YAB LIM GUAN ENG
CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
Penang @CAT LAUNCH AT WISMA YEAP CHOR EE,
10 October 2015
Winning The Future By MASTERING DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION & AUTOMATION
Welcome to this unique gathering, which brings together key representatives from the technology, creative multimedia sector, multinational companies, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to celebrate the official launch of Penang @CAT- Penang’s Accelerator for Creative, Analytics & Technology. This unique colonial heritage venue is the new home where the tech community in Penang can unleash their inspiration, technological aspirations and creative talents.
I still remember when the idea to have an accelerator programme in Penang was mooted during our inaugural Penang State Shared Services & Outsourcing and Creative Multimedia Content Council (PSSCC) meeting on Jan 27, we hope to stimulate the establishment and growth of tech startups in Penang. 8 months have passed and we are proud with the efforts put in by @CAT council, InvestPenang and PDC to make this happen.
Wisma Yeap Chor Ee
Since @CAT is going to be another prominent initiative in Penang, we decided to house this programme in one of the elegant historic building within the George Town’s heritage enclave, Wisma Yeap Chor Ee (WYCE). WYCE, leased out by Wawasan Open University to Penang Development Corporation (PDC) on 29th June 2014 for 30 years at a cost of over RM14 million (RM40,402 per month), has successfully realized part of the state government’s dream in promoting science and technology and creative animation cluster. In addition, the restoration costs, to be financed by PDC works out to be RM5 million. Penang @CAT will be located at level 3, Creative Animation Triggers project at Level 2 and Level 1 will be leased to Penang Science Cluster.
At State level, we have formed an Executive Council for WYCE, chaired by myself and YB Chow Kon Yeow (alternate) and members consisting of Dato’ Lee Kah Choon, Dato’ Rosli Jaafar, Loo Lee Lian and Chang Wing Mow, responsible for policy, tenant selection and provision of resources required in operation of WYCE.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
@CAT at WYCE will be the heart of Penang’s tech start up ecosystem where the Penang State government’s enterprising plan is to boost the local tech sector and to bring the state’s many players under one roof. @CAT aims to accelerate the establishment and growth of creative and technology based startup companies, to nurture new talents in the new sunrise fields of cloud computing, applications technology, Big Data Analytics (BDA) and Internet of Things (IoT). I believe, developing the state’s talented young people to move up the value chain and promote new creative ideas and innovative technology is our priority today.
Over the last 40 years, Penang’s economic success has been driven by manufacturing sector. It will still be the state’s core business and in addition to the convergence of the manufacturing, services and public sector, the establishment of @CAT will unleash new synergies in both new and existing industries. If Penang is to win the future, we have to invest not only in education but also master disruptive technology, innovation and automation. The @CAT is one of our initiatives to master these difficult challenges especially in BDA, cloud computing and IoT.
The recent trend of the global semiconductor industry has been shifting towards the Internet of Things (IoT) where wearable technologies, machines, software and sensors that use cloud computing to communicate with each other is in rising demand. This is where the Penang @CAT fits in as we also believe in venturing into IoT and creative multimedia industry that bonds technology and arts together, could ultimately transform Penang in achieving the vision of becoming an international and intelligent city.
In this 21st century, millennials generation are powerful, creative, controversial and the future game changers in the marketplace. We want to help to develop the innovation-driven millennials who want to build their own businesses and tech startups through the platform of @CAT.
@CAT (Accelerator for Creative, Analytics & Technology)
@CAT will occupy the entire top floor of WYCE. The accelerator programmes shall help students, individuals and startup entrepreneurs gain access to mentors, training, shared facilities and space, professional assistance and other value added services that will position them on the fast and right track towards budding their success.
Next, @CAT will also offers various packages for co-working space that are accessible with competitive rates from as low as RM25 daily and up to RM200 monthly and equipped with full facilities and support. In addition, this unique place will also be a magnet for various tech-community driven organizers to house their events to aid startup entrepreneurs and tech community to network, incubate and accelerate their ideas as well as enhance their business and technical skill. The flexible function and event space would be able to cater up to 100 people and is perfect for inspirational bootcamps, webcamps, seminars and private networking events.
I believe Penang has a unique tech start-up scene made up of a close community of local start-ups and founders involved in various activities ranging from e-commerce, mobile applications, IoT, and many more. As our local tech start-ups are scattered all over Penang, this @CAT space will serve as a platform and launch pad in bringing the tech-startup community under one roof and provide the necessary support and services to build a strong ecosystem.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Upcoming programmes and events at @CAT
I am excited to announce some of the lineups of our upcoming @CAT Accelerator Programmes and community events for this year such as
Startup Weekend George Town - 16th Oct to 18th Oct 2015
IoT Accelerator Lite - 23rd November to 4th December 2015 (Co-organized by MDeC, @CAT & TE4P), which I believe Dato’ Ng Wan Peng will share further during her session
Pre Start-up Program – 2nd week of December 2015
Founder Institute (Penang Chapter) on startups trainings – 8th March to 24th May 2016, which will also be shared further by Mr. Chan later
As for the supply of talent for start-up company goes, Penang has already started with the ‘Coding Shophouse’ programme early June this year. This programme, an initiative by Mr Douglas Khoo an entrepreneur himself, is aimed at providing opportunities to Penang’s tech and non tech community in learning programming and improving career marketability. As a start, 15 students have already graduated from the 3-months first batch course which focused on ‘Ruby on Rails’, a web application framework. I understand that the 2nd intake is scheduled to take place early next month (November 2015), which this time will turn its focus on the foundation and basics of HTML & CSS, a 2 months course.
In addition to this, to unleash the inner power of our young Penangites, Penang @CAT plans to offer more education and enrichment in programming and coding classes, in various popular languages such as Java, Python, Objective-C, C#, SQL and etc. Engaging into IT related activities, trainings and exposures that feed the people’s passions in becoming an aspiring web developers or tech entrepreneurs.
This morning, in conjunction with our landmark launch, we are proud to have GDG DevFest George Town 2015, an international tech community event supported by Google as the first ever event to be held at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee. This program will be extended till 6.00pm and has attracted over 200 attendees.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
@CAT Council & Advisors
Today’s opening of @CAT has been made possible by the advice of the newly formed @CAT council, consisting of Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, COO of Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and successful entrepreneurs such as the founder of Jobstreet, Mark Chang, founder of Exabytes, Chan Kee Siak and founder of Qunar.com, Douglas Khoo, Curry Khoo and investPenang as the project lead.
In laying the foundations of transforming Penang into high-income knowledge economy, we will strive to enhance capacity, capability and competency in Penang’s creative industry. We believe that Penang has the 3Ts to establish a creative cluster, the Talent, Technology and Tolerance of new ideas. We believe that our most passionate value of freedom will allow @CAT to produce world-class content and be a national hub for multi-media information and digital content services.
I want to see in Penang, groups of young generations exploring creative and tech enterprises. In terms of the business standpoint we are proud to have many successful accomplished homegrown local companies like Jobstreet, Exabytes, Piktochart, Vitrox Technologies etc. Piktochart, an infographic design app company has crossed the US$1 million turnover milestone but what’s more crucial is that it currently boasts over 2.7 million registered users; Vitrox, manufacturer of machine vision inspection systems born in 2000 have reported revenue of MYR 38.9 million today, Exabytes, a webhosting and e-commerce solutions provider has recorded RM32 million in revenue and Jobstreet as you are all aware of, an online job portal was acquired by Australia’s SEEK Ltd for more than RM1.7 billion.
I hope, with the Penang @CAT programme in place, we would be able to increase the number of successful startups originating and developing from Penang.
And today we are also proud to announce our Penang @CAT official website, www.acatpenang.com, tailored for the general public especially startups entrepreneurs – contain information on accelerator programme, tech events, co-working space etc.
Before I end my speech, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to investPenang, PDC, MDeC for collaborating and distinguished speakers from Magic, Cradle, Founder Institute (Penang Chapter) for sharing in this event and I wish to thank all of you for finding time to attend this important launching ceremony. I wish to also thank the General Manager of Invest Penang Ms Loo Lee Lian for providing @CAT with the essential content and software. Also PDC General Manager Dato’ Rosli Jaafar for making the Wisma Yeap Chor Ee physically ready. It is our greatest wish that Penang @CAT will continue to walk and grow alongside our tech startups in efforts to make Penang prosperous.
I invite other government agencies such as MaGIC and Cradle to actively work in force together with us to nurture Penang’s new generation of tech entrepreneurs. We have always envisaged Penang as a platform for dream makers to make your dreams come true. Let us make Penang @CAT our dream platform where we establish convergence in manufacturing, services and the local internet community to create new synergies in new and existing industries.
It is my pleasure to declare the @CAT at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee and website officially launched.
既然“@CAT新创加速器”将成为槟城重要的创举，因此地点就此计划选在充满历史气息的乔治市古迹大楼 – 叶祖意大厦。槟城宏远大学在2014年6月29日以30年1400万令吉（每月4万402令吉）的租约租给槟州发展机构。这阶段性实现了州政府要推广科学、科技与创意动画圈的梦想。另外，槟州发展机构挹注了500万令吉作为修复该大厦，“@CAT新创加速器”位于该大厦三楼，CAT创意动画进击区位于二楼、一楼则是租给槟城科学圈。
Ladies and Gentlemen,
乔治市新创周末 - 2015年10月16日至18日
物联网小型加速器 - 2015年11月23日至12月4日
Founder Institute 新创训练 – 2016年3月8日至5月24日