A town within the city of George Town, Bayan Lepas sits in the Southwest Penang Island District and according to urban legend was founded in the late 19th Century by a wealthy family from Sumatra. The story goes that when they came on to the shore, their pet parakeet escaped hence the town's name, which translates to "escaped parakeet" in Malay. Surrounded by sprawling residential enclaves such as Bayan Baru, Sungai Ara and Batu Maung, Bayan Lepas, it's home to the Penang International Airport and a Free Industrial Zone dubbed the "Silicon Valley of the East" due to its size. Here you will find numerous multinational electronic and engineering firms such as Bosch, Intel, Dell and Hewlett-Packard that have set up assembly plants and factories. Considering the town is a business processing outsourcing hub, investments have included a Multimedia Super Corridor infrastructure as SUNTECH Tower and now coworking venues have popped up about the town for its tech savvy locals.
There are 3 main hubs for tech/startup gurus in Malaysia, that of Kuala Lumpur and Penang with Johor silently bubbling away. The city has an entrepreneurial culture that is transparent with work colleagues mingling friendship with creativity and a generous attitude when it comes to sharing of ideas and knowledge. Startups are scattered throughout the area with many locals wishing to start something of their own.
Malaysian entrepreneurship is very much alive and there have been a few extremely successful startups such as Grab, Jobstreet, MOL and Airasia to come out of the country. With this in mind, it's little wonder that coworking venues are hives of activity and collaboration.
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