BEAMSTART21 Jan, 2018
Creating and distributing video content in today's world can be a fairly challenging feat. This has not stopped a new up-and-coming media startup in Malaysia from doing what they love.
VSpireLab, a content channel focused on entrepreneurship, has recently been making waves on social media for producing video content focused around entrepreneurship and startups. One of their signature productions is a weekly live interview with founders (and other ecosystem players) in Malaysia.
We recently caught up with the founder, Bryan Chin on his team's journey over the past year and some of the nuggets of wisdom they've gained along the way.
Below is our interview with Bryan:
1) What is VspireLab about and how did you get started? What was the primary driver for starting this whole venture?
VspireLab is a Fb live series where we interview startup founders and business owners. Our guests share their life journey leading to their business venture, their ups and downs, as well as lots of take home advice. We started this venture due to the lack of continuous education in the startup scene.
For example, after one finishes a weekend bootcamp session, there is rarely any other follow up sessions and participants are left hanging thereafter. Through our series, these people get the latest insights on product development, sales & marketing, and also acquiring funding. On a bigger scale, we aspire to inspire all our viewers to become an entrepreneur irregardless of their background.
2) What’s it like starting an entrepreneurship video channel in Malaysia? Was it hard to get started? Share more about the experience.
Unlike other developed nations, Malaysia is still an infant when it comes to entrepreneurship amongst its citizens. The general public is more concerned about the latest movie releases as well as who a celebrity is dating right now.
Initially, we had a hard time getting viewers during our Fb Live sessions. Due to this fact, more established businesses turned us down as we didn’t have much audience reach.
Over the past 6 months however, we have learned new ways to reach a wider audience using short clips edited from our full interviews.
On the other hand, we have guests share pertinent topics to the challenges faced today and how they overcame it. Interesting topics somehow excites everyone.
3) How has the response been so far? You have interviewed many founders and investors, what’re some of the key things you learnt in the process?
Growing from a disappointing viewership in the early stages, we have managed to acquire a sizeable weekly audience over the past 20 episodes on VspireLab.
We have had established Venture Capitalists, seasoned business owners, and social entrepreneurs to share the mistakes they had done during their early stages.
Almost all participants stressed on the importance of persistence and hardwork in achieving your dreams, however some pointed out a few rather peculiar lessons to the viewers.
One of our guests mentioned the importance of building a trustworthy relationship among co-founders while another shared the importance of seeking a mentor in order to accelerate our learning curve. ‘Ideas are cheap, effort is hard to come by’ insisted a seasoned investor.
One of our guests also mentioned about keeping the end goal in sight so that we don’t lose track during our daily business operations.
Similarly, we should share our company vision to our new hires so that they get to gauge if this is the best place for them to contribute to.
4) What’re your key tips for newer founders/startups that are starting out and building a content-driven business?
Unlike software developers who can replicate their services for various customers, content providers need fresh and new content to stay relevant in todays’ market. To achieve this, we have to keep abreast of latest trends in the tech industry as well as the startup scene. For example, since Blockchain (and especially Cryptocurrency) is gaining popularity these past few months, we have approached a few Blockchain developers and Cryptocurrency Investors to join our sharing sessions.
Taking the previous example again, there are numerous other stakeholders such as banks (financial institutions), the Malaysian Central Bank (bank Negara), bitcoin trading marketplace and not forgetting business owners who have started accepting bitcoin as an alternative payment method. The sentiments of these stakeholders need to be addressed just as much to ensure our content covers the entire spectrum of users who in turn become our viewers.
5) What’re some of the biggest obstacles you face in running a startup/business like yours?
6) hat sort of impact do you hope to bring in the long term?
7) You have a very diverse team (Chinese, Indian, & Malay). What’s it like working together?
All 3 cofounders come from different backgrounds varying from scientific research to business management, to sales and marketing. During weekly discussions, everyone seems to come up with unique approaches to solve our challenges. We then try out these ideas and see what works best. Together with that, each of us has our own social network that we can fall back to for assistance and guidance.
As many have noticed VspireLab consists of a Malay, Chinese, and Indian. We think our racial diversity is also our Unique Selling Point since we are able to connect with almost everyone in Malaysia and feel the pain points of the people.
In teams like this, we feel mutual tolerance and acceptance is highly necessary to avoid arguments. During holidays and festivals, we adapt and manage operations with limited resources.
8) What’s next for VspireLab?
Dedicated Malay & Chinese entrepreneurship series in the pipelines with expected roll out as early as February 2018. This is to reach and touch a wider audience.
Few more different vertical channels will be rolled out in the second half.
Whatever the future may bring we shall continue to stick to our tagline ‘aspire2inspire’
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