This story could be the start of an answer to the post below. One of Silicon Valley’s pioneering IT visionaries, Mitch Kapor, has been appointed as an “honorary advisor for innovation and entrepreneurship” to the Malaysian state government of Selangor. In a speech about entrepreneurship highlighting the importance of failure, the open source movement and networking in tech development, he reiterated the need to attract Silicon Valley startups to Malaysia, saying “we really  need to bring them here” and promising that in his advisory role he’d try to make it happen. e27 points out that Singapore has already had a degree of success in convincing companies to make the move, with US startups like Zumodrive and Wikinvest now based in the city-state.

Mitch Kapor’s achievements include being a founding member of Silicon Valley legends the Lotus Development Corporation, the Mozilla Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. One of his more recent startups is the incredibly useful browser bookmark sync utility Xmarks.

Selangor is a state on Malaysia’s west coast that surrounds the federal districts of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, and includes KL International Airport and Cyberjaya.

postscript 5 July: Kapor’s comments on his visit after arriving home: there is no special formula for cultivating startup activity and innovation culture cannot be mandated by policy (though it can be influenced and nudged). Rather, “a willingness to tolerate risk and embrace failure” will produce results.   — via Anwar Ibrahim’s blog

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