Aims to catalyse startup scene in Penang to unleash great talent there
Weekly Tuesday meet-ups latest in regular events joining those by TE4P
THIS is shaping up to be a good year for infographic startup Piktochart.com, which is on a mission to make information beautiful. It has crossed RM1 million (US$308,000) in revenue and is racing towards its next target.
In a February interview with Digital News Asia (DNA), cofounder Goh Ai-Ching (pic) spelt out the game plan for 2013 – what’s interesting is that she is not just looking to make a financial impact, important as that is.
While not yet at the success level she envisions, Goh nonetheless feels a keen sense of responsibility to contribute back to the startup community in the northern Malaysian state of Penang, where Piktochart is based.
Last month, Piktochart started organising specific meet-ups every Tuesday. “They are designed for those who are interested in startups (web and mobile),” she says.
Watch this video for more on what each meet-up involves.
All this in the hopes of inspiring others to launch their startups, with Piktochart playing whatever role it can to assist them.
Goh tells DNA that this desire to contribute back was inspired by her brief experience in Silicon Valley back in July 2012, as one of the five winners of the Silicon Valley Comes 2 Malaysia conference.
Her month spent there opened her eyes and gave her a glimpse of what made the Valley such a fertile ground for launching successful startups, she says.
Key among the intangible factors was the spirit of generosity and helping hand that was extended by successful individuals and companies in the Silicon Valley to those starting out.
‘Pay it Forward’ is the catchphrase used there, and this is how Goh describes her small efforts to catalyse the startup ecosystem in Penang too.
One of the things she keenly wants to do is to add more depth to the meet-ups that are held. While she lauds events with topics such as “How to Grow a Great Startup,” they do very little to help founders when they are in the trenches with sleeves rolled up and bullets whizzing overhead, she says.
Piktochart has also started sponsoring events in the state, with BarCamp Penang being the most recent. Goh says the bar (pun intended) has definitely been raised with a better venue and a large team of volunteers organising it, but feels the quality of speakers and sessions needs to get a lot better.
“For sure, it inspired participants and Penang really needs more events like this,” she concedes.
That is beginning to happen. Besides Piktochart's weekly Tuesday meetings, Tech Events 4 Penang (TE4P), led by Curry Khoo, is organising weekly Google Business Groups meet-ups and there are more being planned.
“We want the local startup community to grow. Penang has great talent and a lot of potential,” says Goh.
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