PhD Spotlight: Bang Ming Yong
A passion for technology innovation and entrepreneurship and a desire to contribute to Malaysia’s burgeoning ICT industry is the driving force behind Bang Ming Yong’s seemingly endless energy.
Name: Bang Ming Yong
Research area: Innovation management of technology not-for-profits.
Centre: Centre for Technology Management
Not only is Bang undertaking a PhD full-time, he is also developing a virtual reality tour of the IfM building, is Treasurer of the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs and volunteers at not-for-profit technology start-ups around Cambridge.
Awarded the Malaysian Government’s most prestigious postgraduate scholarship, the King’s Scholarship, Bang said the choice of where to study was easy: “I have always wanted to study innovation and in particular why innovation clusters are so successful. With such a high concentration of high-tech companies, there is no better place than Cambridge to study.
Bang Ming Yong being presented with The King's Scholarship
“Cambridge’s innovation cluster environment fosters individual and collective success and in addition to informing my research, I have also been able to personally engage with a large variety of entrepreneurs and tech organisations, which would not have been possible at another university.”
It was Bang’s introduction to Cambridge non-profit biometrics technology company Simprints that sparked his interest in studying the business models of not-for-profit technology start-ups.
“I decided to volunteer at Simprints and thought that all the other volunteers would also be students. They weren’t. On my first night of volunteering I met retired consultants and experienced engineers, as well as students who were volunteers.
“Finding resources is a challenge for not-for-profits when they are starting from nothing. There are a lot of dimensions to resources and technology is just one part.
“Start-ups attract resources from various places – a university partnership gives them access to MBA students to develop their business plan, while a connection with a law firm can deliver pro bono legal services.”
In addition to business models, Bang is interested in how social incubators and social enterprise networks can provide the support and tools to drive entrepreneurial businesses and deliver social good.
“There is a really interesting social network effect in technology clusters where organisations support one another. The common link between the organisations to deliver ‘technology for good’ appears to override any competition concerns.
“My analysis of the different strategies and business models used by successful not-for-profit technology companies, such as Raspberry Pi, will enable me to develop a framework that will help guide new technology start-ups.”
Bang obtained his B.Eng in Electronic Engineering from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2013. After graduating he worked in manufacturing and construction industries for two years, including with National Instruments, prior to starting his PhD.
“There is a really interesting social network effect in technology clusters where organisations support one another. The common link between the organisations to deliver ‘technology for good’ appears to override any competition concerns.”
Bang Ming Yong being interviewed by national television on being awarded The King's Scholarship