We are excited to kick off the year with our first main event in conjunction with International women’s Day. From our previous Accelerating Ventures event, we took on the stage this year on the championing inclusivity and diversity in the venture capital industry. With so many distinguished guests, influencers and partners in the room, we explored strategies to dismantle patriarchy and bridge the gender gap for women.
Amongst all the ventures and startups that MAVCAP has supported, many of these ventures are led by women and with women as founders or co-founders, but this is not enough, we would need more women led startups in tech. These ventures are based purely on the capabilities and potential of their businesses. MAVCAP is very proud to have backed these great businesses together with its VC partners such as Vynn Capital, Intres, 500 and Gobi partners to name a few.
Diversity and inclusivity are becoming the new norm by many venture capital firms in Malaysia and MAVCAP is proud to be associated with 500 which has pledged to invest in at least 25% women-led companies in Southeast Asia and Gobi Partners, which has made Investing in women founders as a key pillar in its strategy. Gobi is committed and has been an advocate for women entrepreneurs and to provide programmes to increase women’s entrepreneurial and digital skills.
As the world is prioritising on the impact and importance of ESG, empowering women is extremely necessary for bringing gender equality. As such, the agenda focused on bridging the gender gap in the digital world and looking into how far we have come in levelling up the playing field. We have today, prominent speakers who are championing women in technology to discuss on the ways and strategies for us to embrace better diversity and inclusivity.
The event started with Miss Yuki Aizawa the Country Director, Malaysia Chapter of Women in Tech Global Movement that provided an insight of how far we have come in terms of levelling up the playing field and the potential of women in the digital world. This was followed by a panel session comprising of powerful women leaders who have created the space for leadership in their industry, men who help break the biases and give opportunity for women and men to benefit from a more balanced power dynamic. Moderated by Tunku Alizakri Tun Raja Muhammad Alias, Chairman of MAVCAP, the discussion on “Does Gender Matter in the Digital World” was joined by Juliette Zhu, President and CFO of Carsome; Cindy Chow, Executive Director of Alibaba Entrepreneur Fund; Salmah Bee Mydin, Executive Director of Market Development, Securities Commission; Thomas Tsao, Co-Founder of Gobi Partners; and Ashwad Ismail, VP and Editor of Astro Awani.
The discussion navigated towards understanding the current state of gender equality in the digital world and offer strategies and solutions for promoting greater equity and inclusion.
MAVCAP chief operating officer Noor Amy Ismail said the lack of women representation in the digital sector was a pressing issue. The lack of data and statistics had proven to be the hindrance to address the bigger issue of awareness and exposure among women entrepreneurs in the sector, she added. “Many are not aware of VC funding and when it comes to women empowerment in the digital sector particularly, there is only one per cent of women-led startups from the total VC funding. There must be a push for greater transparency and accountability in the VC industry, with more equitable distribution of funding,” Amy said. She said venture capitalists must create more conversations around VC funding to increase the diversity of startup companies.
The event was also graced by representatives from MOSTI, MOF, influencers Tiara Jacquelina and Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir to name a few. The event was supported by Astro Awani as the official media partner, Women In Tech as the community partner and Gobi Partners for its generosity in sponsoring this event.