By Kamarul Yunus
SOME 500 delegates to the upcoming Asian Business Angel Forum (ABAF) 2012 will get Android tablet PCs
containing programme and presentation hand-outs instead of the conventional paper folders.
According to ABAF 2012 co-chairman Johnathan Lee, this would be the first conference that distributes tablets to participants instead of the usual thick folders.
“We are going towards a paperless conference by giving tablets to all paying delegates because the last thing you want if delegates, especially international ones travelling from the US or UK to attend conference here are to be given a folder of 200 or 300 pages.
“Our conference is unique in the sense that we are also showcasing Malaysian-led technology,” he told Business Times in an interview here recently.
Lee was referring to the locally made tablets, produced by a Penang-based company, Hybrinix Technology Sdn Bhd.
Priced between RM1,000 and RM1,400 a unit, the tablet, under the brand-name Ruvo is currently not available in the local market. However, they have already made headway overseas and are used by multinational companies.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been invited to officiate at ABAF 2012, to be held between May 23 and 25.
Najib will deliver a keynote address at the forum, which will also see participation from key representatives from numerous government agencies and local financial institutions.
Lee said other successful Malaysian technology companies will also showcase their products and services at the event such as MyEG Services Bhd, South Paw Sdn Bhd and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd.
The forum, to be held in Malaysia for the first time, is expected to be the largest so far.
He said less than 300 delegates attended the inaugural ABAF held in Singapore in 2010 as well as last year’s event in Shanghai.
“We are hoping to push the bar higher in Malaysia, we try to invite and attract a much higher 500 delegates,” Lee said, adding the organiser expects about 300 delegates to be locals, and the remaining 200 will either be regional or international investors.
He said ABAF 2012 will also see 30 top business leaders, revolutionary angel investors, policy making venture capitalists and proven start-up specialists from across the world to dialogue, address and train 500 of Asia’s top entrepreneurs and angel investors.
The event is jointly organised by Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, an agency under the Ministry of Finance and the Virtuous Investment Cradle, an independent not-for-profit angel investment group.
“Angel investment is key to helping grow and maintain a healthy start-up and small- and medium-sized business environment,” said Lee, who is also vice-president of commercialisation and ventures at Cradle.
He said ABAF offers entrepreneurs the first of its kind programme where they will get to meet, mingle, learn from
and pitch to angel investors from around Asia as well as venture capital organisations from around the world.
The organisers expect to showcase 25 cream of the crop start-up companies, with majority from Ma-laysia.
“Start-up companies, including from the region are encouraged to submit their proposals to us,” he said, adding that the forum offers opportunity for the delegates to choose from the best of the best to invest.
Speakers at the forum include Anthony Clarke, a leading European angel investor, venture capitalist and advisor to the British Prime Minister David Cameron; Brigitte Baumann, EBAN (European trade association for business angels, seed funds and other early stage market players) president; Patrick Riley, TechStars director of business development; Dr Wong Poh Kam, a professor at National University of Singapore’s business school; and Allan May, chairman of Kauffman Foundation’s Angel Capital Education Foundation.
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