Efforts are ongoing to develop solutions and applications for Cyberjaya, writes Izwan Ismail
SOMETHING is brewing at Cyberview’s collaborative workspace CoInnov8, a huge open space in the Cyberview building in Cyberjaya. Five young and aspiring Malaysian start-ups are working on financial technology (FinTech) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and applications that soon will help turn Cyberjaya into a complete smart city.
They are part of Cyberview’s 4th Living Lab Accelerator Programme, created to give the best platforms for innovative minds to realise their projects and turn them into usable products that will make living in a smart city more meaningful.
But what do FinTech and IoT applications have to do with smart city development?
According to Cyberview, smart infrastructure is just one of the elements of a smart city.
The caretaker of the city’s smart city implementation says there need to be other elements to make a city like Cyberjaya truly smart, such as the inclusion initiatives on Smart Environment, Smart Economy and Smart Social. The Living Lab Accelerator Programme is part of this.
The five start-ups comprise FinTech players Billplz, CurrenSeek, Otomate Me and PrimeKeeper and IoT solutions provider TrackerHero.
The 4th Cyberview Living Lab Accelerator Programme is organised with Finnext Capital, an innovation enabler consulting firm which provides professional advisory to both corporations and start-ups.
SPACE FOR INNOVATIVE MINDS
The 4th Living Lab Accelerator Programme started in November last year.
“Working primarily out of our collaborative workspace CoInnov8, these startups were given access to a host of resources that they need to innovate and commercialise their products successfully,” says Cyberview Sdn Bhd’s managing director Datuk Faris Yahaya.
“This is a large part of what Cyberview is doing to drive Cyberjaya’s positioning as a Living Lab for tech and smart city solutions. In the next step of our Living Lab programme, these startups will now be given the opportunity to pilot and validate their ideas in Cyberjaya,” he says.
“This is a unique proposition of our Living Lab initiative because these startups can test and tweak their ideas based on a real life setting. Only then can they identify the actual pain points to their creations and address them directly,” adds Faris.
The selected startups were provided with resources, facilities and other assistance valued at RM50,000 each. These resources included mentorship in marketing, legal, IT and fundraising as well as leveraging on a network of investors, mentors and entrepreneurs. More crucial perhaps to the startups was the guidance from the City Innovation Council (CIC). CIC is a body led by Cyberview comprising the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, Setia Haruman and the Sepang Municipal Council.
According to Faris, CIC’s role is to essentially guide the smooth implementation of Cyberjaya Smart City Projects, including the solutions developed in our 4th Living Lab Accelerator Programme.
“By identifying emerging challenges and strategic opportunities for the city, the CIC ensures that solutions are aimed at solving real problems for people,” he says.
WHOLLY SMART CITY
Cyberview’s head of technology hub development division Mahadhir Aziz says infrastructure is just one of the pillars of the smart city.
He says Cyberview, over the years, has initiated initiatives, infrastructure wise, to make Cyberjaya a smart city. These include the smart traffic light project, the Cyberjaya Green Mosque and the LoRa network installment.
LoRa is a low power, long range wide area network (LPWAN) technology that is designed to meet the demands of today’s Internet of Things (IoT) applications and services.
“The Cyberjaya Smart Traffic Lights is the first project under the purview of Cyberview’s Smart City Infrastructure focus, but infrastructure itself will not make a city smart, hence the inclusion initiatives on Smart Environment, Smart Economy and Smart Social,” he says recently.
Cyberview has spearheaded the continued development of the city under its Smart City and Living Lab initiatives, the development pillars designed to increase its operational efficiency, improve the quality of life for the people of Cyberjaya and contribute to growing the local economy.
“The start-ups are doing solutions from a co-op community platform for young families seeking affordable baby products, to a mobile app that will point you to the best currency exchange rates anywhere in the world,” he says.
APPS FOR PEOPLE
One of the start-ups is also working on applications for a cashless society in a partnership with MaGic and MasterCard which is expected to be launched in May.
“Currently, we are looking at 20 retailers in Cyberjaya to use the app and QR code to make payments,” he says. “MasterCard will provide application protocol interfaces (APIs) to the start-ups to create solutions that can create products out of it,” he adds.
What Cyberview is giving the start-ups which they may not get elsewhere is the ability to test or do pilot run on their solutions in Cyberjaya itself. “The programme goes on to pilot stage where we provide an avenue for the start-ups to test their products in real-life environment,” says Mahadhir. “For example, for home security solution, we have a development project where they can test their solutions. The same goes to FinTech solutions as well.”
The start-ups are expected to roll out their products soon as they have five to six months for their project until the pilot stage.
Mahadhir says at the end of the day, the aim is to make smart cities like Cyberjaya a lovable city to live in.
Today, there are 120,000 people working in Cyberjaya, but its residents are around 40,000. However, residential units are being developed to cater to 500,000 residents by 2035.
THE FIVE START-UPS
1. Billplz is a software for merchants to collect payments fastest, at the lowest cost possible. The software focus on providing merchants with four services: Billing, Payment Form, Mass Payments and API. (www.billplz.com).
2. CurrenSeek is an app for money changers to advertise their locations and rates so that travellers can save time and money exchanging currency. (www.currenseek.com).
3. Otomate Me is a platform which integrates behavioral science and technology to help families otomate (read: ‘automate’) their daily fast-moving needs. Upon identifying their unique use patterns, Otomate Me can predict and schedule upcoming orders which are due and fulfil them in a timely manner. (www.otomateme.com).
4. PrimeKeeper is a local FinTech start-up focused on developing micro mobile payment services. Partnering with banks, PrimeKeeper integrates financial, enquiry and payment services into a single sign-on platform. PrimeKeeper sets out to solve a fundamental problem in the payment space - a gap in electronic payments for micro and small enterprises. (www.primekeeper.my)
5. TrackerHero (formerly known as UltracK) is a fully-integrated advanced security and building management platform for both commercial and residential estates. The platform are merged into one easy-to-use platform with a suite of security guard and visitor management, resident management modules and automated financial management solutions. (https://trackerhero.com)