Datuk Wan Suraya, Secretary General Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED)
Datuk Wan Suraya has over 24 years of experience working across the different divisions in the ministry including International Trade Division, ASEAN, economic affairs, investment policy and trade facilitation, and JUSA A (Strategy & Monitoring). She is also part of the Board of Directors team at TEKUN Nasional, UDA Holdings Bhd and Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Berhad (Bank Rakyat).
Kent Chua, Co-Founder Rhombus Connexion
Rhombus Connexion’s co-founder has successfully evolved the group into an F&B entrepreneur platform—one that boasts 19 brands and 51 outlets across four nations. His proudest achievement is establishing the Happiness Office, which serves as the guiding principle and foundation of the corporation.
Chua, 32, hails from Kuching and is a certified accountant. His journey into entrepreneurship began when he met a colleague who shared his passion for diving. The pair came together to birth ‘The Beer Factory’, which has over 12 branches in Malaysia including Kota Kinabalu.
As one of Malaysia’s fastest growing F&B conglomerate, RCX owns and operates more than 19 brands with over 50 outlets regionally. The Group’s footprints includes Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Myanmar.
In line with its mission to nurture talents and empower entrepreneurs, RCX’s sustainable ecosystem encompasses important pillars that contribute to the overall growth in the F&B industry. These pillars include Education (F+B Academy), Brand and Marketing and Food Production.
RCX completes the ecosystem for its F&B retail and pillars through its Shared Services of Corporate Strategy, Legal, Human Resource, Finance and Technology department. All business units under the Group is entitled to these Services, which plays a vital role in the brand expansion.
RCX’s organic and inorganic growth strategy sees the organisation moving towards greater partnerships with more F&B entrepreneurs as well as replicating its ecosystem regionally.
Mohd Khairul Fidzal, Chief Operating Officer Bioeconomy Corporation
Mohd Khairul Fidzal holds a Bachelor of Economic from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and has 20 years of experience in government, industry and financial institution. He developed his interpersonal and analytical skills with United Overseas Bank (UOB) in 1997 when he was a Business Management Officer.
He joined Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MiGHT) in 2002 and served in various strategic position and department in MiGHT and Group of Subsidiaries. Due to his vast expertise and knowledge in the financial industry, Mohd Khairul Fidzal has been mandated by (MiGHT) to lead the MiGHT Technology Nurturing in order to nurture local entrepreneur and SMEs.
Previously, Mohd Khairul Fidzal was the Private Secretary to the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and the Special Officer in Prime Minister’s Office which enabled him to acquire the most valuable knowledge and experience in liaising with various ministries and government agencies. He took part in formulating important national policies, roadmaps and action plans ie National Innovation Policy, National Biotechnology Policy, Industrialised Building System and Science to Action Program (S2A). He played a vital role in addressing pressing issues such as in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), STI governance, innovation, haze, and disaster risk reduction through his role in the Science Advisor’s Office and as well as in S2A. He also undertook the role in popularising and promoting STI through key national programs namely Angkasawan Program and Pameran Kegemilangan Sains dalam Tamadun Islam (Exhibition of Scientific Excellence in Islamic Civilization) to name a few.
He then headed Malaysia-Korea Technology Centre (MYKOR) to promote the technology transfer and commercialisation of local SMEs to international countries. He further developed his business skills and acumen during his tenure as the Head of KE Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of MiGHT, a knowledge management outfit that he established and built. This strengthened his leadership and business management skills.
Mohd Khairul Fidzal joined Bioeconomy Corporation as the Chief Operating Officer on 1 April 2018.
Christy Ng, Chief Executive Officer & Founder
Christy Ng Shoes
Christy Ng started Christy Ng Shoes in her living room in 2013. Christy Ng shoes are made in Malaysia by a select team of shoe making artisans. Christy has been the top nominee of EY Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2017. She is also the Grand Prize Winner of Alliance Bank BizSmart Challenge. Christy Ng shoes has 6 retail stores nationwide and an e-commerce store which serves a global audience.
Juliana Jan, Chief Investment Officer
Juliana Jan joined Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd in 2004 and is currently the Chief Investment Officer, responsible in managing the company’s latest investment portfolio expansion called Direct Equity 800 (DEQ800) and Co-investment initiative and temporarily holds the position as the Acting CEO of Cradle Seed Ventures (CSV), Cradle’s venture capital arm.
Juliana has an extensive and diverse experience in market research and grant as well as venture capital funding. She has a Bachelors of Science degree in Economics from the Missouri University Science and Technology.
Juliana started as an analyst under the developmental grant (CIP50) team and in early 2009, she headed the developmental grant (CIP Catalyst) evaluation team. Then in 2010, she moved to head the commercialisation grant (CIP500) evaluation team and eventually the entire CIP500 unit. With the evolution of Cradle and the initiation of its equity play, she moved to head the equity team.
Juliana continues to be committed in building and developing strong growth potential startups in the country specifically in early stage through her work in Cradle. She played a major role as part of the working committee in the setting up of the various products in Cradle and the development of processes, such as the CIP Catalyst (developmental funding), CIP500 (seed funding) as well as the Co-investment and DEQ800 initiatives in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
Prior to joining Cradle, Juliana started her career as a market research executive in a technology-funding agency, which provides both grant and venture capital funding, where her industry and market research projects varied from consumer product and biotechnology to other high technology industries. This has given her a strong background in spotting market trends, analysing gaps in the market and identifying market needs.
After two years in the market research division and another year in the CEO’s office, Juliana joined the investment unit in the same organisation as an analyst where she acquired experience in venture capital funding.
With her career experience, Juliana understands the needs of the market and the issues in the funding ecosystem from prototype development in the pre-seed stage, the seed stage, up to the later stage of fund raising.
Juliana is very passionate about helping entrepreneurs and start-ups. The knowledge and know-how she gained prior to joining Cradle and also at Cradle has been invaluable in enabling her to assist Cradle recipients by advising them and sharing information about the market and funding criteria.
Surina Shukri, Chief Executive Officer
MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation)
Surina Shukri brings two decades of experience working across a diverse range of companies including global multinationals, middle market companies and early stage startups across the financial services, natural resources and technology sectors.
She spent the bulk of her professional career in a United States, including seventeen years of experience as an investment banker, strategist and leader at JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest bank in the United States. There she served as Head of Strategy, Innovation & Business Management for Middle Market Banking, Head of Strategy for Commercial Banking, Chief of Staff to the CEO and Executive Director in Natural Resources Investment Banking.
She left JPMorgan Chase in 2018 to start SheNovation Ventures, a transformation and growth venture studio where she advised fintech and blockchain startups on growth strategy and capital raising and consulted business leaders on culture change and transformation.
She graduated from University of Pennsylvania’s Management & Technology dual degree program with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School and Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Systems Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Prior to returning to Malaysia, Surina lived in Manhattan, New York City with her Malaysian husband and three children.
Nim Sivakumaran, Head of Co.
Nim Sivakumaran is the head of The Co, a premium co-working operator in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Nim oversees The Co’s daily operations in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, helping their mission to develop spaces that inspire creativity and growth.
He is a super connector, introducing communities and neighbourhoods together to inspire collaboration. With his experience in developing business leads, sales and brand awareness, Nim has helped The Co become one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing entrepreneurial communities.
Rhonda Wong, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
Ms. Rhonda Wong is the co-founder of Ohmyhome and serves as the Chief Executive Officer. Rhonda’s wealth of experience in the business and the real-estate sector has helped her drive the company to become Singapore’s first one-stop property solution. The platform officially launched in September 2016, and quickly emerged as Singapore’s #1 HDB app in January 2017. Responsible for the overall management of Ohmyhome and driving its growth, Rhonda’s many accomplishments include leading the company to become one of the best start-ups of 2017. Her mission is to simplify housing transactions and provide an enhanced home search experience that saves time and money.
Rhonda graduated with distinction from Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, with majors in Finance, Entrepreneurial, Accounting and a minor in Economics. While in University, she was also awarded the Ohmyhome Realtors Sdn. Bhd Carson Scholarship to study public policy in Washington D.C. Upon graduation, Rhonda joined Nico Trading Chicago and was the only female trader employed at that time.
Rhonda is a founding member of the inaugural Singapore PropTech Association which aims to innovate the traditional real estate industry. Her astute business acumen and passion for property make Rhonda a sought-after mentor at entrepreneurial and proptech events, and she is often invited to speak at schools and business leadership seminars. In March 2017, Rhonda was recognized as Women Icon at the Inaugural Women Icons Summit & Awards. She received the award for her entrepreneurial spirit and efforts to revolutionize the way people buy, sell and rent their homes. Avid in giving back to the community, she has volunteered across the world from Detroit, Chicago, Dominican Republic to Singapore and Myanmar.
Deborah Henry, Co-Founder
Miss Universe Malaysia 2011
Henry started modelling at the age of 15, and moved to London to further her career in the industry after high school. She took a break from modelling not long after that to further her studies, after which she returned to Malaysia and participated in, and won, Miss Malaysia World 2007. In 2011, she was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia. Beyond beauty pageants and TV hosting, Henry is also known for her humanitarian work.
She co-founded Fugee School, a non-profit organisation that provides basic education to refugee children. She recently founded Fugeelah, a social enterprise selling fashion accessories that provides jobs, skills training and income to refugee youth and sustainability for Fugee School.
In 2013, Henry was included in Forbes’ list of top Asian philanthropists. She is also a World Vision’s Child’s Rights Advocate, and was appointed as Louis Vuitton and UNICEF’s local spokespersons alongside Dato’ Nicol David.
YY Lau, Country Head
JLL Property Services (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
Ms. YY serves as the Country Head of JLL Property Services (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. She is responsible for the corporate real estate, research & consultancy and agency/brokerage operation in Malaysia. She is currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Prior to joining the real estate industry, Ms. YY started her career in finance and accounting where she was a Finance Controller with a multinational company (MNC) where she was known for her practical business approach to the financial aspects of any given transaction. In 1993, Ms. YY started her real estate career being attached to a leading global real estate organisation.
She founded YY Property Solutions back in 1995 where she established her tenacious reputation as being one of the top real estate professionals in Malaysia. In 2014, Jones Lang LaSelle acquired a stake in YY Property Solutions. The company has since traded as JLL Property Service (M) Sdn. Bhd. Since then, YY took on the helm to lead all business operations as the Country Head of the Malaysia Office.
Jeffrey Paine, Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Golden Gate Ventures
Jeffrey Paine is a Co-founder and Managing Partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage technology venture capital fund based in Singapore investing in Southeast Asia with over US$175 million under management investing in over 35 companies since 2012.
Jeff started and manages the Founder Institute in Singapore where he is currently overseeing its expansion in Southeast Asia, and Japan. Since 2010 the Founder Institute in Singapore has graduated over 100 companies. He is a recipient of the Founder Institute Director Award 2012 for “Greatest Ecosystem Impact” Worldwide (Singapore).
He is a Singapore native and graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration (Information Systems) from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Shariza Abdullah, Sr. Vice President New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF)
Shariza has over 17 years of working experience in Manufacturing, Construction, Information Technology and entrepreneurship development. For the past 9 years, she has contribute or lead various entrepreneurs and community development program in Malaysia.
She is one of the founding team members for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards, a regional program that celebrates and recognize the best startup across South East Asia since 2015.
Shariza is genuinely mindful in always giving back to the society. She volunteers for the developer community grassroot movement and coding program for schoolgirls.
Currently, Shariza hold the position of Sr. Vice President for New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF) and the Project Director for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards season 2019.
Noor Azmi Mat Said, Chief Executive Officer SME Corporation Malaysia
Azmi Said is currently the Chief Executive Officer of SME Corporation Malaysia. He graduated from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Bachelor of Chemical Engineering with Honors in 1992.
Previously, he was the founder and Principal Consultant of MYDATA Consulting Sendirian Berhad as a chemical engineering-based
techno-commercial strategist and a qualified Business Coach.
He started his career with EXXON MOBIL and had undertaken roles in various projects. He then, joined the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) in 1997 and then left to venture for entrepreneurship.
He had initiated several business start-ups and involved with multiple scale of Small Medium Enterprises (SME).
He also serves as Associates and Subject Matter Expert in a few government agencies related to technology.
Mohamed Abbas, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Rely
Mohamed Abbas is the Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer of Rely. Rely is a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ payment option loved by millennial shoppers. This free service provides the ease and convenience to online shoppers to pay in small bite sized scheduled payments at the point of purchase. Rely has enabled millennials to afford products without immediately paying for them in full. Shoppers select Rely at check out, pay a quarter of the price and receive the product. Retailers receive the full product price upfront. Making products affordable has improved conversion and uplifted revenue for online retailers.
Rely is available for both Debit Card and Credit Card shoppers. Unlike Credit Cards, Rely do not charge compounding interest, annual fees or hefty late fees. Millennial shoppers use Rely as a personal budgeting tool to stay in control of their spending. Growing number of Singaporean and Malaysian retailers have partnered with Rely.
Mohamed Abbas was named by Forbes Asia in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list under the finance and venture capital category. He was also recognised as one of Southeast Asia’s 21 remarkable Fintech Founders Under 35 years by Fintech Singapore. He was awarded the ASEAN Youth Award and Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award in 2019.
Mohamed Abbas graduated from Nanyang Technological University. He was invited to speak at various international events. He volunteers his time in serving the community and developing youths by actively serving with Singapore government agencies including Youth Corps Singapore, National Youth Council, Ministry of Culture community and Youth.
Ai Ching Goh, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder Piktochart
Ai Ching Goh started her professional career with a degree in Experimental Psychology and a media position at P&G. She quickly discovered her entrepreneurial spirit, and transitioned to a startup mindset. Ai Ching co-founded a web app, which turned into Piktochart, a visual storytelling tool that enables people who cannot design to communicate.
As a startup that operates from Penang, but serves over 15 million users globally, Ai Ching has needed to take an unconventional approach to growth. She goes against the grain of what the startup world teaches passionate entrepreneurs in areas including talent management, culture ”pruning” and boostrapping.
Navin Danapal, Director South East Asia MOX (SOSV)
Navin is focused on the South-East Asia market entry of MOX, beginning with the two key primary markets of Singapore and Malaysia, and expanding to Indonesia, Thailand, and Philippines . He builds partnerships and alliances in the region including governments, telecommunications, universities and corporations. He help companies understand the ASEAN landscape and link investors to build better networks. Prior to SOSV, Navin was a senior manager of Microsoft ecosystems in the ASEAN region. He was also an Editor from Singapore Press Holdings tech media, and held a senior role in IDG. Navin has also founded a startup during the 1997 Asian economic crisis, organised a VR hackathon in Beijing with the Chinese government and Coke, and advised a number of Asian aerospace hackathons.
Jian Li Yew, Managing Partner Citrine Capital
Envisioning a world where knowledge, action and capital complement, Jian dedicates her career to the impact sector, a choice that grows from her belief in humanity. Passionate about social, climate and economic advancement, she is the Managing Partner of Citrine Capital and CEO of Social Innovation Movement (SIM). Through these roles, she collaborates with impact partners across sectors and industries to seize opportunities and achieve common goals. Her Bachelors’ Degree is in Biochemistry at the University of Melbourne, and her Masters’ Degree is in International Development at King’s College London.
Stanley Chong, Partner
Ingenious Haus Group
Stanley has more than 25 years of experience in the information technology industry. Over the past 15 years, he has been involved in managing and on advisory role to Tech and Internet companies, playing an active role in coaching, fundraising and overall expansion for these companies. Stanley has personally been investing and coaching tech startups for the past 10 years with organisations such as Cradle, MaGIC, Cyberview Living Lab, Proficeo’s Coach & Grow program, Investor Readiness Program etc. He has been a panel judge for many pitching and fundraising events as well.
Melanie Loh, Founder & CEO Alkalifewater Group
Melanie is the founder and CEO of Alkalifewater Group. She started her career as a corporate banker, specialising in structured trade, contract financing and FX derivatives, managing a portfolio of USD300mil worth of assets. With the long hours of the job and a hectic schedule, she has often had health issues; that was when she was educated about hydration health and the study of water, which has dramatically improved her health.
She founded Alkalife Commercial SB as a brand licensee of Alkalifewater, importing and distribution of alkaline water ionizers and dispensers; targeting corporate market in 2014, has since grown organically and subsequently opened up a second branch in Johor. In 2018, Melanie and her seed investor acquired the primary brand owner, which has 20 years of track record in Malaysia; its subsidiaries and all assets; now catering to both household, retail and wholesale market. The group has since grown to 5 branches in Malaysia, 1 in Indonesia and another in Mauritius, and has clients globally across a span of 17 countries.
In 2019, the group was partially acquired by a Conglomerate. Melanie will still remain as the CEO of the group. With the strategic convergence of resources and leveraging on the infrastructure of new partners, her vision for the group is of global expansion, introducing a new beauty line of products as well as moving into manufacturing iOT based household appliances. She is also currently building a second business in tech.
Jazz Tan, CEO & Founder
Jazz Tan is the CEO and founder of YouthsToday.com. Award winner of Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia, Top 40 under 40 Prestige magazine and the Best ICT in ASEAN region. Founder of the largest youth online engagement platform in Malaysia, Jazz is a social entrepreneur, strategist and an inspirational figure to set course and help young people to thrive at their fullest potential.
Over the years as an entrepreneur, Jazz has successfully launched over 3000 youth development projects across the country and inspired more than 500,000 youths in Malaysia. Looking at the current growth and rate that the platform is growing, Jazz strives to move forward with global expansion and gathering more like-minded entrepreneurs, NGOs and communities to embark on a journey of nation building with the youths.
Jazz believes youths are the backbone of every country’s economy, growth and future that will create revolutions and solutions to both the community and the people at large.
Jazz’s mission and vision would be expanding to the global region and form strong partnerships with all stakeholders of countries and leaders to create positive change to the society.
Norhayati Saad, CEO & Managing Director Proliv Life Sciences Sdn Bhd
Norhayati graduated in architecture from University of Sheffield UK in 1991 followed by the BSc in architecture from USM in 1995. After graduation, she spent many years in the field of architecture and was instrumental in the setting up and management of Arkitek Punca Cipta, now an established architectural practice based in Kuala Terengganu with branch office in Kuala Lumpur. Norhayati’s involvement in traditional medicine began with her interest in the field of herbal products and natural skin care. Proliv Life Science was established to realize her quest to see traditional medicine on a level par with the better known modern medicines. As the CEO of the company, Norhayati oversees the manufacture of the essential oil, beauty and bodycare products.
Mandy Leong, Managing Director
A STPM graduate Mandy Leong, managing director of local, homegrown cosmetic producer Chriszen Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
Mandy started selling beauty products in school while in Form 6. Within months, business was doing so well that she decided to expand her business in a night market to increase sales. That led to a beauty products distribution business and the eventual establishment of Chriszen. Today, Chriszen carries various beauty products including color cosmetics, skincare and personal care products.
She was named the grand prize winner of Bizsmart Challenge 2018 during a televised event. Bizsmart Challenge is a business reality television programme organised by Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd in collaboration with Eco World Development Group Bhd. She won RM250,000 cash while Chriszen also clinched the Astro Media Award worth RM200,000.
Furthermore, Mandy aims to expand the business internationally within Southeast Asia in the next 5 years by increasing product ranges and revenue streams. In merely 5 years, Chriszen has established a large base of strong loyal muslim consumers via ATL and BTL campaigns. A total of 420k followers on the social media platforms.
She also developed an exceptional business model including launching innovative products with impactful packaging, impressive product quality and unique marketing activities. New capital is always raised by few methods to scale the business by stabilising the operation and good financial control.
Today, Chriszen products has been distributed nationwide in 1174 point of sales among the main streams of retail channels with 104 sku of products. New range of products is launched monthly to maintain the standard product life cycle.
Nina Yassin, Director, Human Capital, Ekuiti Nasional Berhad
As Director, Human Capital in Ekuinas, Nina is responsible for the management and monitoring of the HR & Admin functions for Ekuinas and all the HR-related initiatives for all the Portfolio/Investment Companies under Ekuinas. She regularly engages with the CEO, Management Team of Ekuinas and its portfolio companies as well as the Heads of HR to identify, advise, and execute operational and strategic HR and Leadership priorities.
Prior to joining Ekuinas, Nina was the HR Director for Dutch Lady Malaysia & Singapore. Before joining the world of corporate HR, Nina spent over 9 years in consulting with Accenture, Aon Hewitt and Towers Watson.
Nina has a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Organizational Studies and Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.