Entrepreneurship is booming. Start-up companies across the globe are gaining traction, attracting capital and customers – there are now immense opportunities in Southeast Asia. As interest in entrepreneurship grows, so do the opportunities of the academic programme. Recently, the World Economic Forum recommended expanding entrepreneurial education in schools and universities, as one of the ways of future-proofing and encouraging creativity.
Taylor’s latest response to this challenge was to cement a partnership, through a signing ceremony, with NEXEA – a leading Angel investor in Malaysia, focusing on pre-seed and seed funding for its students and alumni, via the institution’s in-house hybrid incubator-accelerator hub called thesetup. Launched in 2018, by the Minister of Entrepreneurial Development, Datuk Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof and Taylor’s Vice Chancellor & President, Professor Michael Driscoll – thesetup provides a holistic, structured entrepreneurship training programme; built around a mentorship model. thesetup uses both internal and external seasoned entrepreneurs to mentor their students. In 2019 thesetup plans to bring in-residence mentors to further mentor the student and alumni start-ups.
“We are extremely gratified to partner with NEXEA to provide this unique opportunity for our students and alumni that utilises thesetup for their next big business idea. Less than 5 per cent of start-ups in Malaysia that raise seed funding can progress to raising series A capital, hence the four-stage programme,” said Professor Khong Kok Wei, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business & Law at Taylor’s University.
“For decades, entrepreneurs have been leading small and medium-sized enterprises, engines of growth that are expected to play an ever-increasing role in development, especially in the ASEAN region. These are exciting times for Malaysia, for Taylor’s University and for the students in our programmes. Future graduates have an opportunity to make a difference to economic growth, employment and productivity in the New Malaysia as never before,” he continued.
The event was also joined by renowned entrepreneurs like Alan Lim, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN); Razif Abdul Aziz, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Cradle and Rajen Dorairaj, Senior Manager, Ventures, Malaysian Global Innovation & Creative Centre (MaGIC) – whom also shared their thoughts on the “Current Entrepreneurship Environment in Malaysia” in a fireside chat.
The launch of thesetup, led by Shibu Vadaketh as Director, was a follow-up to the introduction of five new modules addressing entrepreneurial education. The courses equip students with an understanding of the values underpinning entrepreneurialism and engender an entrepreneurial mind-set, adopting entrepreneurial behaviours, like creativity and innovation, and learning how to manage risk and cope with failure. The four stages in this programme are: Ideation > Start-up > Growth > Accelerate.