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Thursday, June 10, 2010

i-City aims to produce global technopreneurs

Malaysia can be the next launch pad for a pool of world talented technopreneurs and have its own Silicon Valley success stories with i-City's new status as a technopreneur campus.

I-Berhad, developer of the RM2 billion i-City project in Shah Alam, Selangor, obtained approval from the government in May to turn the project into a technopreneur campus. It thus has potential to attract talents not only from Malaysia, but also from across the region.

i-City, which is now 20 per cent completed, is a 29ha project that boasts broadband speed of 20Mbps, with a fibre-optic network and a back-up power supply.

I-Berhad deputy chairman and controlling shareholder Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong said under the technopreneur campus concept, i-City will be a "gated but open" international zone.

"This zoning is in recognition of i-City as both a knowledge hub as well as a night tourism destination that will be a catalyst in the transformation of Shah Alam into a vibrant city," he said.
Apart from having a technologically-advanced state-of-the-art infrastructure, Lim said i-City also focuses on other elements of the Silicon Valley-like ecosystem.

This includes developing the entrepreneurial talent pool, organising programmes to connect entrepreneurs and technopreneurs with venture capital partners and getting universities to play a higher level of support for industries.

"They (technopreneurs) have the business model and technology but may not be relevant in this market. We try to match them with venture capitalists," he told Business Times in Shah Alam, Selangor, recently.

Lim, an old hand in Malaysia's corporate sector, said the technopreneur campus concept has its roots in the campuses of many of the world's leading knowledge companies such as Google campus and Microsoft campus.

He said these campuses are enclaves where the offices and supporting facilities of these companies are located.

Lim said for i-City, the technopreneur campus status is seen as a formal recognition of what is already in place.

"The approval also included a number of programmes and activities that will enhance the value of the development such as cultural and night tourism activities, a boutique hotel, an Islamic financial hub and plug-and-play technopreneur development centre," he said.

I-Berhad expects to complete other developments such as the Cybercentre office suites during the second phase, which is expected to kick off by year-end.

It also plans to build office towers and a one million-sq ft shopping mall in future phases.

By Business Times

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