Launching of Johor Startup Ecosystem Report 2018
One of Johor’s leading co-working spaces, IskandarSpace, celebrated its first anniversary recently. Developed and wholly owned by Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB), it has hosted more than 100 co-workers from 12 countries and held over 100 events, making it a vibrant and active co-working space to-be.
The event was attended by President and Chief Executive Officer of IIB, Datuk Ir. Khairil Anwar Ahmad, Chief Executive of IRDA, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, and Johor International Trade, Investment, and Utilities Committee Chairman Jimmy Phua.
Co-working space is defined by the space of a single office shared by individuals or small groups of separate companies. These individuals or groups are usually self-employed, freelancers or start-ups where it is not financially practical to rent a whole office. A co-working space provides an exclusive mailing office address and the productive office environment at a fraction of the cost where one can choose to subscribe to rooms, permanent desks or just a space to use to work. At IskandarSpace, also known as i-Space, the rates are as low as RM20 per day or RM150 per month and co-workers can enjoy office facilities and the premium Medini address.
In his keynote speech, Datuk Khairil hopes that investors would scout for the ‘next big thing’ at i-Space. “Our effort as Iskandar Investment is to support the state government’s mission of attracting 8 billion investments to Johor in 2019 and we hope more investors and private sectors would scout for the next big thing here at IskandarSpace too.”
Meanwhile, at the press conference, Jimmy Phua assured that the government will be directly involved with start-up companies, and acknowledged that civil servants need to be trained on the terminologies used by start-ups and understand new innovation to better assist new companies. He suggested the federal government to include “micro” in “SME” to help start-ups receive funding as well. “The definition of SME must be enlarged as MSME – Micro Small Medium Enterprise and no longer called just an SME. Startups, for example, are not technically SMEs, but they are one or two persons who also need assistance.”
The event also witnessed the launch of the Johor Startup Ecosystem Report, a report and a short introduction to 35 tech-based start-ups in Johor. To make the list, the start-up must develop or provide services through the use of their own products.