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What to Look Forward to in GECommunity Summit 2017

What can the startup community expect from Malaysia’s largest government-led entrepreneurial event this coming December?

GECommunity Summit was initiated by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) Malaysia, and executed by Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) to empower entrepreneurs in Malaysia and beyond. It pulls together expertise and resources from around the world to address challenges and find new opportunities to catalyse the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

What Happened Last Year

In its inaugural summit in 2016, it is reported that the event attracted more than 5,000 participants, with 30% of them coming from abroad. It featured world class keynote speakers such as social innovator, entrepreneur and CEO of The Conversation Farm (the company that created the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge) Jon Duschinsky, futurist, global speaker and author Mike Walsh, American entrepreneur Bill Rancic, and chairman of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Bibop Gresta.

Jon Duschinsky at GECommunity 2016.png
Jon Duschinsky taking a “wefie” with the audience at GECommunity 2016. Photo Credit: GEC 2016 Report

Apart from that, GECommunity Summit 2016 carried out nine industry-specific cluster labs to push through initiatives and solutions that would lead to new economies and industry transformation. Among the clusters are: (1) Biotech & Agriculture, (2) Green Tech & Smart Cities, (3) Supply Chain & Logistics, (4) Creative, (5) Healthcare & Wellness, (6)Education & Leaning, (7) Lifestyle & Consumer, (8) Finance & Capita Market, and (9) Social Innovation. In the recent statement released by MaGIC, it said that 50 initiatives were announced, and 13 of which have progressed and are in the pipeline for launch in phases. Some of these initiatives include Public Transport Gamification by Cyberview and Prasarana, Multi-Modal Transport Network by Grab, and Happiness Accelerator by Techstar.

More GEC Labs in 2017

Building on the momentum created in 2016, the industry-specific cluster labs (now called the GEC Labs) will continue to be the core of the upcoming GECommunity Summit 2017. This year, it will host 100 GEC Labs across 15 focus areas (6 more than last year). Some of the newly added focus areas are: Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning; Media, Gaming & Entertainment; Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality; and Security & IT.

Ashran Dato’ Ghazi, CEO of MaGIC, said in a statement, “What we want to do is to ensure solid ideas see the light of day. By bringing together corporate sector leaders, movers and shakers in the startup and SME space, governments and ecosystem builders to lead and participate in the GEC Labs, innovative solutions can be developed and will benefit industries as a whole.”

He also said that they aim for GEC Labs to generate approximately RM100 million in value creation in the next two years with the ideas conceived and their subsequent materialisations.

More Concerted Effort from Key Government Agencies

Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Secretary-General of Treasury, Ministry of Finance Malaysia as well as Chairman of MaGIC and Patron of Global Entrepreneurship Movement (GEM) said: “Starting your own business can be very daunting – you have to have access to sufficient capital, you have to meet and network with the right crowd, and you have to have great mentorship programmes that can guide you as you kickstart your idea. This is precisely why a community of entrepreneurs is essential in bridging the gap between the local and global entrepreneurship community.”

He also said that GECommunity is created to connect entrepreneurs, innovative thinkers, and futurists together to design the future of entrepreneurship in order to consolidate the ecosystem.

Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Secretary General of Treasury, Ministry of Finance (MOF) delivering his keynote address at the soft launch of ‘Road to GEC’.

In its effort to create a more comprehensive and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Malaysia, MOF and MaGIC work closely with three other key parties: (1) the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MOHE), (2) the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia (MOSTI), and (3) Global Entrepreneurship Movement as the community partner.

Tan Sri Dr. Noorul Ainur Mohd. Nur, Secretary-General of MOHE said: “For us to be a nation fuelled by innovative ideas, it is highly essential for the spirit of entrepreneurship to be instilled and fostered among the youth.” She added that under the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education), one of the 10 shifts identified was to produce balanced and holistic graduates with entrepreneurial mindsets and nurture ‘job creators’ rather than ‘job seekers’.

MOHE will be driving programmes like the Entrepreneurial Higher Education Symposium: Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Higher Education Institutions Towards Industry 4.0; MOHE Siswapreneur Makerthon Challenge: Smart City, Smart Community; Public-Private Research Network Innovation Lab; and Public-Private Research Network Awards at the GECommunity Summit 2017.

While MOHE is a partner that stands to drive the entrepreneurship spirit among the youth, MOSTI comes in as a partner that facilitates and promotes the commercialisation of ideas.

Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Azhar bin Hj. Yahaya, Secretary-General of MOSTI, said “We are paving the way via Malaysia Commercialisation Year (MCY) since 2016 to bring technologies out into the marketplace that will push the nation toward a technology-driven economy. An idea converted to products or services is only as brilliant as the impact it has on society.”

“Hence, it is so important that not only entrepreneurs be given the avenue to commercialise their products or services but also the researchers. We aim to help new ideas and R&D products/services in carving a place for themselves in their respective sectors,” he added.

MOSTI will be driving the MCY Summit during the GECommunity 2017, a reflection of the government’s commitment in enhance the nation’s commercialisation ecosystem.

To provide recognition and incentives to the best products and/or technologies, the highlight of MCY at GECommunity 2017 includes MCY Awards 2017. Other main components during the MCY Summit include an exhibition, dialogue sessions, networking sessions as well as mentoring and pitching sessions.

“Entrepreneurship is no longer the domain of the lone maverick or champion. It is a community effort now,” said Dhakshinamoorthy ‘Dash’ Balakrishnan, President of GEM, “Hence, we are delighted to be working with industry partners in GECommunity 2017 who come together and work tirelessly towards enhancing the entrepreneurship ecosystem here in the country by connecting our startups to global players.”

In GECommunity Summit 2017, GEM will feature the winners of ColossusINNO2017, an inaugural global entrepreneurship competition by GEM aimed at encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to develop real-world innovative solutions to bridge gaps in the ASEAN market and propel nations in the region closer toward first-world status. On top of that, the summit will also play host to TENxCLUB by GEM, a by-qualification and invitation only exclusive club that offers valuable network and support to startups on an international scale.

Other programme highlights at the GECommunity Summit 2017, include keynotes, panel sessions, mentoring sessions, exhibitions, Global Blue Ocean Shift Awards, MBAN Summit 2017, PIKOM Leadership Summit, ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards, and SSPY Signature Programmes which include Artistlabs Creative Accelerator for Creative Entrepreneurs, NEXT, and 14H.

More World Class Speakers

We can also expect to see more world class speakers at the Summit, such as futurists Dr. Michio Kaku and Sophie Hackford; former politician, venture capitalist, and champion for France’s tech startup scene Fleur Pellerin; and serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist Steve Hoffman.

keynote speakers at GECommunity Summit 2017
Keynote Speakers at GECommunity Summit 2017: (L-R) Dr. Michio Kaku, Sophie Hackford, Fleur Pellerin, and Steve Hoffman.

The GECommunity Summit 2017 will be held on 12-13 December at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Topics to be discussed at the Summit are opened to the public for submissions. The public can also participate in the open sessions as well as the GEC Labs. Industry and corporate players, ecosystem influencers, policy makers, and entrepreneurs are invited to submit topics and/or lead the GEC Lab sessions at www.konferencex.com/registration/GEC2017/index.php.

You may also learn more about ColossusINNO2017 and TENxCLUB by GEM here: http://globalentrepreneurshipmovement.org/


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