Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Critical Success Factors of Technopreneurship in animation ventures - with my daughter


Hanis Syazwani Kamarudin
 Cert. Multimedia, Dip Multimedia [SAE London], BA Hons. Multimedia Production [Middlesex Univ, London] Master of Management [Technopreneurship] [UniKL]
Graduate of UniKL Business School, Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
Kamarudin Mohd Nor, DSDK
BSc  Hons. HBP [USM], MSc Construction Management [Heriot-Watt], PhD Architecture [Wales], FRISM, FRICS, MBEng, MCIArb
Deputy Rector [Academic] ASWARA

This study looks into the factors influencing the success of technopreneurship in the animation industry within the creative industries. It focuses on the animation ventures in Malaysia. The success factors have not been studied before. As such this study sets to fill in the gap in this field of knowledge.
The development of the creative industries is encouraging due to firstly the creation of job opportunities. Secondly, it is fast becoming an income generator for a nation’s economy
The Malaysian creative industries have shown great potential as an important sector for the nation’s economy. The popularity of the industry has encouraged entrepreneurs to participate in it.
Content quality in animation is identified as the most important factor in the survey.  Malaysia needs creative and innovative professionals who specialise in story writing for the animation industry to be competitive globally.

Talent pool should be an equally important factor but somehow placed fifth in the survey. A number of more experienced animation technopreneurs agreed that talent pool is a problem that needs to be addressed
Keywords:  Critical Success Factors, technopreneurship, creative industries, animation ventures, content quality, talent pool.

This study explores the factors influencing the success of technopreneurship in the creative industries. It focuses on the animation ventures in Malaysia. The success factors have not been studied systematically before.
The creative industries are fast becoming an important income generator for a nation’s economy. According to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the creative industries generate income and job opportunities. The UNCTAD has encouraged developing countries to diversify their economies and develop their creative industries which are one of the most dynamic sectors of the world economy.

The Malaysian creative industries have also shown great potential as an important sector for the nation’s economy. According to the Economic Transformation Programme 2013 report, the creative industries have generated export sales of over RM564.89 million (Koay, 2014). The industries have so far contributed 1.27% or RM 9.4 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP is expected to grow to RM33 billion in 2020, which is a growth rate of 11% (Bernama, 2012).

The Malaysian government has acknowledged the importance of the creative industries to the nation’s economy. The Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture had initiated the Creative Industries Conference in March 2009 to address the absence of clear coordination and policies regarding the development of the nation’s creative industries. The National Creative Industries Policy was drafted to lay out the basic principles of the development of the creative industries (DIKN, 2010).

Problem Statement
The factors that contribute to the success of an entrepreneurship may differ from technopreneurship. An  animation company is rather unique in that it belongs to technology entrepreneurship and creative entrepreneurship. The factors contributing to the success of technopreneurship in the creative industry are rather poorly explored.
The research questions raised are:
i) What are the barriers to the success of the animation technopreneurship?
ii) What are the possible indicators to overcome the success barriers of the animation technopreneurship?
iii) What are the Critical Success Factors to the animation technopreneurship?
The objectives of this research are:
i) To identify the barriers to the success of the animation technopreneurship
ii) To identify the possible indicators to overcome the success barriers of the animation technopreneurship
iii) To identify the Critical Success Factors to the animation technopreneurship
The success factors identified from the literature survey are:
·         Location -the availability of workspaces especially.
·         Networks & Collaborations
·         Promotion & Marketing
·         Government Assistance contributing to the success of entrepreneurship
·         Access to financial resources
·         Entrepreneurial skills -technical management skills and business management skills
·         Talent pool - businesses in the creative industries need a deep pool of creative talents
·         Content Quality 
·         Technology (Hardware/ software)
·         Diversification of products

Research Methodology
This research uses the quantitative method.
The number of subjects in this research is low [only around 200 companies in Malaysia that are involved in animation works].  As such, a descriptive study was adopted where data was collected from the entire population.
This is different from inferential study, where data is normally collected from samples of a population. Google Docs, a user friendly software was chosen to create the questionnaires and distribute them.

 The Creative Industries

There are many definitions of the term ‘creative industries’ and it varies from one country to another. The term itself is quite new, believed to have appeared in 1994 in the Australian report “Creative Nation”. It then became better known when the UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s policymakers set up the Creative Industries Task Force in 1997.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has identified four models that are commonly used to classify the creative industries. Table 1.0 shows the models of the creative industries.

Table 1.0  Classifications of the creative industries
Symbolic texts model
Concentric circles model
WIPO copyright model
·         Advertising
·         Architecture
·         Art and Antiques market
·         Crafts
·         Design
·         Fashion
·         Film and Video
·         Music
·         Performing arts
·         Publishing
·         Software
·         Television and radio
·         Video and computer games
Core Cultural Industries:
·         Advertising
·         Film
·         Internet
·         Music
·         Publishing
·         Television and radio
·         Video and computer games

Peripheral Cultural: Industries
·         Creative arts

Borderline Cultural Industries:
·         Consumer electronics
·         Fashion
·         Software
·         Sport

Core Creative Arts:
·         Literature
·         Music
·         Performing Arts
·         Visual Arts

Other Core Cultural Industries:
·         Film
·         Museums and libraries

Wider cultural industries:
·         Heritage services
·         Publishing
·         Sound recording
·         Television and radio
·         Video and Computer games

Related Industries:
·         Advertising
·         Architecture
·         Design
·         Fashion

Core Copyright Industries:
·         Advertising
·         Collecting Societies
·         Film and Video
·         Music
·         Performing arts
·         Publishing
·         Software
·         Television and radio
·         Visual and graphic arts

Interdependent Copyright Industries:
·         Blank recording materials
·         Consumer electronics
·         Musical instruments
·         Paper
·         Photocopiers, photographic equipment

Partial Copyright Industries:
·         Architecture
·         Clothing, footwear
·         Design
·         Fashion
·         Household goods
·         Toys

Source: (UNCTAD, 2010)

Figure 1.0 UNCTAD classifications of creative industries

Mitchell et al (2003) as quoted by Siti Salwa, Siti Suriawati, & Abu (2011) have formulated four domains of creative activity which are essential for countries in developing their creative economy. The four domains are economic, technological, cultural and scientific creativity and activities in these domains depend on each other. Figure 1.1  illustrates the relationship between these domains.


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Figure 1.1 Domains of creative activity

Source: Siti Salwa, Siti Suriawati, & Abu (2011)

The Malaysian Creative Industries
(write to me if you want this figure)
Figure 1.2 Classifications of the Malaysian creative industries
Source: (DIKN, 2010)

The Malaysian Animation Industry

The Malaysian animation industry began with the creation of Malayan Film Unit (MFU) in 1946, which since 1963 has been changed to Filem Negara Malaysia (National Film Department of Malaysia). The unit was under the National Communications Department, now known as the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture Malaysia.

MFU produced the country’s first short animated film called ‘Hikayat Sang Kancil’ (The Tale of the Mousedeer) in 1978.  However, it was initially rejected by the Ministry of Information because it was perceived to be poor in quality. A new Minister of Information was appointed in 1983, and upon viewing the film, gave the green light for it to be broadcasted on RTM (Azahar & Russlan, 2010).

 The film was well received, and further films about the mousedeer were produced. “Sang Kancil dan Monyet” (The Mousedeer and the Monkey) and “Sang Kancil dan Buaya” (The Mousedeer and the Crocodile) were produced in 1984 and 1987 respectively. During this time, we also witnessed the antics of other characters such as the clever crow in “Gagak Yang Bijak”, the arrogant hare in “Arnab Yang Sombong” and the greedy lion in “Singa Yang Haloba” (Hassan, 2004).

The first animation studio called FilmArt was set up in 1982, followed by Lensamation in 1985. The first movie to combine live pictures and animated characters was ‘Mat Gelap’, ZHA Productions in 1990.

During the premiership of the fourth Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the government pushed for the use of digital technology and promoted the production of local contents (Hassan, 2004). The Ministry of Information found the need for local contents because the flood of foreign animation contains elements that are not suitable for Malaysian lifestyle (Azahar & Russlan, 2010). “Usop Sontorian”, a story about the village life of Usop and his friends aired in 1995.

 It was produced by Kharisma Pictures in 1995 and became the first locally produced TV series.  This was followed by “Keluang Man” in 1999, a story about a superhero who is actually a patient at the mental hospital.

The first full length feature film, “Silat Lagenda” by Peninsula Pictures hit the cinemas in 1998, followed by “Puteh” by Eurofine in 2001. These films utilised new digital technologies that reduced the traditional approach to animation (Hassan, 2004).

The animation industry did not take off immediately. “Silat Lagenda” and “Puteh” did not do well at the box office and lost money. The perception of the local audience was that the Malaysian animators were not up to the standard, and that local animation productions are only for children. There was no market for animation locally (Hassan, 2004).

However, this all changed with the success of the “Upin dan Ipin” series. This cartoon feature first appeared on TV in 2007 as short animated series and gained popularity with children and adults alike.

The series got a rating of around 1.5 Million viewers per episode (AXAPAC, 2010). The popularity of the series drove audiences to cinemas to see the full length animated movie called “Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula”. It became the most successful locally produced animated feature film with box office takings of RM6.2 million (Finas).

The movie and the series are also successful internationally, aired in 9 countries through the Disney Channel (Upin & Ipin). Following the success of “Upin dan Ipin” are the animated series “Saladin”, a co-production between Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and Al-Jazeera Children’s Channel, which has earned an Emmy nomination under the Children & Young People category (Zainuri, 2011). Another animated series that is doing well is “BoBoi Boy”, which is also shown through the Disney Channel.

The most recent success achieved by the local animation company is the triumph of ‘War of the Worlds: Goliath’ which won the Best 3D Animated Feature Film award at the Los Angeles 3D Film Festival. The film which is produced by Tripod Animation Sdn. Bhd. beat Hollywood productions such as Laika’s ‘Paranorman’ and  Dreamworks’ ‘Madagascar 3’. It has also been shown at the San Diego Comic Con in July 2012 (Chua D. , 2012).

At the  World Audio Visual Trade Exhibition (MIPCOM 2012), Malaysian creative content companies have secured 12 deals worth US$30 million (RM91 million). The deals include international co-productions, distribution and global product launches. Malaysian company Vision Animation Sdn. Bhd. has signed a co-production agreement with Australia’s Moody Street Kids to produce the second season animated television series ‘Transformers – Rescue Bots’ (Kamallaila, 2012).

Other companies that will be involved in co-productions with international ventures are Animasia Studio, Vision Animation, Clover Sky, Giggle Garage, Inspidea, Roar Studios, SG Entertainment and Creative Media Point. Animasia Studio has also secured a deal with Indonesia’s MNC Group to distribute their animated television show ‘Bola Kampung’ in Indonesia (Faridul, 2012).
The company has previously partnered with a Spain based company Neptuno Films Srl to distribute their animated educational series ‘ABC Monsters’ to the European market and with Singapore’s Innoform Media for distribution in the Asian markets (InTech, 2011).

Technopreneurship is coined from the words “technical” and “entrepreneurship”. Rothwell and Zegveld, (1982), as quoted by Syahida Abdullah (2008), stated that the term technical entrepreneur was defined by Globe et al (1973) as “an individual within the performing organization who champions a scientific or technical activity; he is sometimes also called a product champion”.

Technopreneurship is also derived from the words “technology” and “entrepreneurship”. This term was used by Rothwell and Zegveld (1982) to refer to those interested in new, and often long term, techno-commercial potentialities (Syahida Abdullah, 2008). The accepted definition of technopreneurship by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) is entrepreneurship that uses technology as the driven factor in transforming resources into goods and services. Technopreneurship refers to the firms that use “technology to create, deliver and capture value for their stakeholders” (Bailetti, 2012).

Technopreneurship brings more wealth creation than ordinary entrepreneurship due to the innovation capabilities and the jobs created. This has led many countries to start paying attention to technopreneurship by introducing policies, regulations and financial support that encourage technology ventures. Other forms of support include promoting innovation and entrepreneurship education. Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia are examples of countries that are promoting technopreneurship (Oukil, 2011).

The field of technopreneurship is diverse, which includes entertainment, health, education and communication. Opportunities come in identifying innovative solutions to problems. Table 1.1 shows the future trends and opportunities of technology that technopreneurs might explore in creating a venture.

Table 1.1 Future technology trends and opportunities
Life Science:
· Genetic engineering
· Genomics
· Biometrics

· Internet
· Wireless device
· Cloud computing
Food preservation:
·  Improved distribution of food
Video gaming:
· Learning
· Entertainment
Speech recognition:
·  Interface between computers and people
Security devices & systems:
· Identification devices
· Baggage checkers
· Protective clothes
· Devices 100 nanometres or less for drug delivery
· Biosensors

Renewable energy:
· Solar cells
· Wind turbines
Fuel cells:
· Electrochemical conversion of hydrogen or hydrocarbon fuels into electric current
· Energy savings on utility power lines
Designer enzymes:
· Protein catalysts that accelerate chemical reactions in living cells for consumer and health products
Cell phones:

· Communications
· Computing
Software security:
· Blocking unsolicited e-mail (spam)
· Preventing ‘phishing’
· Teams of small coordinated robots for monitoring and safety functions

 Source: Byers, Dorf, & Nelson (2011)

Critical Success Factors

Critical Success Factors (CSF) can be regarded as key factors that “an organization must pay particular attention to in order to achieve the level of performance essential to achieve desired goals” (Hackney & Dunn, 2000 as quoted by Sebora, Lee, & Sukasame, 2009). Satisfactory results in the CSFs “will ensure successful competitive performance for the individual, department or organisation” (Bullen & Rockart, 1981). According to Bullen & Rockart, businesses will grow and thrive when CSFs are met.

To recap, the success factors indentified from the literature survey are:
·         Location -the availability of workspaces especially.
·         Networks & Collaborations
·         Promotion & Marketing
·         Government Assistance contributing to the success of entrepreneurship
·         Access to financial resources
·         Entrepreneurial skills -technical management skills and business management skills
·         Talent pool - businesses in the creative industries need a deep pool of creative talents
·         Content Quality 
·         Technology (Hardware/ software)
·         Diversification of products
See Appendix A for details on these factors

 Research design

The first step into starting this research was to identify the number of companies involved in animation in Malaysia. The number of companies will represent the population of this study, which in turn will determine what research method to be used, be it quantitative or qualitative. It will also reveal whether the type of research is exploratory, descriptive or causal (Ghauri & Gronhaug, 2005).

According to Yen (2011), data from FINAS showed that there are around 200 companies in the local animation industry. However, there is no document available which lists all the names and details of these companies. An enquiry was sent to MSC Malaysia through the website requesting for a list of animation ventures in Malaysia. A reply from a representative of MSC Malaysia Client Contact Centre (CliC) stated that they do not provide a sorted list of animation ventures. However, they did provide the researchers with a link to the MSC Malaysia directory of companies.

Mixed method, which is a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches was chosen for this study. According to Bergman (2009a) as quoted by Cronholm & Hjalmarsson (2011), the combination the two approaches will preserve the strenghts and reduce weaknesses in both approaches.

Using both quantitative and qualitative methods together will be more beneficial than using the methods separately, as there is an increased possibility that findings are more trustworthy and relevant (Creswell, 2009 as quoted by Cronholm & Hjalmarsson, 2011). Both approaches, when used together can “produce a more complete knowledge necessary to inform theory and practice” (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004 as quoted by Cronholm & Hjalmarsson, 2011)..

This research is a survey research, which is regarded as one of the most popular non-experimental research methods especially in the social sciences (Chua, 2012).


For the quantitative part, electronic questionnaires as the method of collecting data are chosen.
Electronic questionnaires have the advantages of easy distribution, inexpensive, fast delivery, can reach globally and respondents can complete them at their convenience (Sekaran & Bougie, 2010). Sekaran & Bougie also pointed out the drawback of electronic questionnaires which demands that the respondents be computer literate and have access to the facility. However, as the respondents of this survey are technopreneurs, that should not be an issue.

The questionnaire was designed after going through the literature reviews and conducting an informal interview.

Questionnaire survey analysis
Online questionnaire was created using Google Docs. Emails containing the link to the questionnaire were sent to all 31 selected participants with a brief explanation of the purpose of the research. After a poor response, printed questionnaires were mailed to the participants together with self-addressed envelopes for returning them. Altogether, 29 of 31 responded. 2 respondents declined to participate (please refer to Appendix 4.1 & 4.2 for their written responses).

Results were analysed using the IBM SPSS Statistics 20 software. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse and summarise the data, which include frequency, percentage, mean, and standard deviation. The results of the analysis are shown according to the order of the questions in the questionnaire.

Background of the respondents

Question number 1 asked the respondents what year their companies were established. Table 1.2 shows the results.

Table 1.2 Year of establishment


A total of 13 companies were established between the year 2000 and 2006. The number rose to 16 between the year 2008 and 2012. The year 2010 saw the most number of the creation of animation companies, with 7 companies established in the year. The boom could be contributed to the success of the animated feature film ‘Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula’ which became a blockbuster hit in 2009, and various government initiatives to support the animation industry. 28 out of 29 companies have been in operation for 10 years or less.

The next question asked about the companies’ number of employees. Figure 1.3 shows the results in percentage. A total of 14 companies (48.3%) have more than 20 employees, while the remaining 15 companies (51.7%) have less than 20 employees. Two of the most prominent animation companies have around 40 employees.

 (write to me if you want this figure)
Figure 1.3 Number of employees

Question number 3 asked about the types of products the companies provide.

Figure 1.4 shows the results in frequency. All the respondents are involved in content creation by producing animated TV series, with 10 of them producing feature films. 16 out of 29 companies are carrying out outsourcing works. Less than 10 companies are producing games and apps.

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Figure 1.4 Types of animated products provided

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Figure 1.5 Factors according to importance in mean and standard deviation

Table 1.3 Factors of importance
Mean scores
Content quality
Promotion & Marketing
Entrepreneurial skills
Talent pool
Network & Collaboration
Access to financial resources
Government’s assistance
Business location

NB. Quantitative data was  analysed using the IBM SPSS software.

The development of the  creative industries is encouraging due to firstly  the creation of job opportunities. Secondly, it is fast becoming an income generator for a nation’s economy
The Malaysian creative industries have shown great potential as an important sector for the nation’s economy. The animation industry or the creative content industry has grown faster than the information technology industry. The popularity of the industry has encouraged entrepreneurs to participate.
This study looked into the factors influencing the success of technopreneurship in the creative industries that have not been studied before.  These factors were surveyed and analysed.
The five top factors as in Table 1.5 and Figure 1.3 are:
Content quality
Promotion & Marketing
Entrepreneurial skills
Talent pool

It is true that content quality in animation is generally poor in this country. Malaysia needs creative and innovative professionals who specialise in story writing for the animation industry to be competitive globally.

Talent pool should be an equally important factor but somehow placed fifth in the survey. A number of more experienced animation technopreneurs agreed that talent pool is a problem that needs to be addressed. Training of animators is a costly business, but once they are trained they tend to move away to other firms offering better remunerations. Some went to other countries like Singapore.

Appendix A

Identified success factors of technopreneurship in the animation industry

This research adapts the factors identified in (Aksoy, 2010). In his research into the success factors of creative entrepreneurship in Rotterdam, he has identified various factors such as workspaces, network, promotion & sales, entrepreneurship and talent pool as key areas entrepreneurs need assistance from the local government.

a)        Business Location
Location can be one of the factors that could contribute to the success of technopreneurship in the creative industry. Each creative business has its own reasons for their choice in location, and the relationship is a complex balance of factors (Comunian, Chapain, & Clifton, 2010). In their article, Comunian, Chapain, & Clifton explored the relationship between creative industries and place. They came up with four interrelated dimensions that determine the location’s potential in supporting the creative industry’s growth. These four factors may also be applicable to technopreneurs when making the choice of locating their businesses. Figure 2.5 shows the interconnections of the four factors.

Interrelated dimensions of factors that determine choice location


Source: Comunian, Chapain, & Clifton (2010)

Infrastructure includes the availability of business spaces, the wealth of the local population or the tourism and/or transport infrastructure of a location that can impact the creative businesses’ development.

 Creative companies are often more successful in urban areas that are diverse. By being located in cities, companies can take the advantages of the amenities provided which include “connectivity, public sector support, labour market, institutional support and consumer demand” (Champion, 2010).

Factors such as the availability of cheap and affordable spaces also play a big part in determining the location choices of a creative business. This was evidenced in a place called Hoxton in London, where the availability of cheap offices has attracted many creative companies to locate their businesses there, which then created a media cluster (Champion, 2010).

In her study into the creative industry in Greater Manchester, Champion found that cost was one of the factors entrepreneurs consider when choosing a location. Another study conducted in Berlin also found that the chosen location of creative entrepreneurs is related to the availability of cheap spaces (Heebels & van Aalst, 2010).

b)       Networks & Collaborations
Networking is described as “building and maintaining relationships with people whose interests are similar or whose relationship could bring advantages to a firm” (Barringer & Ireland, 2008). It can also be defined as “a complex, interconnected group or system, and networking involves using that arrangement to accomplish particular tasks” (Bessant & Tidd, 2007).

One of the factors that contribute to the success of a business is getting support from various parties through the establishment of a good relationship or network (Ab. Aziz, Perumal, & Faizuniah, 2005). Entrepreneurs should use their assets to create a social network that would be beneficial to their businesses (Byers T. , 2010). By engaging in networks, entrepreneurs and small firms can gain benefits of getting advice, encouragement, counsel and support from experts, government bodies as well as research and training institutes (Noor, Hazliza, & Dr Siti, 2010; Hisrich, Peters, & Shepard, 2010).

Other advantages of being in a network include having accessibility to resources, building confidence through supports and encouragement from members, reduce bureaucracy by having a good relationship with government bodies, getting up to date information and developing trust amongst members (Ab. Aziz, Perumal, & Faizuniah, 2005).

The trust developed will provide the opportunity for entrepreneurs to access highly valuable resources (Hisrich, Peters, & Shepard, 2010). A network could also be a source of creativity, as there will be instances where members would constantly find new ways of creating, producing and marketing new products and services (Ab. Aziz, Perumal, & Faizuniah, 2005).

c)        Promotions and Marketing
Promotions and marketing are important aspects of any business. Promotional efforts must be made by companies to communicate with the target market (Hatten, 2009). One of the critical successes to any organisation is having good marketing (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010).

This is especially true for animation ventures. No matter how good or entertaining the animated product is, without good promotion and marketing, it will be less successful to reach its audience. New opportunities are developed by actively engaging in marketing and sales activities (Thompson, 1996 as quoted by Noor, Hazliza, & Dr Siti, 2010).

Animation companies need to look beyond the local market. This is true for animation industry in any country. For an animation company to sustain their business, they can’t cater only to the domestic market. They need to market their products globally as well.

This is because the local market is very small. Even a big movie industry like Hollywood gains a considerable portion of its income from distributions outside of America (Jieh, Hsueh-hua, & Hsiang-chun, 2005). Thus, for the local animation companies to succeed, they need to cater to a global audience since the local market with a population of 28 million people is too small.

d)       Government assistance
Entrepreneurship is encouraged by the government due to the jobs and market competition created (Michael & Pearce, 2009). It is also a focus for many policymakers (Dennis Jr., 2011). There are many studies that look into government support as a factor that contribute to the success of entrepreneurship.

Government support can nurture entrepreneurial activity (Feindt et al, 2002) as quoted by (Sebora, Lee, & Sukasame, 2009). Radiah, Mohd Rosli, & Ab. Azid (2009) had outlined several literatures that deal with government assistance to small businesses. These included Sarder et al (1997) who found that firms receiving support from public or private agencies experienced increase in sales, employment and productivity. Yusuf (1995) found that among the crucial factors that contribute to small business success is satisfactory government support.

Government assistance can be in the form of financial support and initiatives. Financial support includes providing loans and grants to entrepreneurs. Initiatives include policy implementation, infrastructure, business advisory and tax incentives (Mohamed & Syarisa, 2001; Lerner, 2010).

The Malaysian government has provided various assistance programs to boost the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the ICT industry due to the industry’s capability of producing new jobs, new knowledge, improving productivity as well as expanding and sustaining the country’s entrepreneurial base. Among the initiatives to help technopreneurs grow are incubation programs and communication programs (Mohd Abdullah & Hazianti, 2006). Listed below are the initiatives and supports available to technopreneurs.

e)        Access to financial resources
Yusuf (1995) as quoted by Radiah, Mohd Rosli, & Ab. Azid (2009) identified having access to financing as one of the factors contributing to the success of small businesses. Abetti (1992) as quoted by Mohd Abdullah & Hazianti (2006) found that a variety of financing sources is among the key elements that can help entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. Mohd Abdullah & Hazianti also identified various studies that show venture capital playing an important role by supplying funds to technopreneurs to run their businesses.

Financial resources can come in the forms of support from the government, private investors, the entrepreneur’s own savings or from family and friends.

f)        Entrepreneurial skills/ business know-how
Small firms face barriers such as lack of skills that hinder their growth and penetration into the foreign market (Ojala & Heikkila, 2009). In their study, Ojala & Heikkila looked at various researches that focussed on new ventures’ start up and growth problems.

These researches identified that the problems are related mostly to sales and marketing, obtaining external funding and financial management. Technology based new ventures that are going into international markets need specific support program that stresses on the importance of management training (Bell et al., 2004 as quoted by Ojala & Heikkila, 2009).

g)       Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property is “a valuable intangible property owned by persons or companies” (Byers, Dorf, & Nelson, 2011). It includes any “patents, trademarks, copyrights, or trade secrets held by the entrepreneur” (Hisrich, Peters, & Shepard, 2010). World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) defines Intellectual Property (IP) as “creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce”.

Intellectual property plays a significant part of a technology venture.  By having patents and a strong intellectual property position, technology-based businesses are more likely to have a sustainable advantage (Preston, 2001).

 This is why some companies that carry out outsourcing works are looking into producing their own original contents due to the high revenue and income generated through IP. IP is a new leverage in the 21st century, and it gives entrepreneurs the power of what they want to do (Yapp, 2011). It can protect their businesses should they compete in the global market (Dhesi, 2010). IP rights can be recognised by financial institutions as an asset or collateral (Malaysian Business, 2012). 

h)       Talent Pool

In developing creative industries, cultivating talents is an important task (Zhang, Zhang, & Li, 2010). Businesses in the creative industries need a deep pool of creative talents. Talents in this sense mean employees with knowledge and experience who can contribute to the success of the company. Strong labor force skills have been central to capabilities rather than organisational abilities. (Tschang & Goldstein, 2010).

Technology based entrepreneurship with a deep pool of knowledgable and experienced workers are able to successfully implement and adapt to changes in technology, therefore are more productive (Wright, Hmielski, Siegel, & Ensley, 2007).

A creative business, or specifically an animation company needs employees with knowledge and experience in different disciplines such as arts, technology and management (Jieh, Hsueh-hua, & Hsiang-chun, 2005).

a)        Technology (Hardware/ Software)
Technology is the integral part of a technopreneurship. An animation studio, whether producing original products or outsourcing works, will require a good set of hardware and software to carry out the projects. The type of technology used may differ from one company to another according to its needs.

One of the reasons India is an attractive choice for animation outsourcing is the availability of good studios and high quality software engineers (Thomas & Rayadurgam, 2005). The setup of a typical animation studio will have technology such as workstations (PC’s), software, servers, storage and good networks (Dolbier & Megler, 2005). Figure 2.6 illustrates the technology setup of a typical animation studio.

Many animation companies have turned to cloud computing or cloud storage to save cost. Instead of owning the servers and storage hardware, these companies would use cloud services that can also save time.

The Malaysia Animation Creative Content Centre (MAC3), located in Cyberjaya is a centre that houses a rendering facility available for hire. Animation company does not need to own a rendering farm, but can just use the shared facilities provided.

However, is there a need for animation companies to own and keep up with the latest technology?

Is state-of-the-art technology a factor contributing to the success of an animation technopreneurship? Does infrastructure such as broadband influence the success of a technopreneurship?

(write to me if you want this figure)

Setup of a typical animation studio

Source: Dolbier & Megler (2005)

b)       Diversification of products (merchandises/ other businesses)

Animated television series and feature films cost a lot of money to produce but are bought with low pay from television stations. Revenues generated from the animated television series alone are not sufficient to cover the cost of production.

The cost of producing one series of  Upin & Ipin ranges from RM1.2 million to RM1.8 million but the stations only pay around RM800,000 for them (Rasul, 2011). The first season of the UK’s animated series ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ had low payment from the local television station which only covered 10% of the budget (Westcott, 2010).

With low payments from broadcasters, animation companies will often rely on ancillary revenues such as merchandises and DVD sales to cover the cost (Kenny & Broughton, 2011; Lee, 2010; Rasul, 2011).


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