How M’sian tech startups are making Klang Valley the next Silicon Valley of SEA

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Silicon Valley: the tech hub, startup playground of dreams. It’s Google, Apple, and Microsoft within a self-driving-car’s throw of each other. It’s where the future is created.

…or is it?

Patrick Grove, Co-Founder & Group CEO of Catcha Group, doesn’t see why it has to be limited to north California. “Why can’t Klang Valley be the Silicon Valley of Southeast Asia?” he asks, to a conference room packed to the brim.

Patrick Grove, asking all the tough questions.
Picture credit: The Rakyat Post

At the premiere Southeast Asian digital conference Wild Digital 2019, he speaks passionately about wanting to grow Malaysia’s internet companies through disruptive businesses.

“Malaysia’s economy is thriving,” he says, noting the incredible number of unicorns that have mushroomed in the past 5 years. Unicorns refer to any tech startup company that reaches a $1 billion dollar market value, and Malaysia has seen a growing number.


One of the keys to a unicorn’s success lies in their reason for existence: to solve a problem.

Almost every unicorn solves a problem that’s not new: it simply aims to solve the pre-existing problem cheaper, faster, and better.

We used to hail taxis by standing at the side of a curb and sticking our hands in the air, he says, but now we simply hail one from our phones. The problem of ‘getting a taxi’ hasn’t changed. The solution to how you do so has.


We have already seen how companies like Grab and iProperty have fundamentally changed the way we get our needs met. What used to be time-consuming and uncertain is now just an app away.

Society needs constant change to improve, and that change almost always comes from innovative start-ups.

Picture credit: The Rakyat Post

To all aspiring entrepreneurs, he advises to find passionate people to walk the journey together because it’s a difficult journey to take alone.

“Find someone who would rather work 7 days a week for nothing with people they love on something that they are passionate for.”

So what are you waiting for? Go forth and be the next Jack Ma.

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