Disruptr: Jason Low Wei Shang, Founder & CEO of Virtualtech Frontier (VTF) and the Mitoworld Metaverse
Share with us on what you do and what inspired you to start the business.
- I have always been involved in tech from as long as I can remember. From the day my father told me that the richest man in the world was Bill Gates some 25 years ago, I have set my eyes to somehow be involved in technology in the future. Through going on with my computer science studies in UTeM, there indeed has been a huge exposure to the future of technology in Augmented reality & Virtual reality even with the stigma that local education has always been limiting.
- It was there that I managed to find my current co-founder of the company Eugene Ng and we completed our 1st small team of AR & VR developers after recruiting my high-school friend all the way back in Sabah, Othniel Naga. The three of us started our first company in 2015 back in Melaka, and soon after shifted to KL to be partners of a marketing agency that serves various fortune 500 companies.
- It was during that time, we developed interactive technologies for clients like Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Acer, just to name a few. Our latest venture, Virtualtech Frontier, was a pandemic baby company that started in 2021 with the inclusion of new co-founders into the business.
- Since young, me & my co-founders have always believed in developing things that are not the norm, with mixed reality tech a focus that we find super challenging yet fascinating at the same time.
What has the journey been like?
- From surviving the pandemic, all the way to securing new partners and an investment from 500 global has been an oddly challenging one. On one hand, getting people to believe in the future of engagements & interaction via our technology use-cases has not been too hard.
- In-fact most of the corporate clients or stakeholders that we talk to have some sort of believe that the future of virtualized immersive technology will only get bigger and bigger. However convincing organizations to really take a plunge in its entirety is a whole different matter instead, as these usually involves corporate decision making on a higher level that breaches out to multiple facets of the organization.
Biggest achievement and what is one regret that you wish you had or had not done?
- One of our company’s biggest achievement till date is continuously being able to serve high profile clients and generate great interest towards immersive technology throughout the years. This lead to significant growth in 2021 and thus landed us a great investment deal from 500 Global itself.
Since 2015-2016, I have been following Khailee Ng’s speeches and presentations on the startup ecosystem, and for them being one of the pioneers of big investment bets within the country, I was always blown away and amazed with their fortitude and believes in growing the local tech ecosystem.
- Never would I imagine the day a company I started would fall within the ranks of 500 global’s portfolio companies. This of course should be credited to a few of the other ecosystem builders within the region, namely Axiata in this case. It was through the Axiata Young CEO Development programme, I was able to build amazing and powerful connections which eventually lead to VTF securing new co-founders and investors into the company.
- Personally wise though, one of the biggest regrets that have plagued not only me, but through other relevant friends in entrepreneurship is really on the tightness of financial management. I’ve seen a lot of companies got into deep trouble when their finance is not managed well enough. Building fun things is always great, but getting a solid grasp of the fundamentals of running a company still has to be tightened up and monitored in place.
Where do you see yourself in the next 1 year?
- I envision the company to have released a metaverse platform that enables everyone to own their own metaverse, thus kickstarting the age of meta civilization.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
- By 5 years, I hope that we would already have spearheaded an industry, an industry of virtual & metaverse inclusion that has already intertwine with the daily lives of the general population, just like how Grab is for many instances been an important day to day technology of many people across the world.
What keeps you going to keep running the business?
- My team is the core fundamental of why I am still doing what I’m doing today. By providing a platform that we can strive and deploy our creative talents without being tied down and bombarded by corporate legislations and red-tapes, that is the environment that I look forward to provide for my team continuously.
- By having a team that continuously pushes the boundaries on what people can do on human engagement, that gives a lot of purpose towards the things we do, and how it may change the way we interact in the future.
What is one local startup you would like to work together with and why?
- Being a metaverse company, we are always on the lookout to companies that sees value towards engaging to their customers beyond just a social media page. That being said with the current industry that we are in, working with startups within the blockchain and Web3 space would be our core focus.
Who is one founder (local or international) that you look up to?
- There are of course a lot of famous tech founders that I constantly read about on and applied their learnings into my company, however one that I greatly admire would be Jack Ma of Alibaba. Being a participant of the Alibaba Netpreneurship Programme organized by MDEC & Alibaba Business School, I was exposed to all of Jack Ma’s hardships in his early years. From pushing an internet product on an internetless China at that time was crazy!
- The amount of rejections Jack Ma himself gotten in his early days is definitely something I take to heart, and it has been my personal mantra too towards getting out there and getting things done. If he can get rejected 27 times before a single yes, how many times have I been rejected before I can move on then?
Why should investors invest in your startup?
- Virtualtech Frontier was built on a solid foundation in which our company has partners and shareholders that has been guiding the company towards profitability, which is what we achieved in 2021. Moving onwards, the team has expanded their talent pool to tackle on even bigger questions with the aid of 500 Global.
- We believe there is huge gap in social media these days, and pushing the next boundaries of human to human interaction via them metaverses is one way to solve it. With our strong corporate collaborations & clients in place, we foresee a huge push towards metaverse adoption in the few years to come.