Venture capital is the way to go

Entrepreneurs need to have an effective ecosystem to develop their business in order to remain competitive in the current challenging economic conditions


MALAYSIA needs to focus on creating an efficient seed funding ecosystem that would allow more start-ups to flourish into robust corporations that could result in a healthy business environment.

Global Entrepreneur Xchange (GEX) chairman Karthik Siva said the system, which allows investors to inject capital in a start-up company in exchange for equity stakes, is a more personal-based approach that could complement the current ecosystem that is largely government-driven.

“I think Malaysia can do a lot better in the venture capital area. In other countries, venture capitalists get on board at the beginning when entrepreneurs start their business, which is great,” he said in a press conference at GEX’s inaugural Face2Face with Innovators session in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He added that entrepreneurs also need to have a proper and effective ecosystem to develop their business in order to remain competitive in the current challenging economic conditions.

“The Entrepreneur Development Ministry has seriously invested in a great ecosystem currently. They have done a lot in the sense that they have created platforms for networking.

“However, there are a few areas that can be improved. One area is mentorship. I think there’s got to be more entrepreneurship-based mentorship programme in Malaysia,” Karthik said.

He said an entrepreneur would prefer to learn from better and bigger entrepreneurs rather than an academician, expert or consultant.

“They would want to network with another entrepreneur who is more experienced with a better track record,” he added.

“Apart from that, I also think the most important starting point for entrepreneurs would be education. We need some great universities that focus on entrepreneurship and profit-making.

He said higher learning institutions have also literally become pipelines of some of the most outstanding leaders like Steve Jobs, Sundar Pichai and more.

“I do understand that we can’t boil the entire ocean, but we need to start somewhere. I believe the government has started on a right note, but it is time to prioritise things that will empower entrepreneurs,” he said.

Meanwhile, GEX has also organised an innovation fest with entrepreneurs having a face-to-face session with innovators to boost the role of innovation in driving entrepreneurial success.

As one of its efforts to raise the entrepreneurial bar in Malaysia, GEX has also invited Tom Kelley (picture; left), who is an author and expert in design thinking to shed light on how entrepreneurs can be innovative.

Speaking at the event, Kelley said design thinking is important for entrepreneurs to nudge their business to grow beyond the Malaysian shores.

“Over the last couple of decades, it is evidently clear that when design thinking is applied to strategy and innovation, it impacts business outcomes and results in real competitive advantages.

“Let me assure you that design thinking is not just for specific companies or industries, but it can be applied for keener insights across all businesses, big and small,” he said.

The event saw more than 300 entrepreneurs engaging in insightful talks to push their entrepreneurial game to greater levels.

GEX is an independent and private coalition of entrepreneurs that offers valuable and actionable content and advisory services to aspiring entrepreneurs.

It also conducts master classes, coaching, mentorship and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs to learn from the best minds across the world.