovative Idea Competition’s results, where each winner received RM30,000 and a seed fund worth RM50,000 to enhance and implement their ideas.

The awards were divided into three categories — civil to service, social entrepreneurship and for-profit business.

The civil service category was won by Water for Life. It aims to reconstruct mini dam reservoirs with filters in Sungai Jernih Selama that broke due to floods earlier this year.

The social entrepreneurship category was won by Min House Camp, which promotes and expands the eco- and agro-tourism sector to create more job opportunities for disabled people.

The for-profit business category was won by Anarich Sdn Bhd, the inventor of plastic bags made of natural plant (lemongrass) and composite plastics to reduce waste in the country.

GECommunity also saw the announcement of the winners of Asean’s Next Great Idea — an initiative by MaGIC, Uber and Digi.

The winners would have the opportunity to meet investors and key players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem in San Francisco, the United States.

They are Liang Chun Lim for his work on Saloma, a system that aims to connect small-scale farmers directly to institutional food buyers by aggregating their supply through cloud computing; Nigel Gui for Got Car, an application that enables prospective car buyers to test-drive vehicles by dealing directly with car owners; and James Mendoza for Health Blocks, a trusted platform for health information exchange.

The other two winners are Cornie Foong’s initiative, Closing the Gap, which aims to close the opportunity gap for low-income kids by helping them overcome hurdles to secure a place in top universities; and Lukvi Raharasi for Timba, a platform connecting makers and craftsmen with professionals to build prototypes and develop ideas.

MaGIC chief executive officer Ashran Ghazi said the world-class speakers at GECommunity had inspired many, triggering ideas to look beyond today’s problems and creating debate on how the problems of the future would affect individual industries.

More than 5,000 entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders and ecosystem influencers from around the world attended the event. MaGIC is under the purview of the Finance Ministry and GEM was the event’s community partner.

Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah (wearing a cap) with winners of the National Blue Ocean Strategy Competition in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. Pic by Nurul Shafina Jemenon