Chris Leong

Disoriented views from the rosy lens of an optimistic realist.

Category: Entrepreneur & Business

Budgeting for Cradle pre-seed grant

I’ve been meaning to write more about the entrepreneur scene in Malaysia, but I just can’t seems to find the time to do that. But I would like to share with any budding entrepreneurs that wants to apply for the Cradle pre-seed grant a useful budget spreadsheet.

Cradle Budget

Like any grants, Cradle’s pre-seed grant has rules on what you are allow to spend on. Based on the guidelines for the allowable expenses in Cradle’s website, I’ve devised a template to assist entrepreneurs to plan their expenditure. It is based on the allowable expenses stated by Cradle in their website.

Documentation on the allowable expenses by Cradle (As of 19 March 2010)

Download the Cradle pre-seed budget template.

P.S: Do feedback to me if you find any bugs in the template.

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Enabling Your Business Ideas With Grants – Cradle Funds

Quite some time back, I wrote about some resources that Malaysian entrepreneur can check out to get their idea started. Cradle Funds had just launched its new commercialisation grant (RM 500k) to assist entrepreneurs in their ventures. Cradle has 2 grants, one for product development and one for commercialisation. With these 2 funds, Cradle had helped fill some of the gap in the funding ecosystem in Malaysia.

Cradle Funding Ecosystem

From what i understand, Cradle is keen to fund ideas/business that has technological innovation + potential to make money.So entrepreneurs “want-to-be”, check out the Cradle website to see how you can tap into it to kick start your ideas

Product Development Grants (CIP 150)

Cradle _TiE_A4

Commercialisation Grant (CIP500)

Cradle _TiE_A4

Is Friendster better off with MOL?

mol friendster_logo_detail

In the last post, i had talked about losing mind share in US. However, Friendster is still very strong in Asia, especially in Malaysia and Philippines. Friendster is the #11 site in Malaysia and #6 in Philippines (Facebook is the #1 in both countries). However they have been losing market share for a long time (Friendster used to be the top site in Malaysia)

So the key question now is, Is Friendster better off with MOL than on their own?

The answer is YES for me on paper. Here are some reasons:

  1. Friendster can only survive by being a niche social media player.  Friendster is strong in Asia but they are still an American company (Australian CEO). So fundamentally, their insights on being a niche Asian Social Media player is limited. Therefore MOL will be able to provide these insights (Especially with Malaysia as one of their strong market)
  2. MOL is strong in Berjaya Group (Majority owner of MOL) has many B2C businesses like U-Mobile, Hotels and its many F&B Franchise business (Kenny Rogers, Wendy’s ETC. Avenues of monetising Friendster can be easier.
  3. With MOL already strong in Micro-Transaction, they would have the experience to monetize Friendster’s users. MOL and Friendster shared the same target market.

However, MOL is facing an uphill task. They need to settle down quick. Here are some of my key worries.

  1. MOL’s strategy of using Micro Transaction, Social Games and Music make sense but execution might be difficult as MOL has no prior experience managing a Web 2.0 company. Can MOL afford to make any rookie mistakes? Can they effectively manage cross culturally?
  2. Does Berjaya have the vision to stay with Friendster for the long run? Berjaya’s track record with MITV is not exactly fantastic. Will they see enough value in Friendster to invest more money if the goings get tough?

Friendster is losing mind share in the US – Try searching Friendster in Amazon

friendster_logo_detail large_flag_of_malaysia

Friendster is now Malaysian. Malaysia’s MOL has just bought Friendster a couple of weeks back for an undisclosed sum. It was rumored to be at the region of USD 26 million, a large sum of money considering the fact that they have been losing share and mindshare to Facebook. While I am happy that Malaysia finally have a global Web 2.0 company, I am skeptical on how Friendster can stay relevant in the Social Media sphere with the Goliath Facebook gaining market share day by day.

That skepticism was magnified when I tried looking for some books about Friendster in Amazon. The top 2 books that I found are Woman Loving Woman and Threesomes, Friendster has lost so much mindshare that it is even not featured in Amazon’s search engine . Not even one Friendster book is featured in the first 3 pages!

Friendster in Amazon

I hope Friendster’s 3 prong strategy on Microtransaction, Music and Social Gaming works. Or else, it will be a very expensive lesson for MOL.

All the best Friendster!! I agree with GreyReview, you need a fair dose of luck, lots of it!

Updated: In a different post, I mentioned that  Friendster is better off with MOL than on its own. Berjaya offer so much more value for Friendster to make money. I’m still skeptical, but I will be very happy if MOL can turn around Friendster. It will definitely improve Malaysia’s brand..

Porter 5 Forces – Swiss Knife of Strategy

Although, this post is not about technology but I always believe in sharing information and knowledge. Recently in my MBA program, i was asked to write about a theory which I find most useful in strategy. So here i will be sharing some of my views about a popular theory called Porter 5 Forces.

 

Here’s a brief intro about Porter 5 forces for those who don’t know. (Reference from Wikipedia.)

Porter’s five forces analysis is a framework for the industry analysis and business strategy development developed by Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School in 1979 . It uses concepts developed in Industrial Organization (IO) economics to derive five forces which determine the competitive intensity and therefore attractiveness of a market. Attractiveness in this context refers to the overall industry profitability. An "unattractive" industry is one where the combination of forces acts to drive down overall profitability. A very unattractive industry would be one approaching "pure competition".

In the assignment, I review how Porter 5 forces is useful in many ways and can be combined with multiple theories. It basically provides a good platform for people to view the “market” at different angles. It allows you to analyze:

  • Whether a firm should go upstream or downstream in integrating its operations
  • It’s competitors from various angles

This can be used as basis to decide what kind of strategy to be implemented.

Get the attachment about My Eureka Moments about Porter 5 Forces 

P.S

For those who wants to use my material feel free to do so. Just reference it back to my blog 🙂

National IP day Happening on 23rd – 26th April @ KLCC

I did not realized that there is a National IP day in Malaysia. Pardon my ignorance ya. Here’s some information about the event.

Each year, 26 April marks the day we celebrate National Intellectual Property Day. The IP Day offers an ideal opportunity to inform, educate and promote the importance of intellectual property (IP) as a tool for economic, social and cultural development.

IP represents the product of our mind or intellect. However, without encouragement, many great innovations might have remained merely ideas.

Therefore, join us in strengthening our IP awareness efforts by participating in all our events

There is also an invention competition for students. Check it out, you might stand a chance to win RM5k for your efforts

Check out the National IP day Invention Competition