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ISKANDAR PUTERI: Aimed at being the catalyst of growth and innovation among industry players as well as stakeholders, the inaugural startup festival “IP Smart 2018: Create” was set to change the local landscape.

Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) chief operating officer Akmal Ahmad said the festival was the first step to turn Iskandar Puteri into a destination for startups and entrepreneurs of this region.

“IP Smart, a four-day festival which took place at the CIMB Leadership Academy in Medini and organised by StartUp Johor, is focused on driving community startups and entrepreneurs,” he said.

He added that it was how a community of startups and entrepreneurs was built while with the right cultivation, it would contribute into IIB’s vision of a sustainable development that covered both the economics and social development.

Enthusiastic interaction among participants at IP Smart startup festival

“We are building an entirely new ecosystem here in Iskandar Malaysia and this is the first round of moving things forward, there are different pillars of IP Smart and each is an extension of what IIB’s aims to do here,” he said.

StartUp Johor founder and community director Lim Feng said with their partners like Cradle Fund, MDec and MaGIC, StartUp Johor was more on programmes that emphasised on skill sets and managements.

“We provide the expertise to help cultivate the startups here, from working space, activities, mentoring, as well as a platform for them to be ready when they hit the market,” he said.

The IP Smart festival featured a pitching session, hackathon, networking session as well as several masterclasses by some of the best industry players within the region.

Over 400 innovators, entrepreneurs, developers, designers as well as investors were present to give their insights and share their experience at this first of its kind startup industry event in Johor.

Among the speakers present were Investment Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd vice-president Azman Hood who shared his expertise and knowledge in the various sources as well as the pros and cons of fund raising in Malaysia as since 2003, Cradle holds the highest commercialisation rate by government grants and had helped over 700 local Malaysian tech startups.

Also present to inspire and educate budding entrepreneurs was Flyspaces Malaysian country manager and chief community officer Lais de Oliviera, as well as The Fabulous co-founder and chief directing officer Taylor Ling who showed those present how to brainstorm and manage their organisation the Google way.

Original article by The Star