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From May 22 to 25, over 30,000 people gathered in Macao for BEYOND Expo 2024. A tech conference that seeks to be the CES of the APAC and SEA region, BEYOND Expo 2024 welcomed many industry leaders to be speakers and exhibitors during the four-day event.

And amongst those exhibitors were three Malaysian startups, each bringing something unique to the table.

We managed to catch up with these three homegrown startups to better understand who they are, what they do, and just what they’ve managed to gain from their time at the expo.

1. Nutrigene

Having featured the startup earlier this year, when Vulcan Post was asked for Malaysian names to be showcased at BEYOND Expo 2024, we knew that Nutrigene had to be one of them. And with that recommendation, they secured a spot!

Nutrigene is a startup that offers comprehensive genetic testing for children, specifically for the purpose of developing personalised education plans for them.

“Unlike traditional health-focused DNA tests that primarily target adult health markers, our approach is tailored specifically for children, focusing on areas crucial for their growth and learning,” the founder and CEO, Dr Wenxi Choo, explained to Vulcan Post in February.

Image Credit: Nutrigene

Speaking to them at the expo, the team shared that they had gleaned quite a bit of industry knowledge by attending the event. “We got new insights into the Chinese market. We got a better understanding of what the local needs are to prep us for our expansion into Hong Kong and Southern China markets in the future.”

They also learnt that there are many keen investors that attended the expo, and thus were able to understand what they’re looking for, should they intend to do fundraising in the region.

More than understanding investors’ mindset and appetites, they also got to learn about the market as a whole. There were some other genetic testing startups in attendance, but many were focusing in other niches, which proved to Nutrigene that they likely had a strong USP.

Overall, they found the event to be very helpful in terms of market analysis. Prior to this, Nutrigene had mainly attended B2C expos, such as mum and baby expos. Thus, attending a B2B one held a lot of surprises.

One piece of advice they had for other Malaysian startups who may attend BEYOND Expo or other international expos in the future is that instead of constantly marketing your products, take advantage of the additional opportunities to learn.

This is as there were a lot of chats and panels at BEYOND Expo that gave great insights and takeaways for entrepreneurs and businesses.

2. Eco Bee Biotech

Started in 2002 by Cathie Tan, Eco Bee is a honey brand from Malaysia specalising in the development and production of premium bee food product. You might be familiar with its former name, The Bee Shop.

At BEYOND Expo 2024, we learnt that the honey company was promoting their Malaysian propolis, though they also also carry a wide variety of other honey products.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Propolis, for those who don’t know, isn’t exactly honey. It’s described as a “bee glue”, a resinous mixture that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate (a type of fluid) gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources.

It’s known to have various health benefits related to gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, and gynecological, oral, and dermatological problems.

Specifically, Eco Bee uses local stingless kelulut bees to create their products, working with local universities such as UTM and Monash University to do so.

Other unique honey products they carry also feature Malaysian ingredients such as Tongkat Ali and local ginger.

Their business development manager, Robin, represented the brand at the expo, and he had a recommendation for future Malaysian brands showcasing their products to a global crowd.

Localise your marketing material to the main market’s language and bring along people who speak the language well, so that you can better engage potential investors and customers.

3. CiB Development

Speaking to Keith Long from game publishing company CiB Development, we learnt that they have quite a storied past, having gotten its start 21 years ago.

A quick Google would show that in 2013, the homegrown company was acquired by Asiasoft, one of the largest game publishers in the region.

But as of last year, CiB Development actually became independent once more, and now has their sights set on global expansion.

Previously, Asiasoft had already been tackling regional coverage, so CiB was focusing mainly on the Malaysian and Singaporean market. But now that they’re independent, they have the capability of dreaming bigger.

Image Credit: BEYOND Expo

A part of this effort will involve the launch of Nexus SEA, an all-in-one gaming platform that supports both PC and mobile.

Not only will this platform support your usual video games, it will also support Web3 games, i.e. games that incorporate blockchain technology with elements of the metaverse.

One pull of using Nexus SEA is that the CiB, having operated for over two decades, have grown a huge userbase of over 20 million, Keith stated. Allowing developers to tap into their userbase is definitely going to be a big advantage.

Moreover, CiB is also launching two games this year. One is a narrative game based on a Korean webtoon, while the other is a first-person shooter game that’s comparable to Counterstrike with e-sports opportunities.

A reason for attending the expo, Keith said, is that CiB is looking for potential co-publishers who want to help bring their games to markets that they don’t traditionally take on.

But something that they also picked up on during the expo was exposure to tech such as advanced chat systems, multilingual translations, and other AI features.

“We want to collaborate with them, to help the games go to market in other markets much faster,” Keith expressed.

A space for collaborations and growth

Speaking with these three startups, it’s clear that BEYOND Expo goes beyond just your average exhibition.

More than that, it sets the stage for collaborations as well as learning opportunities, exposing Malaysian companies to the wider network of industry players, from investors to competitors.

From market analysis to validation, the BEYOND Expo was definitely a place where great minds and ideas could come together, and it was particularly exciting to know that three Malaysian businesses were there in the mix.

Hopefully, we’ll see them taking on the greater world stage soon.

  • Learn more about BEYOND Expo here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)