Date: 14 February 2017
Technopreneur Lilyana Abdul Latiff held a talk titled “What it takes to be a software entrepreneur” at Sungai Long Campus on 14 February 2017. She shared some of her experiences on leveraging technology in entrepreneurship.
Speaking to students largely from the Software Engineering programme, Lilyana advised them to learn new skills besides their technical knowledge. “Building a product such as an app or a website not only depends on programming languages or codes, it also requires you to understand design aspects such as colour and aesthetics,” she said.
Lilyana credited her studies in business administration for helping her to successfully manage her first startup. “Studying business admin has been the best choice I’ve made. It helped me to manage my finances, market my products, and run my business,” she said.
However, her journey as an entrepreneur has been no bed of roses. Lilyana shared some bad decisions she and her partners made for Joota, a social networking site similar to Pinterest. “We exhausted our funding on R&D, an expensive office in KL, paid ourselves high salaries, and did little on marketing,” she said.
She also advised students to reflect on and learn from past mistakes. “Looking back, if we spent more time on marketing, and stationed ourselves in the United States, Joota could have been a success story,” she continued.
Lastly, she advised students to develop an entrepreneurial spirit no matter where they work. “The entrepreneurial spirit is a mindset, attitude and approach that actively seeks out change; it’s a mindset that embraces critical questioning, innovation, service and continuous improvement.”
Lilyana Abdul Latiff is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Aelph One, CEO of New Entrepreneurs Foundation of Malaysia (MyNEF), Co-Founder of Joobii Commerce, Chairperson of ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards and “Chief Technology Officer (CTO)-For-Hire” for several tech-based startups.
Her career has carried her through diverse industries such as education, media, advertising, business consulting, product development, and event management. Her clients include Petronas, Khazanah Nasional, Maybank, Bridgestone, and more.
This talk was jointly organised by the Department of Consultancy and Commercialisation (DCC) and Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science’s (LKC FES) Department of Internet Engineering and Computer Science.