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IdeaLab 2015: A Startup’s Journey to the Center of the Earth

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By Fazil Irwan

Before you start, you need to ask yourself, am I running a functioning startup with a kickass team? If the answer is yes, then you are eligible for the normal startup pass at USD150. This pass allows 3 people in your startup to come in under one single registration which effectively means USD50 per person. If for some reason you think you can change the world on your own, and you are the only person in the startup, you are eligible for a one-man startup pass at USD70. If delivering social good is your game, then you are eligible for the Social Enterprise preferential rate at USD60, which allows the same 3 people to register under one single registration at USD20 per person. We are not done yet. If you are a student (like the next Mark Zuckerberg in university), wanting to be exposed to the beautiful world of startups, then you are eligible for a basic pass at USD30, allowing you to access most of the features of the IdeaLab. And for some reason, you manage to group up a whole neighborhood, there are handsome group discounts on offer. Minimum 5 registrations gives you USD127 per startup registration (3 people per startup). From 15-24 registrations, you get USD119 on the same terms. And more than 25 registrations, you get USD95 on the same terms.

That’s a whole lot of concessions. But really, why the need to charge? Why can’t all this come for free? Well, for starters, we want you to look at this as an investment, rather than attending a rock concert (which incidentally you need to pay for). This is our way of filtering those who really want to up their game, from those who wants to get freebies. And we believe that we have an awesome product on the table. If we can muster 20 top class investors from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, USA, Japan, India, Turkey, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, and 3 CEOs of the biggest Islamic banks in the region, we are really putting a huge value to your progress as startups. And we really think this is worth your investment.

So now, put fees aside, let’s assume you paid and now you are in. What to expect next? When you register at www.wief.org as a startup, you will notice that we ask a lot of irritating questions. It is quite, but let me tell you, these are crucial data that we need to pitch you in to the investors at the event. They need to know who they are coming for. So please fill those in as best you can.

And why does all this matter? Because all that information goes into our online matching suite, which means you will be available for business matching with other startups and investors attending the event. Those investors and startups who like your profile, can request for a meeting and if you agree, you can book a slot at one of IdeaLab’s Networking Pods during the event to meet with them. It’s that simple.

So what else do you need to look out for? As a startup, you get the chance to be shortlisted to take up booth at the Startup Fair (where you get a table and display your business), and if you are really awesomely outstanding, you get the chance to be among 12 startups, to be given the chance to battle it out live at the IdeaPad Stage, in front of a Panel of Judges comprising investors and industry big boys. The earlier you are in registering, the higher the chance of you getting these.

What if you don’t get to be on both? Our main selling point for this conference, is its business matchmaking potential. Once you register, you are under the prowling eyes of the 20 global investors who are looking for great ideas to invest in, and who can request to meet you at the Networking Pods. And that’s the main reason we organise this conference. But you still get airtime at our Open Mic Elevator Pitch session, spread out throughout the day.

So what else? Let’s move on to the ideation machine. If you want to brush up on startup knowledge and the ecosystem, we have an array of sessions for you to choose from. From discussions, masterclasses to face to face dialogues on topics like “Seed to Serie A – How to Get There?”, “ASEAN Startup Ecosystem” and “How Mobile and Big Data Analytics Can be Game Changers”, it will be a roller-coaster ride to a series of epiphany.

Now what if you are still unsure of your business ideas and whether they can sustain (and you don’t really want to tell the world about it)? Fret not, as we have the IdeaClinic, powered by the likes of Ernst & Young (for normal startup businessy stuff) and Impact Hub (for social enterprise problems). Here, you can take a queue number, and meet the professional consultants on duty, and get advice on your ideas and whether they have a chance at surviving.

When all else is done, we have one more up our sleeves. And that’s the City Mapping Project, trying to be great Malaysian hosts that we are. This is a dress-down touristy part of the event, where we bring participants on a “walking & talking” tour around the center of KL, experiencing things and visiting places where locals go to, like how to ‘pull’ a teh tarik, make a roti canai, taste a durian, chill out at nice local cafes and everything else that makes KL such a super duper awesome place to soak up.

And this marks the end of our journey at the IdeaLab. So with all this awesome things happening this August, you really don’t want to be anywhere else on 11-12 August, do you? I know.

Be there. Register at www.wief.org. Contact said@wief.org and daniel@wief.org.

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