Palo Alto, CA February 21, 2018 The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), through its United States affiliate MDeC Americas Inc., introduced 17 entrepreneurial Malaysian Digital Companies and over 25 outstanding Malaysian entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley leaders, investors, ideas, and opportunities in its third annual immersion program cohort. The week-long immersion helped this already talented and accomplished group, dream bigger, sharpen their understanding of the US and other large markets, test concepts with Silicon Valley mentors and investors, and forge valuable relationships with potential partners and suppliers. In a broader sense, it gave them all a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset and startup culture that defines Silicon Valley.
The Malaysian companies spanned several industry sectors, including payment solutions, data centers, cybersecurity, analytics, fintech, mobile solutions, application development, e-commerce, and business software, among others. The entrepreneurs from those companies participated in the five day, immersive program of learning, networking, pitching, and collaborating with their counterparts in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, including in-depth sessions at Google, GSV Lab, Cloudera, and Facebook. A pillar of the program, was the “TechMatch Malaysia” demo and pitching session held at the renowned Draper University’s Hero City coworking space. The session provided the opportunity for the Immersion Program participants to interact directly with dozens of the regions venture investors, company executives and leading thinkers to gain insights about the marketplace, make connections, and experience first-hand the Silicon Valley way of doing business.
“Malaysia has an excellent set of young people that have a strong passion to solve problems coupled with the intellectual capability to create and run successful startup businesses,” said Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of MDEC. “They are the core of our startup ecosystem, which, with the help of MDEC is growing ever larger, stronger, and more successful. MDEC’s ongoing presence in Silicon Valley enables us to provide an insider’s perspective to the entrepreneurs in our immersion program, one that not only benefits their businesses directly, but helps further Malaysia’s microcosm of Silicon Valley upon their return.”
“The mentors here really expanded my understanding of the culture and way of doing business here, which is critical to my business as many of my customers are in the United States,” said Thomas Yip, CEO of Radica Software. “It’s helping me dream bigger, be more audacious in setting our goals going forward.”
“I get quite a lot of benefit from the Immersion Program,” said Vernon Tee, Founder of Petbacker. “The first is being able to verify my business idea with knowledgeable people, and whether I should focus my efforts on Asia or pursue United States expansion. I also have received valuable input on making my company presentation more effective and implementing a referral program. It’s very wide ranging and all very useful to building my business.”
The Silicon Valley Immersion Program, now counts over 40 Malaysian digital company entrepreneurs and leaders as alumni. It has provided broad exposure to the leading people and companies in the region, which in addition to those involved this year, have included GE Digital, the Palo Alto Research Center, PnP, BootUp World, and others, the learnings and exposure providing actionable insights for implementation by the Malaysian participants upon their return. “From our previous Immersion Program participants we see many positive things happening. For example, we have seen a company convert their entire offering to a scalable public cloud model, we have seen companies focus their offerings into a single product or rework their business models, and we have seen acquisitions take place,” said Gopi Ganesalingam, MDEC Vice President of Enterprise Development. “The takeaways on the innovation and on the business model that’s here in Silicon Valley are invaluable.”
“I would recommend the program to any Malaysian entrepreneur because immersion in a new culture opens your mind to new things and broadens your experience, said Joe Alexander, Vice President, Gluek Technologies.” You will take back many valuable things you’ve learned and improve your business by applying them.”
The Silicon Valley Immersion Program spans MDEC’s three phase “immerse, connect, excel-erate” globalization strategy. The first phase catalyzes early stage opportunities around focus areas of market access, mergers and acquisitions, risk capital and IP creation by building a network in leading centers of innovation such as Silicon Valley that Malaysian entrepreneurs can tap into. The second phase leverages that network to help companies’ kickstart their business expansion into the US market. The third phase accelerates that expansion by facilitating access to mentorship, business development and fundraising opportunities.
“MDEC’s Silicon Valley Immersion Program provides value to both the Malaysian and American companies that participate in it,” said Dan Khoo, President of Palo Alto-based MDEC Americas. “The collaboration, the idea and technology exchanges, and opportunity generation benefit all parties. I regularly hear from people on both sides of the Pacific about the great things that have started at the Immersion Program over the past three years.”
About Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and MDeC Americas
MDeC Americas, Inc., based in Palo Alto, California, is the entity under the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. or MDEC, tasked with spearheading MDEC’s presence in the Americas. An agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia, MDEC has been entrusted to develop, coordinate, and promote Malaysia’s digital economy, information and communications technology (ICT) industry, and the adoption of digital technology amongst Malaysians. Incorporated on 5th June 1996, MDEC was officially established to strategically advise the Malaysian Government on legislation, policies and standards for ICT and multimedia operations. Additionally, MDEC is also entrusted to oversee the development and nurture the growth of local tech companies whilst attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) and domestic direct investments (DDIs) from global multinational companies to invest and develop cutting-edge digital and creative solutions in Malaysia. In 2011, MDEC’s mandate was broadened to drive Malaysia’s transition towards a developed digital economy, built upon a vibrant domestic tech industry, transformative adoption of digital solutions by government, businesses and citizens, as well as a robust enabling ecosystem. For more information about MDEC, please visit www.mdec.my. For more information about MDEC Americas please visit www.mdecamericas.com .