About a month ago, I was invited (among other Malaysian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley) to have dinner with the Malaysian Secretary General of Treasure, to have a discussion about how to support and participate in the new RM50M (USD$15.8M) MaGIC endeavor that the Malaysian government is undertaking in 2014. MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center) was announced by the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2013) on Oct 11 in Kuala Lumpur, and is poised to be a one-stop technology center, incubator and venture fund to support all entrepreneurial and startup activity in the region. It all sounds pretty exciting and promising, although they’re still scouting for a CEO to run the center as an independent company, which I thought was an interesting and refreshing move. I’m personally eager to contribute and be more involved in this; it’d be my chance give back to my home country, especially since the government gave me a full scholarship to study in the US.
After sharing my thoughts and experience as an entrepreneur as well as an active mentor to startups in the Valley, they thought I’d be a good speaker for TEDxKL Women in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They sent me an invitation to speak at the event the next day! This event is being sponsored by Kakiseni and WOMEN:girls and will be held at 5.30pm on Thursday, December 5th. After getting an approval from my manager to work from home for a couple of weeks (which I’m very grateful for), I accepted the invitation. I’m certainly very excited and honored to be invited to speak, especially in my home country along with other very accomplished Malaysians. This will also be my first ever TEDx speech. Since I only have 2 weeks to prepare for this 18-min long speech that will be recorded live, it’s even more nerve-wracking. I’ve heard that some people take 3-5 months to prepare!
Anyway, not only will TEDxKL be happening this week, but also TEDWomen 2013 in San Francisco. TEDWomen is a much larger event where the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, will be speaking on Thursday, Decemeber 5th as well. Other speakers include: Jane Chen, Krista Donaldson, Dava Newman, Rupal Patel, and Paula Johnson, among many others during the 3-day program. Might be worth checking out if you’re in SF!
Here’s the official poster for the KL event (click to buy tickets). I found it hilarious that they called me a “technopreneur.” I suppose it’s the way Malaysians identify tech entrepreneurs as opposed to small business owners? 🙂
The event organizers also made me a cute postcard and posted this lovely Facebook bio on me here.
The organizers want me to speak about passion and how that relates to success. After a couple weeks of frantic drafts and rewriting my speech a couple of times, I’ve decided to take a slightly controversial stance and claim that “Follow Your Passion” is bad advice. I hope to do well on Thursday, but really wish I had more time to prepare and rehearse my speech! Either way, I am really really grateful to my awesome boyfriend, Brett, and incredibly talented friends, especially Wayne, Anna, and Malcolm for tediously going through my speech, giving feedback and helping me edit it, draft after draft, slide after slide. Also special thanks to Jocelyn, Greg, Jae, Hsu Ken, Chen Chow and Lief for their reviews! I don’t think I would’ve felt comfortable with my last-minute speech without their help and inputs!
[Update: Here’s the link to my speech http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npmxVftUY9k – I haven’t actually watched it yet because I hate seeing myself on video!]
I finally landed in KL on Monday at 4pm and aside from a slight jet lag, I’ve been put on a slew of interviews with local radio stations and magazine publications. Here’s one that I did this morning with Mira at BFM Radio 89.9 FM, which is a business radio station. The interview will be aired after the TEDxKL event, so I’ll post the podcast here once I get it.
Tomorrow, I’ll be interviewed live on LiteFM 7am at Astro Radio tomorrow, by Yasmin Yusoff (ex Miss Malaysia)! I’m really excited to be meeting one of the top radio personalities in Malaysia and hope the interview goes well. Thanks for reading and adios for now!
[Update: Photos of from the LiteFM interview below]