Wednesday, November 13

‘We need more local software entrepreneurs’

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Abang Johari (centre) signs a plaque while (from left) Su Kuok, Abang Abdul Karim, Hii, Dr Yong, Dr Annuar, and Thai King look on.

SIBU: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg hopes that the ‘Entrepreneurs Incubation Hub’ here will produce more local software entrepreneurs.

The hub is a platform to gather creative people to produce software applications that can be marketed worldwide.

“You have a platform. Get your designers, programmers, and audio engineers to design the necessary,” he said at the opening of the Entrepreneurs Incubation Hub of the Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) at its premises here yesterday.

Winners of Sarawak Young Entrepreneurs’ Competition 2018 in a photocall with Abang Johari (back row fifth right) and others.

Citing his visit to Plug and Play Company in Silicon Valley (USA) where the company practises incubation hub, he said the company has helped young entrepreneurs to produce their own start-up companies.

He said this was done through innovation platform and the creativity of the entrepreneurs themselves.

He said through such platform, young entrepreneurs would approach the company with their proposals of the applications they want to produce.

The entrepreneurs will undertake the designing of an application in the company once it (company) accepts their proposals.

“Plug and Play pays 30 per cent of the cost of the undertaking with the entrepreneurs paying the remaining 70 per cent.

“The platform, which is connected world-wide, allows investors to invest in this particular application,” he said.

He believed that Sarawak has such talented people to produce applications that can be marketed throughout the world.

“The young people have lots of imagination which can become their product that makes money because it has the world-wide market.

“I hope this hub is like a laboratory; if you feel that there is a talent to produce certain application, then maybe SCCCI can chip in 30 per cent to help the entrepreneurs to start their companies, and later market them,” he said, adding that the government was doing its part to upgrade the Internet speed in Sarawak.

At the function, Abang Johari presented prizes to the 10 winners of the Sarawak Young Entrepreneurs’ Competition 2018.

Meanwhile, SCCCI president Dr Gregory Hii said with the hub, the chamber was now ready to incubate and give birth to new crops of young entrepreneurs in agriculture, manufacturing and Internet trading to expand and benefit Sarawak’s economy in general and Sibu’s economy in particular.

He said one of the key activities from the hub is a periodic contest organised for local budding young entrepreneurs to submit their proposals to the chamber to win recognitions and prizes.

“During the implementation of their projects, we will help in areas like matching them up with potential investors and mentors.”

Meanwhile, according to the president of Young Entrepreneurs Committee (YEC) of SCCCI Dr Renco Yong, they would conduct various training, seminars, workshops, forums and business networking to build and strengthen start-up businesses in Sarawak.

He said they would also focus on e-commerce forums and trainings to build up talents and promote them internationally.

The hub would charge a minimum of RM150 yearly fee for those below 45 years old and RM300 for those above 45 years old and non-chamber members.

“Permanent desk and hot desk have been set up for the company to set their small mobile office in the hub.

“We also provide free high-speed Unifi, meeting room, laser printer, fax machine, photocopier, charging plug in every corner, pantry, discussion area, corporation corner and so forth.

‘We target to organise at least 50 big and small business related training, meetings, events, forums, seminars, dialogue sessions and discussion this year.”

Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee, Sibu Resident Charles Siaw, chairman of Sibu Municipal Council Datuk Tiong Thai King, Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Abang Openg, SCCI life honorary president Tan Sri Datuk Tiong Su Kouk and Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau Lee Ming were also present at the function.