Collaborate for better solutions


Aug  7th

STARTUPS have been advised not to be preoccupied with looking for the next big idea.

Funders, apparently, are more interested in smaller ideas that can work with other ideas to solve specific issues, say industry observers in a panel discussion titled “Malaysian ecosystem: the private sector wish list” at the WIEF Idealab 2017.

“Venture capitalists (VCs) are not looking for the best app, as long as minimally, it’s going to be really helpful to people. Please don’t look into being the best app anymore. They are not looking into that. Everybody is taking a shift, to not pitch a pitch that’s going to be the next Uber.

“These days, private equity and VCs are very much looking for startups that can collaborate with another startup. So don’t ever think that you are superior and that your startup will win over the others,” says Allchat World chief executive officer Udesh Chaskar, one of the speakers on the panel.

The panel, moderated by social business The Incitement co-founder and global executive officer Zikry Kholil, also featured Chooi & Co partner Raphael Tay and Astro Awani deupty editor-in-chief Kamarul Bahrin Haron.

Kamarul adds that there needs to be better cross-fertilisation of ideas even before the pre-seed stage.

He points out that many startup ideas are usually half-baked because 99% of the solutions proposed by the startups are from coders and programmers, who may not necessarily be knowledgeable about the challenges and real solutions needed in the field.

“They haven’t even seen the actual situation and yet they want to come out with a solution. Imagine if they had sat down with subject-matter experts (the results would be different),” he says.

“It’s important that the startup communities start moving into the communities. Collaborate and share, that’s critical. That’s where new ideas are going to come out from. Don’t dream too big. Solve day-to-day solutions. And in order to do that, startups must immerse themselves in the local community,” Tay concurs.

“We are so driven by the next big idea that we forget that we live in the local community. So there are solutions (for everyday-problems), not for something that’s so big and so grand that it is of no use to anybody else, except to be the next big Grab idea,” he says.

Tay adds that a supportive ecosystem is crucial in helping startups thrive as problem solvers.

“It’s important that we help create startups within local communities. There must be that bridge. There must be that collaboration. And the local ecosystem must stop looking for handouts, stop complaining, and start picking ourselves up,” says Tay.

This article was published at The Star website on 7th August 2017.
Click here to view the original piece of the article.

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