MTW’19 Day 4 Recap: Corporate Ventures & Innovative Exchange

For the fourth day of the Malaysian Tech Week 2019 (MTW’19) where events are spread out across the city of Kuala Lumpur, Entrepreneur Insight set its focus around Menara HLA, participating in discussions and topics surrounding corporation ventures and innovation exchange, hosted by Hong Leong Innovation Exchange (HLX).

Joachim Vandaele, a founding partner of FutureLab Ventures, shares his thoughts on how the rapid advancement in the technology space has forced businesses and large corporations to rethink and redefine their corporate venture policies.

“The boundary between the traditional ‘trade, product and service’ model will soon disappear. The very idea of having an ‘industry’ is already being challenged, slowly being replaced with the concept of having an ecosystem,’ said Joachim. “Entrepreneurship is not just for entrepreneurs, but for corporations as well.”

The FutureLab team has brought on Monisha Varadan, from the Global Product Partnerships Department at Google, to share her experience working for the mega-corporation and how they have cultivated a work culture of innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit.

“Google is a company that is driven by products,” said Monisha. “Innovation cannot be forced upon people. You can, however, create an environment that is able to promote innovation, by cultivating curiosity, agency, collaboration and psychological safety.”

HLX also urged small startups to sign up and join their co-working space and be part of their tech startup ecosystem. Eusoffe Chua, Chief Executive Officer of Tower REIT and corporate partner to HLX, commented that there are no budget-friendly co-working spaces located in Kuala Lumpur, but that is exactly what they are offering. “We don’t just want unicorns. We want dragons,” said Eusoffe.

Several existing tech startups that are part of the HLX ecosystem, namely Bountie, Twistcode, CodeZero and G.Infinite, have come up on stage to share their business models and serve as a case study of what HLX could be.

HLX is an innovation ecosystem located at Menara HLA owned by Guocoland Malaysia, merging components of co-working, co-living, events spaces and innovation labs. HLX is essentially Silicon Valley in a single building.