In line with StartupJohor’s vision to facilitate growth in the start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem within Iskandar Malaysia, the social enterprise had announced the launch of the ‘StartupJohor Academy’, a new initiative that aims to guide budding individuals on the road of building their dreams.
This new academy will operate from several different co-working spaces around Iskandar Malaysia as a step to make the initiative more accessible to Johoreans. This is all possible due to the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between StartupJohor and LEAD (League of Extraordinary Developers), as well as Garuda Robotics Pte Ltd.
The MoU aims to become a guideline for all parties involved to plan, execute and cultivate programmes to develop highly qualified individuals, ready for the local industry.
“Startup Johor Academy will work with industry leading partners to provide high quality training programme and educational content to the audience by utilizing learning by doing/building approach and applying it to real business case studies and projects,” said Feng Lim Community Director of StartupJohor.
He added that the target audience of the programmes are Johoreans and to prepare them for their future careers / start-ups endeavour, by providing them with immediately needed skill sets and knowledge such as programming, big data analytics, industrial drones operation and Blockchain technologies, all as a step to attract locals returning from overseas and to control the brain drain issue.
Present for the MoU signing ceremony and Startup Johor Academy Launch was Mark Yong, Cofounder & CEO of Garuda Robotics and Dr. Lau Cher Han, Founder of LEAD.
Garuda Academy will offer three different courses, a beginner’s Professional Multirotor Pilot Course for those with zero knowledge and experience in operating UAVs. The second, Industrial Drone Inspection Course will teach students with safety-centric operating procedures to carry out aerial inspections and lastly, the Drone Mapping for Agricultural Course which will teach operating procedures for drone deployment in an actual agricultural environment. Participants will also learn the theory and methodologies on how to generate geospatial outputs and the possible applications in farming operations in this unique course.
CEO and Founder of LEAD, Dr. Lau believes that this collaboration will bring in high-quality technology educational content from around the world and bridge the gaps between skillset requirements of the industry and participating students.
Dr. Lau and his team at LEAD has been working on bringing quality tech education programmes from the US, Australia, Taiwan, and Singapore back to Malaysia, providing training courses in Penang, KL and Borneo, and has worked with universities and start-up entities including MaGIC, SITEC and ACAT among others.
With the rise of commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones, Garuda Academy will provide budding drone pilots with professional skills and knowledge, to take up commercial drone work such as mapping, inspections, and surveillance.
“As one of the first entities to be awarded the Unmanned Operator Permit (UOP) by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), we are proud of the professionalism of our UAV pilots and the trust invested in us by our customers. Our instructor pilots have extensive experience in providing professional UAV services across Southeast Asia. All are current holders of the CAAS Unmanned Operator Permit for operations and training purposes,” said Mark.
It was also announced on the day, that LEAD Academy will provide a new incentive fund of RM5 million for tech education in Johor, as an effort to cultivate and retain talents to head the tech ecosystem in the region.
“We want this to be the first step in building a truly organic and inclusive ecosystem here. We need to contribute back into the community, by not only providing funding and education but also other resources that start-ups need and that includes mentoring and sharing sessions by experienced individuals,” said Dr. Lau, who believes that each generation of entrepreneurs should cultivate the next, as it is an important factor in having a healthy, sustainable and thriving start-up ecosystem.
The key pillars or the ABCDs of this fund include Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Data Science, Cloud Computing as well as Full Stack Development, all in line with the state government’s vision of turning Iskandar Malaysia into an internationally renowned SmartCity.
According to Dr. Lau, an evaluation committee will be set up to determine the eligibility of applicants as well as the disbursement, monitoring and any relevant terms and conditions with outcomes driven to ensure it meets the local and international industrial needs. The primary areas that will be supported by this fund include boot camps, training, certification, scholarship, bursaries, subsidization and any relevant type of support needed by the awardee.
Original article by Amin Khairuddin, The Iskandarian