There is a romantic notion that entrepreneurs are lonely heroes in their business activities.
The reality, however, is that successful entrepreneurs build their own teams or have been part of a team in their endeavors. Creating a truly innovative and successful company is seldom the work of one person due to the range of tasks and different skills.
One way to get a business off the ground is by joining an incubator, which can help develop a brand beyond the business plan, prepare for market launch, and attract venture capitalists.
The BizPod on the Lakeside Campus serves this purpose for Taylorians of all disciplines and focuses on helping its students and alumni from brainstorming to an established business – for free.
As a holistic start-up ecosystem, it is led by BizPod Director Jessie Chong and is fully equipped with a central work area, opportunities to fund start-up capital, mentoring and training for budding entrepreneurs.
Taylor’s alumni Julius Ho Joon Tat, who had completed his Bachelor of Computer Science (Honors), had the idea of developing a smart parking solution with Arrivo license plate recognition.
Both Ho and his partner James Lau Jun De shared a passion for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and discovered that parking is a common problem for Malaysian drivers.
Ho said, “We looked into this in depth in a nationwide survey and found that the solution was largely hardware-based, which made maintenance an incredible investment for operations. The AI solution we developed should help optimize operational costs for the business owners.
“Before we turned to BizPod, we had problems finding our business model and product market. The industry was bigger than expected and we didn’t know where to start.
“So we reached out to Jessie, who kindly agreed to be our mentor. Under her leadership, we saw a drastic change in our business growth in just a few months. We had access to potential investors and she helped us share available grants with us to keep our business growing. “
Arrivo was founded in 2019 and intends to start its seed funding round in the second quarter of this year at an estimated value of RM 8 million.
Taylor Business School BizPod Director Jessie Chong.
According to Chong, “a mentor is important because there is someone who will check and balance you with you and act as a sounding board to understand your business and operational thoughts. The guidance they share shortens your learning curve and helps paint a picture of real-world experiences and possible outcomes. “
Currently, BizPod is actively servicing eight different companies, monitoring their progress on a weekly basis and assigning them to different mentors if necessary based on experience and expertise.
There are nine mentors available from different fields, including Vincent Kok from the digital industry, serial entrepreneur and angel investor Kenneth Ho, Dr. Aly aka Stephen Nah is medical and Taylor’s College graduate Datuk James Foo is in business, to name a few.
Chong, speaking from entrepreneurship experience, said that most successful tech titans like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk had mentors to guide them, especially in the early stages of their startups.
“I ventured into the business at the tender age of 18 and went through various risks and obstacles myself in the first three years of my career until I found a mentor. There was a lot to learn and the support of a mentor and friends of entrepreneurs helped me through the toughest of situations. When you’re experiencing turbulence, all you have to do is find that balance, get up and keep moving forward, ”she said.
While there is no one simple formula for success in entrepreneurship, Taylor’s Business School, which founded BizPod, believes the environment plays an important role in enabling the most effective collaboration.
The Bachelor in Entrepreneurship (Team Entrepreneurship) (Honors) course focuses on three core areas, namely the company, the team and the individual.
With this in mind, the leading private business school in Malaysia recently launched its new Bachelor in Entrepreneurship (Team Entrepreneurship) (Honors). The three-year program is the first of its kind in the nation to offer students a supportive ecosystem to get their business ideas off the ground before graduation and help them take that first big leap toward self-employment.
Taylor’s Business School, Head of the School of Management and Marketing Assoc Prof. Dr. Goh See Kwong.
“The Taylor’s Team Entrepreneurship degree was designed with the challenges and obstacles faced by new age entrepreneurs in mind. As an entrepreneur, it’s not just about developing an idea. It’s about strategic thinking, determination, strong management skills and striving to be agile in different circumstances, as the pandemic continues to teach us, ”said Assoc Prof. Dr. Goh See Kwong, director of the Taylor School of Management and Marketing.
The comprehensive approach of creating a solid foundation for a successful journey to entrepreneurship also relies on comprehensive business coaching and mentoring.
The program has worked with business coaches from diverse industries such as logistics, e-commerce, food and beverage, fashion, social enterprises and consulting firms to give students a microscopic insight into what these flows require, where the gaps are in these markets, and what can be done to overcome these obstacles.
Team Entrepreneurship focuses on three core areas, namely the company, the team and the individual. The degree brings start-up ideas to life through an action-oriented coaching approach with business mentors from different backgrounds and learning support from Taylor’s Me.Reka Makerspace.
Working with BizPod and Research and Enterprise, the Triad, along with Taylor’s curriculum framework and life skills modules, produces a Taylor’sphere ecosystem to fuel student intellectual, mental and emotional growth.
The course includes office collaborations via BizPod and seed capital to bring students’ ideas to life through to graduation.
What does success ultimately look like and how is it defined?
According to Chong, there is no definite measurement to determine or define success. A “successful” business is determined by the entrepreneur himself depending on his goals.
“In that sense, a successful company is one where the entrepreneur has done extensive research and is well exposed to what is happening around the world.
“There has to be a problem that you want to and can solve that really makes you feel connected to this matter. Without this conviction, it will be a great challenge for the entrepreneur to be ready to overcome all hurdles. “
Do you have a passion for entrepreneurship? What’s your game plan?
Visit Taylor’s Digital Open Day on March 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th at https://university2.taylors.edu.my/digitalopenday/.
The Taylor Bachelor in Entrepreneurship (Team Entrepreneurship) (Honors) will begin in January, March, and August.
For more information and to download the e-brochure, click here: Team Entrepreneurship.