IMG_6322With internet penetration at a high 66% in Malaysia, it comes as no surprise that more and more aspiring entrepreneurs are turning towards building tech startups here. In 2014, the Malaysian government started a bold initiative to put the country on the startup ecosystem map, launching the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center (MaGIC).

MaGIC’s Mission: to make Malaysia the startup capital of Asia

MaGIC hosts regular educational sessions in Cyberjaya (aptly termed the Silicon Valley of Malaysia), and I was lucky enough to be invited to speak and hold workshops about how to get featured in the press at #MA2015. You can see the presentation I used during my main talk, below.


It was easy to judge how popular this event was, as I watched swarms of people buzzing across the large venue, walking in and out of various talks and workshops. According to the organisers, the event was completely sold out; a sign that augurs well for the future of startups in Malaysia.

The focus of this symposium was on teaching how to build a successful start-up from ground up. Speakers from known Silicon Valley startups such as Spotify, Airbnb, Amazon and regional companies such as G3 Partners and Pomelo conducted hands-on sessions to educate the attendees on the workings of a startup from product design to implementation and marketing.

Early stage start-ups or those with just a simple idea wanting to enter this booming realm were given an opportunity to have one-on-one sessions, known as clinic sessions, with industry leaders. People with interesting startups/ideas including grocery delivery, social restaurant booking, aerial surveillance, ed-tech all were in search of knowledge on how to market their product to the end user.

The G3 Partners workshop on PR was full of people who had one common problem; extremely low response rate from media outlets. Getting their PR right was a pressing concern for almost all the attendees.

IMG_6326My presentation was aimed at helping attendees understand the basics of PR and dispelled some common misunderstandings. As mentioned, the full presentation is below, but here’s a preview of the topics it covers:

  • What is PR?
  • Why Do you need it?
  • How can it help you?
  • PR vs Marketing
  • When do you need PR?
  • Examples of PR

The drive to learn was there among all participants; each more eager than the last. It was clear that the ideas were aplenty but it was the execution where startups need most help. That is where organisations like MaGIC come in, to facilitate the learning process through mentorship by industry leaders.

Conferences like #MA2015 are an eye-opener: The boom in the Malaysian startup ecosystem is about to come.