Guy Kawasaki’s 11-point guide

By Anita Matthews

Two weeks ago, former Apple Computer software evangelist-turned-venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki made a quick trip to Kuala Lumpur, courtesy of MDeC, to share his perspective of venture capitalists and fund-seekers in conjunction with WCIT 2008.

Kawasaki, who founded Garage Technology Ventures, regaled the audience at NetBASH for two hours with his experience as a venture capitalist and shared insights on pitches that work.

Make meaning
Innovation is driven by the desire to make meaning. Kawasaki firmly believes we should take it upon ourselves to change the world and make it a better place.

Make mantra
According to Kawasaki, there’s a high correlation between mission statements and golfing — it is too long, meaningless and forgettable. Therefore, create mantra for your innovation. Examples of simple and straightforward mantras — Nike’s Authentic Athletic Performance, Wendy’s Healthy Fast Food or Fedex’s Peace of Mind. Unless you run out of options, the Dilbert’s (satirist cartoonist) mission statement generator is not your first stop.

Jump to the next curve
Don’t copy other people’s ideas. Innovators should focus their efforts on creating the next curve instead of remaining on the same track as most companies tend to do, says Kawasaki. He shared an example of ice-making. Ice harvesters stuck to traditional methods and did not move to the next curve by building a factory. Nor did the guy who ran the ice factory invent the factory.

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BizTone.Com gets US$5.5m in funding

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Malaysian-based Java developer has received its largest venture capital injection to date–US$5.5 million led by the Asia Java Fund, global investment firm ING-Barings, and angel investors in US and Asia.

The second round of investment brings total investment to about US$8 million, says chief executive Darryl Carlton whose company was among the first recipients of the Sun Microsystems-founded Asia Java Fund announced last week.

“The funding is an important recognition that’s business model of ‘renting software’ over the Net is the new wave of the future. It will be instrumental for our market entry,” said Carlton, who confirmed that a listing on Nasdaq is on schedule for next year.

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Rent-An-App Player Biztone.Com Clinches $5.5m Venture Cap

By Julian Matthews

Rent-an-app pioneer Inc has closed a $5.5 million investment round led by the Asia Java Fund, global investment firm ING-Barings and several angel investors.

The venture capital injection was a resounding endorsement for the Java-based developer which has its origins in Malaysia and is pushing the concept of delivering Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software as a service over the Internet.

“The advantage of BizTone is that it’s just like electricity or water, available to your business all the time and you simply pay for what you use on a transaction basis, while someone else makes sure you get the service around the clock,” said Darryl Carlton, BizTone’s chief executive officer.

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Malaysia budget will help VCs

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Malaysia has proposed that its central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, and two commercial banks provide RM300 million to finance venture capital companies (VCCs) to support the country’s desire to shift to a knowledge-based economy.

“VCCs will (also) be given full tax exemption on all sources of income received during its life span or for a period of 10 years, whichever is earlier, ” said First Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin at the unveiling of the federal budget in parliament today.

He said the tax holiday, however, carries the caveat that VCCs invest at least 70 percent of its funds for seed capital, start-up capital and first-stage financing.

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Malaysia Raises Ante On Venture Cap For IT Companies

By Julian Matthews

Malaysia is earmarking 200 million ringgit (US$52.6 million) to set up a venture capital fund for high-tech projects and proposes a tax-holiday for venture capital companies (VCCs), First Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin announced today in parliament as part of his federal budget speech.

“Financing of venture capital must be enhanced to encourage the development of new high technology industries as the engine of economic growth,” said Zainuddin.

He added the government is also proposing central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, and two commercial banks set up another fund worth 300 million ringgit ($78.9 million) to finance VCCs.

However, he said at least 70 percent of the funds given must go for seed capital, start-up capital and first stage financing of promoted activities such as advanced electronics, biotechnology, precision engineering, advance manufacturing and information technology.

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Malaysia launches venture capital fund for MSC

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Malaysia is launching a RM120 million (US$31.6 million) venture capital fund, the first of its kind specifically for the Multimedia Super Corridor project.

The fund will be set up by project facilitator Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) and government investment arm Khazanah Nasional.

MDC executive chairman Dr Othman Yeop Abdullah said the fund will be targeted at small and medium-scale local start-ups and foreign-local joint-venture companies that have committed to the project.
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