Earlier this month, I attended the MSC Malaysia MAD TechVentures Conference 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, a two-day tech and web industry event organized by local company MAD Incubator and MSC Malaysia. The launch pad was one of the first of its kind in the country whose Internet and mobile population has been growing rapidly in recent years. (TechCrunch contributor Vivek Wadhwa, coincidentally in town, delivered the opening speech.)
TechVentures is essentially a platform for Malaysia’s startups to demo their services on stage to an audience and a panel of judges, both of whom selected a handful of companies (out of 22) as winners. The nine lucky companies received advertising and marketing prizes valued at a total of 1.5 million Ringgit (US$500,000).
Here are thumbnail sketches of all 22 companies that presented during the MAD TechVentures Conference 2010:
Xilnex by Web Bytes
Xilnex is a Saas-based retail management solution specifically developed for SOHO, small and medium-sized companies, startups, small and medium chain retailers and franchise retailers. The solution can be used for customer and service management, point of sales management, inventory control, services tracking etc. Xilnex also integrates an e-commerce solution (items in the inventory can be automatically pushed to online catalogues) and a number of reporting and marketing tools.
Aiyo!CONNECT by Terato Tech (winner of the category: Mobile and Communication)
Malaysia-based iPhone, iPad and Android development company Terato Tech (iTunes) showed Aiyo!CONNECT, a publishing engine that makes it possible to convert printed material (magazines, books, brochures etc.) to the iPad “in seconds”. Users can then edit content directly on the iPad through a special editor. Here‘s a sample magazine Terato themselves created with the engine.
Math Quest by HezMedia Interactive (winner: Games and Creative Content)
Math Quest is an online edutainment game designed to teach mathematics to children aged between 9 and 12 through avatars, quests, mini games and other elements. The RPG-like game is created in Flash, entirely playable in the browser but also available (in Malaysia) on CD-ROM. Maker Hezmedia is currently preparing an MMORPG version that’s due out in 2011 and for which the startup is looking for international business partners.
ooView by e-Trifecta Solutions (winner: Business Applications and Productivity)
ooView is an augmented reality framework designed for desktop (ooView Suite), web (ooView Extended) and mobile (ooView Pocket) applications. The platform supports both object- and marker-based tracking methods, with maker e-Trifecta offering solutions in a variety of fields, including digital marketing, events, education, or training.
Techsailor Community Connect by Techsailor Group (winner: Community and Social Networks)
Social media consultancy and online marketing company Techsailor presented Techsailor Community Connect, its white-label social platform for enterprises. Community Connect enables companies to “turn any website into an online customer engagement tool” through different social networking modules such as user profile pages, friend linkages, a messaging system, forums, media sharing functions, etc. Here are two examples for sites built on top of Community Connect (more here).
Capsuco (winner: Subscription and Commerce Marketplace)
Capsuco is an online art and graphics store offering customizable products (mainly T-shirts at this point) from artworks submitted by independent artists (who earn a share from each sale of any product featuring their artwork). Online payment is still a big hurdle for e-commerce in South East Asia, which is why the startup is planning to offer pre-paid “Capsuco Cards” in selected brick-and mortar retail stores in Malaysia. Capsuco, which launched in July 2010, is based out of Kuala Lumpur but plans to move to other markets in South East Asia soon (beginning with Singapore).
Xilnex (the winner of the Grand Prize) also won the MAD TechVentures prize in the Cloud Computing, SaaS and Web Applications category – as judged by the panel.
MyMall by Convep Mobilogy (winner: Mobile and Communication)
Kuala Lumpur-based Convep, which develops mobile applications for a number of platforms, presented MyMall at the event, a suite of apps, which are available for the iPhone (iTunes) and Blackberry. Each app helps users navigate through a different shopping mall in Malaysia, for example by providing maps, store directories, different search functions, electronic coupons, event information etc.
Trosworld by Scandic Corporation (winner: Subscription and Commerce Marketplace)
Trosworld is a B2C online mall that offers Malaysia’s 60%+ small- and medium-sized businesses that are still offline a simple CMS to bring their products to the web. Subscribers to Trosworld’s so-called VIP Store solution can get their own domain name and hosting on the platform, list up up to 4,000 products, use the integrated order and inventory system, let buyers pay through multiple payment gateways, etc. Trosworld provider Scandic offers offline guidance for VIP Store merchants, for example workshops in the real world or phone support.
JustSAMit by ISA Innovation (winner: Cloud Computing, SaaS and Web Applications)
JustSAMit is a cloud-based IT Asset Management solution specifically geared towards small- and medium-sized businesses. The service not only keeps track of what kind of hardware is being used in a given company but also helps to control software usage on computers that are in the asset list. JustSAMit, which currently requires an invitation, also wants to support clients to keep up-to-date by benchmarking their IT equipment with relevant industry vertical trends by location.
Here are the 13 other startups that made it to the MAD TechVentures finals but didn’t quite make the cut:
MAD Incubator and co-organizer MSC Malaysia already expect to have another TechVentures Conference in Kuala Lumpur next year.
To keep up-to-date about Malaysia’s web scene, head over to the Entrepreneurs.my blog or follow the Twitter account of Kuala Lumpur-based mover and shaker Daniel Cerventus. For more South East Asia-related information, have a look at the e27 and SGEntrepreneurs blogs or download the This Week In Asia tech podcasts.
Terato Tech is a mobile app developer based in Bandar Baru Bangi, Malaysia. We specialize in iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Symbian applications that range from banking, tablet publishing, to mobile games, utilities, references, location-based and educational content. In addition to developing applications for our premium clients, we also produce our own prototype and research projects for touch-based applications and entertainment content. Some of our notable applications including: Qalvinius (iOS game), Aiyo (iOS/iPad interactive magazine), Forest fables (iOS/iPad interactive storybooks), Malaysia Hotline (iOS...