SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
PENANG @CAT PROGRAMME LAUNCH
WISMA YEAP CHOR EE
17 MARCH 2017
Good morning ladies & gentlemen.
It gives me great pleasure to be here today to welcome all of you to this exciting gathering which brings together representatives from the industry, startup & entrepreneurship sectors as well as government agencies to introduce ‘Penang @CAT’s Program Launch’.
I would like to express my thanks to InvestPenang and Penang Development Corporation for making this happen.
Today’s launch aims to introduce platforms and programs that will assist entrepreneurs, corporates, MNCs, SMEs and more importantly, the tech community to accelerate ideas & create synergies amongst one another.
CREATING FUTURE AND LIVING DREAMS
We have always envisaged Penang as a platform for dream makers to make their dreams come true and that is why we are now doing as much as we can to lay the foundations to transform Penang into high-income knowledge economy.
Take for instance this beautiful unique heritage building we are in, Wisma Yeap Chor Ee. The Penang State government invested RM23 million to refurbish this building and rent it on a 30 years’ lease with the main purpose of developing and building an interactive connection between science and technology. In addition to this, the State has also taken pro-active measures to inspire and create more innovators through the RM20 million Penang Science Café project (located on the ground floor) to give free classes to kids in applied science and robotics, the RM28 million Tech Dome of Penang to rekindle interest in science and technology and the new RM3 million Penang Digital library.
PENANG @CAT IN INNOVATING TALENTS AND CREATING SUCCESSFUL STARTUPS
With the emergence of digital revolution, the Penang State Government sees a huge potential in the technology industry. To transform Penang into an international and intelligent city, we must embrace this new future of digital technology, especially in the growing fields of Big Data Analytics (BDA), cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT).
Penang @CAT at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee was established back in Oct 2015 to be the launchpad of Penang’s tech start up ecosystem where the Penang State government’s enterprising plan is to boost the local tech sector & bring the State’s many players under one roof.
Since its inception, Penang @CAT has served as Penang’s catalyst in accelerating emerging tech start-ups & entrepreneurs to gain access to our 3 main pillars:- (1) co-working space & shared facilities, (2) tech community events, (3) accelerator / entrepreneurship development programs. As of last year, almost 200 co-working space applications were approved and approximately 100 tech community events & entrepreneurship development programs combined were held at Penang @CAT for the benefit of the startup & entrepreneurship community.
PENANG @CAT – MOVING FORWARD TOWARDS A DIGITAL FUTURE
Moving forward and with the introduction of our new @CAT Program Director Mr Howie Chang on board, Penang @CAT will be taking this initiative a step forward towards the digital future by launching a host of permanent programs to bridge corporates with startups, entrepreneurs & techies for innovation and partnerships & solutions.
Mr Howie Chang, a returning Penangite, brings 15 years of experience in the tech startup scene in Singapore and has played key roles in major companies such as RedMart.com (which was acquired by Lazada for USD30 million) and Viki.com (which was acquired by Rakuten for USD200 million).
I am pleased to announce the launch of our platform and upcoming permanent programs at Penang @CAT which will create excitement in the entrepreneurship & startup community. They include:-
1. Penang @CAT Online Community Platform
This is a platform where entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts and business leaders can celebrate, connect, convene and collaborate information on latest industry trends in the startup industry as a community.
2. Startup Connect Gathering
A quarterly gathering that introduces MNCs and SMEs to top entrepreneurs relevant to their industry to provide real insights, inspiration and exchanges.
3. Business Model Canvas Workshop
A free monthly workshop to equip attendees with the ability to substantially ideate, describe, evaluate and discuss business models.
4. Product Management Essentials
A free monthly class where participants will be able to learn how to work with designers and developers to successfully build and launch digital products.
5. Founder Institute Penang 2nd Batch
A 4-month Silicon Valley based early-stage startup accelerator program that assist entrepreneurs with expert training and support from experienced startup – while not being required to quit their day jobs. The 2nd batch is scheduled to take place in May 2017.
Mr Howie Chang will be able to give a detailed insight on these initiatives in the next part of our session. These programs by Penang @CAT will only be the beginning of many more to come for the benefit of the local startup ecosystem.
Before ending my speech, I would like to take this opportunity to invite other industry players and tech community groups to collaborate with us and maximize the usage of our programs, space, facilities and services.
In this 21st century, the millennial generation are the future game changers in the marketplace and our goal is to help continue develop the innovation-driven millennials who want to build their own businesses and tech startups through the platform of Penang @CAT.
I am keen to see more pro-active technopreneurs out there after today and look forward to many future innovations by our local community.
Thank you once again for having me here this morning.