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Lim Feng, as CEO of START Malaysia, has been actively building the local startup ecosystem in Johor Bahru for years. Previously known as Startup Johor, the community organization has now merged with START Mongolia to form START Malaysia. Let’s hear from Feng the evolution of this community, as well as his tips for the other community builders out there.

START Malaysia, Gateway of Global Expansion

According to Feng, START Malaysia is an evolution of their vision from focusing on helping Johor entrepreneurs succeed to expanding it across Malaysia. The next step is to help them in global expansion, expanding across South East Asia, or even to Central Asia through their Mongolia counterpart network. They expect to engage deeper into corporate innovation program, help corporates in digital and cultural transformation, help them to work with startups, provide startups with the platform to actually grow with their support, provide access to funding, give training to talents to fill in the gaps in startup industry.

With this merger, they bring the synergy, expertise and know-how from both ecosystems to help startups grow even faster than what they can currently do.

Community is King, Do Not Forget to Give Credits

Being recognized as one of the outstanding community builders, Feng humbly shared that they are not the community builder if there are no community members who are backing them up. The only reason they are community builder is because of the group of people who decide that this guy is the person and they agree on what he is trying to achieve building the community. “The community makes you who you are”, he expressed.

There are two main points Feng indicated to be a good community builder.

First, Community is King.

Community builders need to provide value as they do not own the community. The community members come and go and the only reason why they stay / belong is because the community builder provides values that help them and do things that impact them positively. There is a lot of things that people might not want to do, do not have time to do, or do not care enough to do, but that is important enough.

Second, Giving Credits.

Feng shared, “A lot of times, it seems like we did a lot of things but our main role is really about connecting people around. Most of the time, it is the people who get connected who did most of the work. So the important thing is to always remember to give credits to people who actually come forward to help you. There is no reason why mentors or successful founders would volunteer their time and just come out to help you out of nowhere.

We always tell the people that we appreciate their help – it is actually not us, it is the community who is doing the heavy lifting. That is one of the very important things that we uphold in our team. ”

Should I Do It? Two Questions to Ponder

Being a Generation Y himself, it is impressive to see how Feng has contributed to the local community and even the country as a whole. When being asked his secret of success, he said:

“If you really believe in something, you know that you can do it, you have to really put in all the effort.”

There are two questions he always asks himself.

First, “If I do not do it now, will I regret not making this decision, 5 years later?

Second, “What do I have to lose?

A lot of time, we will get a better answer on what we want to do next after asking these two questions.

If you would like to see Lim Feng in person in our events, or understand more about how E3 Hubs can help you as an entrepreneur, kindly enquire here or sign up to be a member. E3 Hubs is building an ecosystem where the entrepreneurs can support each other through business support, market access and funding access. We look forward to work with you in your venture, with the backup from our community.