I am pleased to join all of you, the dynamic and aspiring entrepreneurs and the startup community here today in the historic launching of Penang Industry 4.0 (i4.0) Seed Fund of USD1 Million. The i4 Seed Fund intends to build, attract and retain talents in the data- driven digital era and to spur the tech startup ecosystem to realise Penang’s potential in Asia’s next Silicon Valley of Asia.
With over 45 years of cumulative industrial experience and residual intelligence, the State has an established E&E ecosystem comprising over 300 MNCs and 3,000 local supporting companies, that is well integrated in the global supply chain. Just four days ago, MIDA announced Penang as the top FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) recipient among states, with approved manufacturing investment FDI in 2017 valued at RM8.5 billion.
Penang was the second top recipient in Malaysia of total manufacturing investment valued at RM10.8 billion. Compared to 2016, Penang’s total investment grew by 151% in 2017, while FDI grew by 180%. Tech startups in i4 will complement the industrial growth in Penang in this data-driven digital economy.
Penang has come a long way to spur our startup community and development. From our inaugural Penang State Shared Services & Outsourcing and Creative Multimedia Content Council (PSSCC) in January 2015, the RM23 million @CAT Wisma Yeap Chor Ee in October 2015. @CAT has been the venue hosting more than 300 startup events.
As at December 2017, due to high demand, the co-working space which opens 24-7, and which had recently been increased to 70 seats, recorded an average daily occupancy rate of 94%. @CAT Penang is also proud to be the centre of Founder Institute, a 14-week Silicon Valley based idea stage accelerator program. Last year’s program was a great success, producing a total of 7 graduates, in which 2 of them were successful in securing investor and funding.
Two weeks ago, I have also announced the organization structure of this i4 Seed Fund comprising of the Steering Committee and the Evaluation Committee. Some of the members of the Evaluation Committee are entrepreneurs who have carved a name for themselves in their respective fields and exemplify the success stories of Penang entrepreneurship.
We hope that this i4 Seed Fund will catalyse more of Penang-powered companies such as ViTrox, Exabytes, Piktochart and Cytron. This is a ‘pay forward’ program, where there is no requirement to return the grants issued to the State. The real return of investment from this seed fund is when the successful startups that benefited from the fund contribute back by providing high value jobs, knowledge transfer with tech-based and knowledge intensive economic activities, all ‘Powered in Penang’.
This is the reason for the decision by the Steering and Evaluation Committee for the recipients to:
1. Commit to have a corporate and operation headquarter in Penang for at least 8 years.
2. Commit to become a mentor for any future Penang State entrepreneurship development programmes for startups.
In our efforts to partake in the Industrial 4.0 revolution, revolving around interaction of machines, artificial intelligent, big data analytics, fintech, cloud computing and Internet of Things, whilst we acknowledge that “data is king”, the state feels that “talent is everything”. The State has invested RM75 million in STEM education to establish Penang as the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Science and Technology. This RM75 million includes @CAT Penang (Accelerator for Creative, Analytics and Technology), Penang Skill Development Centre (PSDC), Penang Science Cluster (PSC), Karpal Singh Penang Learning Centre (KSPLC), Tech Dome Penang (TDP), and Penang Digital Library (PDL).
The initial vision to spur and develop the startup community in Penang – to setting up @CAT Wisma Yeap Chor Ee as a prime platform for startup development – and today’s launching of this USD 1 million startup fund – is a vision for Penang has a future for our aspiring and dynamic young technopreneurs.
我很高兴能够和你们这些充满活力的创业者和企业家共聚一堂，见证这历史性的槟州1百万美金工业4.0 (I4)种子基金推展礼。这项 (I4)种子基金的成立，旨在为槟州培养，吸引及留住数据导向的数码人才，刺激槟州推动科技创业的生态系统，以激发将槟城打造成本区域亚洲矽谷的潜能。
槟城一直以来都在激励创群体的发展。从2015年1 月起设立的共享服务及外包服务理事会，到 2015年10月23日期在叶祖意大厦成立的@CAT新创加速器，目前已经有超过300项创业活动已在叶祖意大厦的@CAT新创加速器举行。
基于高需求量，共享工作空间于2017年12月终于24小时开放。最近还添加至70个位子， 每日的使用率高达94%。位于叶祖意大厦的@CAT的新创加速器，也是创业者学院的中心– 一个为期14星期、源自硅谷概念加速器的计划，是世界其中一个最大的企业家培训及点子发想加速计划。去年，一共7位学员毕业，其中午名由成功取得投资者注资。
2个星期前， 我也宣布成立工业4.0 (I4)种子基金的督导委员会及评估委员会。评估委员会里头的委员都是槟城不同领域中响当当的企业家。