Founders On What They Learned From Cyberview Living Lab Accelerator

[This is a sponsored article with Cyberview.]

Many would consider Cyberjaya to be Malaysia’s most technologically advanced city and home to countless tech startups.

More than just a city, it has proven itself to be an innovative hub where things are done, if the number of startups that have credited Cyberjaya space as a pilot test bed for their offerings is anything. to say.

One of the city’s annual developer programs, Cyberview, is the Cyberview Living Lab Accelerator (CLLA).

It was launched 7 years ago to take startups to the next level, and since then 75 startups have completed the program and have become full-fledged business ventures.

Notable names of its graduates include fintech start-up MoneyMatch and truck rental startup TheLorry, for example. The 5 startups in Cohort 14, their most recent, are still in CLLA, and at this point in the program, we wanted to know what they’ve gotten out of it so far.

The 5 founders we spoke to included:

  • Arief Imran, CEO of the group and founder of SERV, a vehicle ownership and maintenance assistance application
  • Nur Atiqah, CEO and co-founder of Creative Sandbox, a creative digital academy for kids
  • Stephen Lim, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of NEXPlatform, a real estate data technology solutions startup
  • Yinxie Chew, CEO and co-founder of Internspoon, an internship platform connecting interns and employers
  • Zafri Baharuddin, founder of ITXOTIC, a technology startup specializing in automated solutions for data analysis and inspection

Polish their pitching skills

While this is perhaps one of the most important skills to possess as a startup founder, the pitch is not an easy task it comes naturally to many.

At CLLA, they know it. Therefore, every startup that goes through the program emerges with polished pitching skills.

Just ask NEXPlatform, who learned how to create a compelling case that could articulate their ideas and solutions to audiences and clients in 4 minutes.

The NEXPlatform team / Image credit: NEXPlatform

The same was true for Creative Sandbox’s Nur Atiqah, who described himself as “not the most outgoing person to start with,” which made it a challenge for them to pitch their startup.

“At CLLA, being able to throw in comfortably on the spot is one of the requirements for graduating from the program,” she added, and she hopes to master this skill with flying colors.

Mentors from a variety of industries

Of course, honing your skills doesn’t come without some sort of guidance, and at CLLA mentors play a huge role in terms of coaching and support.

“We met with mentors from branding, marketing, legal and fundraising, to name a few,” said Zafri of ITXOTIC.

Internspoon’s Yinxie added, “Our mentors range from those with a background in venture capital, serial entrepreneurs, representatives of government agencies and businesses, which gives us the opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge.”

These mentors then carried out activities organized by CLLA, ranging from financial management, branding and marketing to fundamentals such as managing people in teams.

The Internspoon team with Monash Business Club / Image credit: Internspoon

Networking beyond startups

In addition to simple networking among other startups, CLLA presented these startups with the opportunity to communicate with government agencies.

“This opened up channels with city councils and access to government bodies responsible for smart city-type solutions, especially those related to CCTV and AI,” Zafri said.

Since joining CLLA, ITXOTIC has discovered several opportunities to use its artificial intelligence solution in the security system inherited from Cyberview.

“This potentially makes it a new smart city surveillance system with real-time detection and alerts for suspicious activity, face masks, vehicles entering the compound, etc.,” he added. With this, they will receive information on ways to improve security systems across Malaysia.

The ITXOTIC team / Image credit: ITXOTIC

Increased market access

“While CLLA alone has provided most of the advice and support we need, Cyberview’s market access opportunities have put us on the map with strategic partnerships and collaboration, ”said Nur Atiqah.

“For example, we are proud to be a partner in the Digital Maker Hub, a movement led by MDEC to transform Malaysian youth from digital users into producers.”

Taking further advantage of the increased follow-ups from this access, Creative Sandbox’s latest service, CSBox, which is a safe platform for kids to create, share, communicate and collaborate, is nearing completion and ready to launch soon.

As for NEXPlatform, Stephen explained that they were already connected to several real estate developers in Cyberjaya. “We were able to present our sales automation solution to several interested potential customers,” he added.

For SERV, Arief shared that CLLA has definitely ticked the boxes on its wishlist, especially when it comes to expanding its pool of potential customers. “Over the time, we’ve also had better pulls in terms of customer acquisition,” he said.

The SERV team celebrates its return in July / Image credit: SERV

Identifying the right target market and pitching it to potential customers were Internspoon’s biggest challenges, and CLLA had rushed to guide them in this area.

“They even go the extra mile by organizing separate one-on-one sessions to make sure we can get the most out of it,” Yinxie described the efforts of the CLLA team.

Discover the hidden opportunities during the pandemic

In an example of how CLLA helped a startup discover a new way to grow, Creative Sandbox explained that it quickly expanded its services to conduct virtual courses.

“The hidden benefit we discovered is that we could replicate and scale our business by hiring more trainers who could remotely conduct virtual courses from the comfort of their own home,” said Nur Atiqah.

“It’s even more advantageous in terms of job creation.”

Creative Sandbox team with kids after animation class / Image credit: Creative Sandbox

Tips for surviving CLLA

Nur Atiqah said that it is best to clearly produce a solid MVP for your case, if you want to join CLLA. “It will speed up your progress in CLLA, so that your entire journey through the program will be more worth it.”

Being open to receiving and accepting mentorship was Stephen’s advice from NEXPlatform for us. “These tips could help you grow and sustain your business, even if you need to scale your startup or change your business model.”

Trust is key, but SERV’s Arief shared some great advice: “Build a solution that matters. Even if you have the right market, product, or service, go back to your “canvas” and re-evaluate it. “

“Identify if you are too focused on one thing or if you have spread yourself too thin. Find the right balance between the two. And I can’t stress this more, but always listen to the feedback from your customers. “

  • To learn more about the Cyberview Living Lab Accelerator, click here.
  • Read what we have written on Cyberview in the past here.

Featured Image Credit: Creative Sandbox, Internspoon, ITXOTIC, NEXPlatform, SERV

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Jothi Venkat

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