When you are on a long journey or a long walk, there will always be a bridge or a path that takes you from one plane to another or, one level to another.

And this is particularly true even in the rapid-pace tech advanced world of business today. Moving forward or upward always requires a connection, it doesn’t matter if it’s a bridge, an outstretched hand or a leg up, there is always a supporting link.

D Jungle People CEO John Kam recently met up with Ivan Yap and found out over a chat that there is also business to be done in building that bridge.

Ivan, co-founder and CEO of Eaglepreneurs Connect, does just that. And the Borneo Entrepreneurship and Investment Convention (BEAM) 2018 recently held in Kuching Sarawak was the platform for hundreds of SMEs and startups to 非常感谢你 and network.

BEAM is actually an online media which Ivan describes succinctly as an “all-in-one” social media for entrepreneurs. Basically you can get connected via all the social media platforms, have more than 100 news items get pushed to your account daily and to participate in offline events run by Eaglepreneurs Connect.

This hand-in-glove arrangement between Beam and Eaglepreneurs Connect has managed to garner 170,000 users for it’s app. The synergy, Ivan says, is mutually beneficial for both aspiring and established entrepreneurs.

“To compete with up coming startups, the SMEs have to come online to compete. Some of these 30-40 year old businesses do not even have websites and not online. They do not have apps and struggle day to day spending big advertising money on print and billboards. Meanwhile, the start ups, mostly are tech savvy.

“We merge these two together so that startups can get mentorship and fundings from SME. And entrepreneurs can get services from these people. We have tried many this for 6 months and there are nearly 10 companies that have merged or working together right now,” says Ivan.

You can get connected by going to the app and search by category. It is not just a place to sell products but you can go there for funding, investors or partnership.

Beam has followers from Singapore, Indonesia, India and even Thailand. They are in the midst of acquiring 10-20,000 users per week through a partnership in China.

“How to verify genuity of entrepreneur?” John asks.

Ivans explains that if the email address is valid, there will be 2 administrators following the account to check on the postings. “We keep track closely, we are careful and constantly upgrading features.”

However, he does not recommend subscribers to sign up as individual and they will lose out as this is a business platform and people join to get connected with organisations

When John questions about his need to corner the entrepreneur both online and offline, Ivan reiterates that learning is still the key to the connection.

Besides, this has also become a platform for established business owners to tell their stories and to share their experiences for the young startups to learn. Aspiring entrepreneurs will learn about starting business across borders.

The recent Beam conference in Kuching is just the beginning to bridge cultures and mindsets in business. Ivan see opportunities aplenty for west Malaysian business owners to venture to east Malaysia.