Tech Fest 2020 goes on, online


The three-day digital festival, running from Nov 18-20, is being broadcast from Wisma Yeap Chor Ee (pic) in historic George Town, Penang. — CHRIS LIM/The Star

This year’s edition of Tech Fest Live in Penang is being held online as a virtual conference, in light of the ongoing pandemic.

The three-day digital festival, running from Nov 18-20, is being broadcast from Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, in historic George Town, Penang to viewers in 80 countries.

The conference will focus on several key topics including 5G transformation, smart city development, cybersecurity, enterprise growth for startups, plus eSports.

Some 140 global experts including startup founders, policy makers and academicians will be discussing these topics over 180 live sessions.

Shaking up the typical forum-style conversations, the organisers also have a Tech Marketplace, where selected startup founders will pitch their products in a home-shopping talk show format.

Though these talks are happening simultaneously over three virtual stages, participants can later review the ones that caught their interest.

Tech Fest general manager Nurul Asyiqin Nasir said the talks would be on the platform for about a week after the event, while selected clips would also be uploaded to YouTube.

Some Malaysian speakers include Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) CEO Surina Shukri, CyberSecurity Malaysia CEO Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab, Malaysia IoT Association chairman James Lai and 500 Startups managing partner Khailee Ng.

A press release by the organisers stated that more than 2,300 participants and 100 exhibitors had signed up for the event.

Exhibitors would also have virtual booths, connecting with participants using recorded pitch videos, live chat tools and a business-to-business matching tool.

Tech Fest 2020 Live was jointly organised by the National Tech Association (Pikom), MDEC, Invest Penang and the Penang Island City Council.

Originally planned to run in September, the circumstances of the movement control order (MCO) prompted the organisers to hold the event fully online in November instead.

The event was also meant to run alongside the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), though this was also postponed (now to June 2022) in hopes of being done as an offline conference.

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