Promoting a startup ecosystem for the digital economy

July 03, 2021

WOU aspires to create a start-up ecosystem in Penang to accelerate the digital economy by producing talents equipped with the required digital literacy skills. The University, through its School of Digital Technology (DiGiT), intends to nurture tech startups – and maybe the next tech unicorn like Grab – from amongst its students.

DiGiT senior lecturer Dr Lee Heng Wei was speaking at an online talk today on “MyDigital and Penang Digital Transformation Masterplan: Are you Riding the Wave?” organised by the School and the Penang Regional Centre.

TIMELY TALK ON THE SKILLS NEEDED TO RIDE THE DIGITAL ECONOMY WAVE.

He advised students to act now and prepare themselves for the digital economy wave by learning digital skills relevant for the next 5-10 years. He queried, “Are you riding the wave or are you collapsing from the wave?”

He said that DiGiT, through the Bachelor of Digital Business (Honours) [BDBS] programme, confers digital skills, offers co-working space for start-ups and connects students with experts and industry leaders so as to nurture entrepreneurial talents. The programme is 80% skill-based and frontloads digital skills in the first year through intensive, on-campus learning.

WOU OFFERS SUPPORT TOWARDS DEVELOPING THE NEXT TECH UNICORN.

He stressed that WOU’s vision, through DiGiT, is “to create an ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurship and initiate a subculture that engages the young and ambitious to grow their business and aim for outlier results”.

He continued, “The ecosystem will enable you to generate and pitch your ideas, and provide opportunities and guidance to start your own business. If you are not ready to start a business, we will help with placements in industry to gain work experience first.”

SENIOR LECTURER DR LEE HENG WEI FROM THE SCHOOL OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY.

 

Dr Lee highlighted the recently-launched federal government initiative, MyDigital (Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint) 2021-2030, to help people start up their own businesses as Malaysia pushes towards a digital economy in the next 10 years.

Among the MyDigital initiatives are to create 500,000 new jobs related to digital economy (e.g. data analyst,digital marketer), ensure 100% households have access to Internet, provide all students access to online learning, enable the digital transformation of businesses across all sectors to increase productivity by 30%, and to empower the digital economy to contribute 22.6% of the nation’s GDP.

THE MYDIGITAL INITIATIVES TO HELP THE PEOPLE, BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT SECTOR.

He added that the federal government aims to attract two business unicorns within the next 10 years, increase the number of startups, and encourage 875,000 micro small and medium enterprises to adopt e-commerce. Other targets are 100% civil servants to possess digital literacy skills and cashless payments option by 2022 across all Ministries and agencies.

Dr Lee also mentioned the state government’s efforts to encourage more digital startups and assist businesses to embrace the digital economy, namely the launch of its Digital Penang agency and the Penang Digital Transformation Masterplan (2021-2023). The four pillars of the plan are Digital Governance, Digital Economy, Digital Community and Digital infrastructure, whereby businesses are supported with access to talent, funding, investor, mentorship and market.

FOUR PILLARS OF THE PENANG STATE GOVERNMENT’S PLAN TO DRIVE THE DIGITAL ECONOMY.

He stressed that digital economy is the main focus of the federal government, as well as the state government, with a lot of effort invested in this exciting field.

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