Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Revving the Malaysian Start-up Ignition

MDeC and Founder Institute ink partnership signalling further acceleration for Malaysian start-Ups

CYBERJAYA, 17 July 2013 – Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) on Monday announced a partnership with Founder Institute (FI) to accelerate the growth of the Malaysian start-up ecosystem.

This partnership results in a programme that facilitates the launch of new start-up companies in Malaysia through market-driven solutions with regional and global potential.  Fundamental to the institute is the belief that many aspects of entrepreneurship can be taught. The programme aims to democratise the access that up-and-coming entrepreneurs need, partly by opening up networks and opportunities to those on the outside of the tight-knit start-up world.

Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) CEO Datuk Badlisham Ghazali (back row fifth from left), MDeC Chief Operating Officer Ng Wan Peng (back row third from right), MDeC Director of Innovation Capital Dr Karl Ng Kah Hou (back row fourth from left), MDeC Director of Digital Entrepreneur Hasannudin Saidin (back row third from left), Founder Institute Directors Heislyc Loh and Chu Tzu Ming (back row fifth and fourth from left respectively), mentors to the graduates Dr. KF Lai and Toh Han Son (back row second and first from right respectively) together with other MDeC officials in a group photo with the graduates after the certificate presentation ceremony which was held at the auditorium in MDeC office, Cyberjaya on July 15, 2013.

Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, CEO, MDeC said “there is no better time to be a start-up in Malaysia, but achieving the projected economic contribution will require a significant and persistent effort to encourage more Malaysians to create more tech startups.  MDeC’s collaboration with the Founder Institute is in line with one of Digital Malaysia’s strategic thrusts, which aims to help Malaysians fully capitalise opportunities by leveraging the Internet to become producer-consumers.”

“Our long-term goal is to create opportunities in the local start-up ecosystem for all players, including part-time and full-time start-ups, investors, venture capitalists (VCs) and talents by working alongside regional and global accelerators such as Founder Institute (FI),” he said at the graduation ceremony.

Founder Institute is an early-stage start-up accelerator and global launch network that helps entrepreneurs create meaningful and enduring technology companies. Through a part-time four-month programme, existing and prospective founders (start-ups) can launch their dream company with expert training, feedback and support from experienced start-up CEOs.
Founder Institute directors Chu Tzu Ming and Heislyc Loh (first and second from right in grey T-shirt) with the graduates after the certificate presentation ceremony which was held at the auditorium in MDeC office, Cyberjaya on July 15, 2013.

In just over three years of operation, the Founder Institute has helped launch over 800 companies across 40 cities and six continents - making them the world's largest start-up accelerator. Their goal is to "Globalise Silicon Valley" by launching 1,000 meaningful and enduring technology companies per year in over 50 cities worldwide.

Through this partnership, the Founder Institute Malaysia was launched in April 2013, which saw the first batch of nine start-ups graduating on July 15. The inaugural batch received software and development tools support from Microsoft Malaysia under the Microsoft BizSpark, a global program, while, MDeC played a supporting role as a community partner by providing incentives to founders by subsidizing the cost of facilitating the mentorship programme.

The Founder Institute’s Partner, Jonathan Greechan, said “Our Malaysian launch rivaled many other large markets, in terms of demand and positive reception. We are grateful for partners like MDeC and Microsoft Malaysia who share our passion to help early-stage entrepreneurs succeed.”

Leveraging on the presence of global and regional mentors in Malaysia during the course of this accelerator programme, MDeC and Founder Institute will be co-organising public events. For example the Founder Institute – MSC Malaysia Coffee Chats, which is a series of informal knowledge sharing session that connects FI’s global mentors to local startups with the aim of inspiring the next generation of startups and digital entrepreneurs.

Malaysia has come a long way since the introduction of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) where technology companies made full use of the privileges as well as tax incentives to relocate their operations to the MSC. Among the more recent successful startups in Malaysia include the likes of Piktochart and who have gained many interests and offers from global investors stemming from opportunities derived from platforms such as the Silicon Valley Comes to Malaysia which was held in 2011 and 2012.

Recognising the enormous benefit of partnering with international partners, MDeC will also be collaborating with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in the forthcoming Global Entrepreneurs Summit (GES) 2013, slated to be held in October, 2013 which aims to spur innovation and strengthen relationships among entrepreneurs in Muslim-majority countries globally.

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