It is often good to know what is happening in the regional markets. After all, the younger entrepreneurs in Singapore and Malaysia have been in constant contact and collaborated on various events from Barcamps to Hackathons. So, we grab Daniel CerVentus, from Malaysia Entrepreneurs to chat with us. He will share with us on the Malaysian scene and some thoughts on the SG scene here.
BL: Hi Daniel, thank you for accepting this interview in SG Entrepreneurs. For a start, tell us about your background and what you have been doing before you started Malaysia Entrepreneurs.
Daniel: I have been an entrepreneur for over 10 years. Started in the web business in selling cars online. We convinced our uni to fund our first start up. however timing was not right and we did not had the experience so the company fell into the dead pool. Was later involved in a lot of freelance gigs in terms of internet strategies to hone my skills and got involved with various start ups. My last company before MYe is an education based company which i have since exited from.
BL: What prompted you to start Malaysia Entrepreneurs?
Daniel:The reason to start MYE is because I believe there is no good platform for entrepreneurs in Malaysia to connect with each other. The entrepreneur scene in Malaysia was pretty dull and boring so we decided to create a resource and network for all entrepreneurs in Malaysia.
BL: Who are the people that you want to reach out? Is Malaysia Entrepreneurs for awareness or providing information for Malaysian entrepreneurs to seek funding?
Daniel: Our core audience are entrepreneurs themselves but we do hope it acts as a catalyst for people to inspire to take up entrepreneurship as a career. I believe it is the same in Sg and most part of Asia that people give you a weird look when you tell their friends they are entrepreneurs. I think we play a role to change the perception to make entrepreneurship a respectable career choice.
BL: How is the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Malaysia looks like? What kind of challenges and obstacles that a Malaysian entrepreneur face in setting up a start-up?
Daniel: Currently there is a lot of people trying out new things especially in terms of web based ventures. There is more connections and collaboration among the entrepreneurs in Malaysia. As for challenges i think it is more of the internal challenges that most entrepreneurs in Malaysia still aim for only he Malaysian market. 27 Million ppl is still a very small population.
BL: What are the funding schemes like in Malaysia which the entrepreneurs there can utilize when starting a new company?
Daniel: If you are a technology based entrepreneur. There are two key grants for the pre seed stage. one of them is Cradle.com.my and the other is the MSC PreSeed fund. Both of these conditional grants goes up to RM 150K for you to conceptualize your idea into a prototype.
BL: What features do you want to incorporate into MY Entrepreneurs for the near future?
Daniel: We are producing a vidcast for our interview and the rest will be reveal after Q2 2009. However there will be more community building events where we hope to work with more regional players.
BL: As we often see you coming down to Singapore and attending our tech events, what are your thoughts about the tech scene in Singapore and SG tech entrepreneurs in general?
Daniel: I believe the people in singapore are great. I was really inspired to see how vibrant the community is. There are also a quite a few exciting start ups which I think will be rather big in the future.
BL: What do you see as the three most important attributes for an entrepreneur?
Daniel: Aspiration, perspiration and innovation
BL: Are you working on a start-up now? What are your plans in the near future?
Think of Earth247 as video news site where you discover news from your network. The idea came about when we were wondering how would a news network like CNN will look like if it was started today with all the new technologies available.
Besides, news is generally about delivering authenticated, accurate and speedy information to the audience and we believe there is a niche in terms of video sharing platform.
Jomcode.com on the other hand is a boutique web development house. We specialized in developing working prototype in either Ruby on Rails or Php.
BL: Thank you for your time, Daniel. We wish you all the best in all your projects.