Category Archives: Pitch ‘n’ Bounce IDEAS

What’s Wrong with Startup Culture in Malaysia?

Our founder Ricky Soo recently raised a potential issue or problem in the startup culture in Malaysia. He was so concerned that he called for a discussion surrounding the topic.

Earlier in the month, we organized the first idea brainstorming event called Pitch ‘n’ Bounce IDEAS based on Pitch ‘n’ Win event model. Now we organized the second one focusing on only one topic – the startup culture.

The event Pitch ‘n’ Bounce IDEAS #2 – Something Wrong in Startup Culture? was held on 27th July 2014 in the new shopping mall NU Sentral. A group of us gathered at 5:30pm in a cafe for the session. We met at this time because most of us were going to Incitement event nearby at night.

The host Wadud Mughal introduced the event to the group. Then Ricky elaborated on the issue. Everyone spoke up and discussed together. All pertinent ideas and comments were recorded.

In a nutshell, it was suggested that not everyone in the country has the same access to pitching events or opportunities to present their ideas. Not everyone stays in city where startup events are held. Not everyone is fluent in English. Not everyone is comfortable of pitching and public speaking.

Yet most pitching events are held in KL and in English. Only a minority out of the whole population have access to the people and investors there. In fact, many pitching events are just like shows, where the ones most benefited are normally the organizers, the sponsors and the few entrepreneurs in the event.

As a result, a good majority of talents and ideas are being hidden in the rural areas, among people who don’t speak English well, and even people who don’t know they have ideas or talents.

Furthermore, the startup culture in Malaysia is much influenced by the West. We seem to encourage people of certain personalities – funny, playful, outgoing and extrovert to flock together. How about those more quiet and reserved majority? Are they not having ideas and talents too? Are they not able to contribute to the innovation in the society?

It is not that people should not learn how to pitch. It’s not that we should not learn to speak better English or be more outgoing. But if we keep ignoring there are such people who might be “less developed” in the eye of some of us, we might well be wasting a good portion of talents who can contribute to the country.

Thinking heads in meeting

Thinking heads in meeting

The first job for the group was to validate there is such an issue. All event participants agreed on or acknowledged the issue. Various suggestions were made. No one concrete solution was found. But at least we are thinking. The host Wadud Mughal was chosen as the best contributor to the discussion.

After the brainstorming, the group went for dinner in a Nyonya restaurant nearby. We chatted and got to know one another on deeper level. Then most of us continued on to the event organized by Incitement.

Pitch ‘n’ Bounce IDEAS #2 – Photo album

Meet and Brainstorm Ideas – Language, Restaurants & Revenue Stream

We tried out a new event format where participants could discuss a particular problem, bounce ideas and brainstorm solutions together. The purpose is to crowd-source solutions and possibly come up with interesting projects and ventures that we can collaborate on.

Pitch ‘n’ Bounce IDEAS #1 was organized on 21st June 2014 and hosted by Wadud Mughal. About 13 of us gathered in the new Starbucks outlet in Bangsar South. We started to deliberate on 3 issues.

The first issue was how to hack the learning curve so that one could learn to speak a new language in 3 months. The second issue was how to form alliance among restaurants and F&B businesses so that members help and promote one another.

The last but important issue to discuss is how to build revenue stream for Pitch ‘n’ Win. Some ideas had been received before this meeting. But the issue was brought up again in order to obtain more comments as suggested by one member.

The first 2 issues were brought up by our found Ricky Soo. He posted the problems on social media and got a lot of comments. He briefed the group on the issues and welcomed ideas and comments from the group. He also gave background information on Pitch ‘n’ Win so that the group could discuss the issue on revenue stream.

The thinking crowd in Pitch 'n' Bounce IDEAS

The thinking crowd in Pitch ‘n’ Bounce IDEAS

Anyone could speak up in the group, and many did voice out their opinions. Some ideas bounced from one person to another. All relevant suggestions were noted down.

To encourage participation and solutions, one best contributing member was selected among all participants. The group chose Chew How Hoon for her sharing and comments raised in the discussion.

However, due to lack of time, we couldn’t go deep into discussing any one issue. As the problems presented were diverse, not all were keen or able enough to speak up on all three. We learned a lesson and should focus on one single issue next time.

Pitch ‘n’ Bounce IDEAS #1 – Photo album