Malaysia Tech Week 2019 in Bangsar South

The exponential growth of technology has the power to shake up entire industries, making adopters thrive and those who fall behind obsolete. To stay ahead of the curve, leaders from foremost tech companies, industry experts, regulators and aspiring entrepreneurs flocked to KL for Malaysia Tech Week (MTW) 2019, a city-wide exploration of Malaysia’s evolving tech ecosystem. The inaugural event organised by Knowledge Group of Companies, supported by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Bank Negara Malaysia, Cradle Fund and Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) took place from 17 – 21 June 2019, across multiple locations in our capital city. 

Bangsar South was a venue for many of the week’s activities, on top of hosting the main conference, Connexus at Connexion Convention and Exhibition Centre (CCEC). Throughout MTW 2019, events including talks, panel discussions, innovation showcases, pitching platforms and business-matching opportunities were happening at multiple venues here. Below is a rundown on some of the key events. 


It Starts with a Few Inspiring Words

The Connexus main conference on 18 June kicked off with invigorating opening remarks by Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC. “MTW 2019 is a first-of-its-kind event where the local and international tech communities not only get to immerse themselves in everything digital but also experience what Malaysia has to offer,” she said.

Next, YB Tuan Gobind Singh Deo, Minister of Communications and Multimedia, took the stage to give his keynote address, in which he urged industry players to devote their passion, innovation and investments to grow and evolve the technology industry.

Minister of Multimedia and Communications Malaysia Gobind Singh Deo (7th from left) with MDEC CEO Surina Shukri (8th from left) and the MTW19 partners and sponsors

Photo credit: [DigitalNewsAsia]


(Photo on the left) Human interface: Gobind shaking hands with a robotic assistant at Malaysia Tech Week 2019

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Photo credit: [Malaysia Tech Week]


Malaysia’s Telco Leaders Going Beyond Disruption

Certainly one of the main highlights of Connexus, the session titled Cracking the Over-The-Top Code and Going Beyond brought CEOs of various telcos together to discuss the ongoing disruption in their market. 

One of the main points of discussion was Over-The-Top (OTT) services like Skype, iflix, Netflix and WhatsApp and how they are disrupting the telco market, with the CEOs believing that these services need to be regulated as telcos are. 

(From left) Moderator and iflix CEO Mark Britt; Maxis CEO Gökhan Ogut; Celcom Axiata CEO Idham Nawawi; Time dotCom CEO Afzal Adbul Rahim; and Digi.Com CEO Albern Murty

Photo credit: [DigitalNewsAsia]


Startups Strut Their Stuff

Breaking away from the standard talks and discussions, Cradle Fund’s Startup Runway and Marketplace welcomed entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas with a twist – turning it into a product and service showcase a la the Paris Fashion Week. 

The show was held in the Connexion Nexus 1 hall, and started off with an actual fashion runway showcase by Cradle funded startups Ombré and Royale Demure. The event ended with six startups from the Cradle Investment Programme (CIP300) duking it out to secure investment funding.

A models shows how it is done on the catwalk

Photo credit: [Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd]


Two judges showing their approval for one of the event’s many bright ideas

Photo credit: [Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd]


Photo credit: [Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd]


Nurturing the Islamic Digital Economy 

Ficus Venture Capital focused its segment of Connexus on the Islamic aspect of the all-new economy. This segment took place at the Continuum room and started with a talk on the growing digital adoption in the global Muslim community by Amanie Group founder Datuk Dr Mohd Daud Bakara. Founder of DinarStandard Rafi-uddin Shikoh then hosted a session giving industry insights, followed by a discussion on halal fundraising by Islamic finance professionals and investors. 

Photo credit: [e27]


Ending the Day with Like Minds  

Rounding off the Connexus events, MERCHANTRADE Money’s session called Show Me My Money introduced attendees to their eWallet platform while also sharing insights and bringing bright minds together. The attendees gathered at Viña del Rey, Nexus for talks and a networking session accompanied by great food and drinks. 


Of Brilliant Ideas and Imaginary Money

Earlier in the week on 17 June, the MTW 2019 Pitch Pit was hosted by the early stage venture fund 500 startups in Orbit, where a panel of judges comprised of four international venture capitalist investors held a joint pitching session looking for bright ideas from high growth startups. Twelve such startups pitched their ideas to the panel, with each judge allocated a fictional USD10 million to award to the three pitches that caught their fancy. 

Fintech startup Reap, with the idea of using credit to solve operating expense issues for small businesses, took first place with USD13.3 million from the judges. While no actual money was awarded, the winner received two tickets to the Wild Digital 2019 conference, potential investment by one of the venture capitalist investors as well as mentoring from Amazon Web Services. 

(Bottom row) Redbeat Ventures CEO & AirAsia deputy group CEO Aireen Omar; Kejora Ventures general partner Raymond Hor; 500 Startups managing partner Khailee Ng; Golden Gate Ventures senior associate Jeffrey Chua and RHL Ventures general partner Jo Jo Kong with the Pitch Pit participants
Photo credit: [DigitalNewsAsia]


Getting to Know the Data 

In a world where data is king, digital organisations have to ensure that their data management strategies are up to snuff. That was where ADAX’s open event on 20 June titled What is Data Governance (and Why Do You Need It)? came in. Rahul Mahavir Patil, the Risk Technology Director of renowned company Deloitte gave attendees the rundown of data management governance, introducing them to useful frameworks and usage principles. 

Following this, Stu Garrow, SVP of APAC Sales for Talend frontlined a talk titled Data Governance for Companies of Tomorrow, discussing how management of data can make or break a company’s data-driven initiatives. A panel discussion on the dos and don’ts of data governance was held after this, followed by a lunch and networking session to wrap up the event at ADAX. 


MTW 2019 was an eventful success here at Bangsar South, and helped to build our reputation as a place where tech industry players can thrive. We are extremely proud to have been a part of this weeklong city-wide exploration of Malaysia’s tech industry, and we can’t wait to see what new technologies emerge next year!


Video Highlight for Day 1: