Mark your calendars for the 8th and 9th of December as the first event of its kind for entrepreneurs makes its debut in KLCC Convention Centre.
Organised by Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), attendees are invited to open their minds to the possibilities in front of them.
Big names will be dropping by from all over the world to discuss the future, and in turn, futuristic thinking in Malaysia. And the people they’re bringing in for the Global Entrepreneurship Community of 2016 are worth taking notes from.
Unique for a entrepreneur event, instead of focusing on connecting businesses with investors, cluster labs will push entrepreneurs to collaborate with corporations and industry experts to find solutions to real problems in industry verticals such as Biotech, Lifestyle, Green (including smart cities), Education, Finance, Creative, Health and Supply Chain.
1. Bill Rancic
Coming into public consciousness from his stint on The Apprentice Season 1, Bill Rancic is an entrepreneur in his own right.
He’s Donald Trump’s First Apprentice Winner and a serial entrepreneur, but his journey began long before Trump Tower.
He started out as a successful entrepreneur when he founded Cigars Around The World, a monthly online, subscription-based retailer that became a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Upon his victory on The Apprentice, Bill took charge of the construction of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in his hometown of Chicago. He stayed with the Trump Organisation for two years before making his own way.
Upon the success of his other ventures, and also another stint in a reality television, Bill now travels the world to speak to businesses about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. His is a voice you would want to hear in a conversation about the future.
2. Joel Neoh
Joel has been making all sorts of headlines this year, especially with KFIT’s acquisition of Groupon in both Malaysia and Indonesia. Joel himself was a winner in the Malaysian version of the Apprentice, The Firm.
However, he is most known currently among the entrepreneur circles as the founder of KFIT, an app that gives users access to the best studios, gyms, spas and salons in your city.
“Malaysia is also positioning itself nicely as a startup hub for Asean, and I feel it is time for me to build an Asian business from Malaysia and make Malaysia proud,” the 32-year-old said, prior to building his baby, KFIT.
Now, KFIT is branching out from just health and fitness with focus on the mobile interface—and we wonder what Joel will be doing next.
3. Mike Walsh
If it is a conversation about the future then Mike Walsh is the guy to call.
CEO of a company called Tomorrow, he is also the author of “The Dictionary of Dangerous Ideas”, a collection of the most challenging concepts facing business leaders at the intersection of emerging technologies and new patterns of human behaviour.
Suffice to say, he knows his stuff.
Tomorrow advises the CEOs and boards of global Fortune 500 organisations on how best to position themselves to benefit from the disruption happening around them. How to make lemonades out of lemons basically.
4. Marc Woo
Marc is a name to be reckoned with in Google’s offices. Marc has led Global, APAC and SEA based projects.
His previous ventures include building a digital agency in Singapore, consulting on Tech in London and designing websites for the World Cyber Games.
Another Malaysian who has brought pride to home and country, Marc heads Sales & Partnerships for the E-commerce, Online Services and Travel sectors at Google.
Basically, Marc is a frequent contributor to the ever-growing ecosystem of e-Commerce and has a firm hand on the changing ecosystem of travel in Malaysia, in the age of Airbnb and Skyscanner.
Marc Woo also once pointed out, regarding the changing zeitgeist of travel in Malaysia, that each trend surveyed represents an opportunity for travel businesses as well as advertisers to tap into the consumer market following this digital direction.
He is definitely a man who is not afraid of change, and looks into the future with a glass half full mindset.
5. Wan Hazmer
Talk about more Malaysian pride! Wan Hazmer took his passion for gaming to Japan, where he works in Square Enix creating games.
He is the lead designer for Final Fantasy XV and took the Malaysian banner further by famously adding Teh Tarik stalls and Roti Canai among the mix of local quirks in certain towns.
Besides being a lead designer, Wan Hazmer heads the “Culture” team on Final Fantasy XV, which is tasked with designing cities and dwellings to increase the immersion factor of the game.
Before heading to Japan the 36 year-old Malaysian was a lecturer at Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT) and The One Academy.
Hazmer’s studio, ‘Easy Only Games’ won third place with ‘Ballistic Wars’ and won first prize for ‘The Last Canopy’ at the 2007 Casual Game Design Competition.
6. Jon Duscinsky (IBC)
Thinking about the Catch-22 between profitability and solving world problems in business is Jon Duscinchy’s bread and butter as the head of The Conversation Farm, a specialist agency that works with brands and causes around the world.
He is also the co-founder of AgriProtein North America, a groundbreaking technology company that is turning waste into food and helping start a “protein revolution”.
Jon’s passion is sustainability, both for businesses and for mother earth.
He carries the core belief that people care more about what you are made of than what you make.
Without social, human and environmental profit, you won’t have lasting financial profit. Even in the Malaysian market, you can see a growing interest in sustainable business practices.
7. Jaygan Fu Ponnudurai
This graduate of the University of Melbourne is country head country for GRAB. Jaygan saw the transition from MyTeksi to Grab in Malaysia, and oversaw Grab’s rise to where it is today in Malaysia.
Originally established in 2012 as MyTeksi in Malaysia, Grab is a Southeast Asia focused taxi-booking app.
It expanded to the Philippines in August 2013, and to Singapore and Thailand in October of the same year. In November of the same year, GrabTaxi launched its first GrabBike service in Ho Chi Minh City as a trial service.
8. Azran Rani
Pioneering the streaming revolution in Malaysia is Azran Rani is the iFlix Group COO and CEO of iFlix Malaysia.
He came a long way from his position as the founding CEO of Air Asia X—at 36 no less—to run his streaming empire in Malaysia.
Azran managed to grow Air Asia X during his tenure there from the startup “disruptive innovator” airline from a single aircraft to 26, employing over 2,500 team members, and being the first low-cost, long-haul airline to be publicly-listed in 2013.
He carries the vision he had for Air Asia into his baby iFlix, a disruptive internet television subscription video-on-demand service that was launched in May 2015 and now operates across Southeast Asia.
9. Emil Michael (Uber)
That’s right. There are representatives from both Uber and Grab in the same Summit. However, please note that they will not be involved in any panels together.
Michael is a USA-born who came to Uber while still part of the Pentagon, and is a former White House fellow.
Despite controversies surrounding his tenure in Uber, the 42-year-old executive had an integral role in growing Uber into the giant that it is today. He was involved in everything from financing round in June that valued Uber at $17 billion, to its partnerships and international expansion.
Clearly one of Uber’s top power players, Emil is in charge of local partnerships and enticing businesses into working with Uber.
From his end, he managed to score Spotify and American Express. His efforts with Uber is the catalyst to his naming in magazine Fast Company as 46th on its list of the “100 of the most creative business people” in 2014.
10. Toni Townes-Whitley (Microsoft)
With over 20 years of experience spanning Public Sector management, Toni Townes-Whitley is the Corporate VP of Worldwide Public Sector in Microsoft, and has the chops to prove it.
She manages over $13B annual revenue, overseeing Microsoft’s partnerships with governments in over 100 countries (including with Malaysian schools).
Toni is passionate about and looking into measuring the impact of Microsoft’s enabling technologies on society.
By aligning Microsoft public sector programs and organisational priorities with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, she drives change to not only reach but empower every citizen, government, and public organisation to achieve more.
UPDATE: We just got a message from GECommunity at 2.35pm (1st Dec) that Toni unfortunately won’t be able to make it for the event.
For more information about the speakers or to register, head on over to the GECommunity website here.