SIXCAP: Discomfort Is Where True Innovation Arises

SIXCAP: Discomfort Is Where True Innovation Arises


In early September, SIXCAP was present at the final instalment of the CNBC Exchange series in Kuala Lumpur. The event was kickstarted by SIXCAP co-founder, Chief Innovation Officer and TAGG Gamemaster Paul Teng with an energetic, eloquent speech, and featured an illustrious panel of successful start-up founders from the likes of Carousell, Fave and HappyFresh and venture capital firm Golden Gate Ventures. The event also featured an illuminating one-on-one interview with Dato Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation.

SIXCAP co-founder, Chief Innovation Officer and TAGG Gamemaster Paul Teng opened the CNBC Exchange, Kuala Lumpur with the thought-provoking statement ‘Discomfort is where true innovation arises’. Teng was speaking at the opening of the final CNBC Exchange, an intimate event which saw startup founders, SME owners and venture capitalists gathering to listen to Malaysia Digitial Economy Corporation (MDEC) CEO Dato Yasmin Mahmood, and founders of successful regional startups Carousell, Fave and HappyFresh speak about the outlook of the startup scene in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Veteran CNBC anchor Akiko Fujita was also present as interview and panel moderator.

In the one-on-one interview segment, Dato Mahmood painted an illuminating and optimistic view of the Malaysian government efforts to support startups in the country, citing the nation’s organic talent, ‘young passionate people brave enough to problem solve’ and Malaysia’s excellent positioning as the test bed for Southeast Asia with its representation of all the representative consumer profiles the region offered. Malaysia’s initiatives to support the local startup scene include up to 10 years’ residency for tech entrepreneurs, and accelerator organisations that bring startups together to collaborate in co-working spaces. ‘Think big, start small, scale fast,’ she advised.

Startups can compete with big players by focusing on consumers’ unmet needs

The panel, made up of Lucas Ngoo, co-founder and CTO, Carousell, Joel Neoh, Founder, Fave, Guillem Segarra, CEO, Happyfresh and Vinnie Lauria Founding Partner, Golden Gate Ventures, agreed that the scene is set for second-generation startups, noting that splinter teams from the first generation are setting up new startups with more maturity from the onset, and that funding is now more readily obtained after the advent of successful startups like Grab, Uber and Instagram.

All three startup founders welcomed the entry of bigger players like Amazon into the current e-commerce landscape of Southeast Asia, echoing the sentiment expressed by Mr. Teng in his opening speech. ‘Smaller players can focus on points the big players are not meeting’, Mr. Segarra said. ‘Think out of the box’.