JETRO, Sunway iLabs digital transformation programme third cohort begins
By Digital News Asia September 30, 2021
- Opportunities to expand in SEA, starting with Malaysia
- Five companies were selected from 11 applicants
Five promising Japanese companies have been selected to go through a digital transformation acceleration programme, organised by Sunway iLabs, in collaboration with the Japanese External Trade Organisation Kuala Lumpur (JETRO KL).
These companies will be part of the third cohort of this programme where they have the opportunity to expand throughout Southeast Asia starting with Malaysia and using the Sunway ecosystem as a launchpad and testbed, Sunway iLabs said in a statement.
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Sunway iLabs for the third time,” said Yuhei Enguchi, director of JETRO KL. He added that the accelerator programme has had great success stories, from networking and running pilot projects within the Sunway ecosystem, to setting up base in Malaysia.
The programme was planned by JETRO to promote and support the growth of digital transformation (DX) and open Innovation between Japan and Asean. Applicants were called to sign up utilising their wide network with communities of startups and DX companies in Japan.
Sunway and JETRO selected five companies from 11 applications to participate in this programme.
The top 5 companies are:
- Bee Informatica Ltd: A microfinancing utilising psychometric assessment for women business owners in Malaysia;
- Samaira Co Ltd: A Japanese cartoon and animation platform with anti-piracy and content protection utilising blockchain technology;
- Scala Inc: A real-time farm process monitoring for managers by developing an agricultural production database;
- Suncreer Co Ltd: A company that develops, manufactures and sells smart Nexus care, a privacy-conscious AI monitoring system that reduces the risk of bone fractures in the elderly; and
- TBM Co Ltd: A company that develops, manufactures and sells LIMEX, an innovative sustainable material mainly made of limestone and inorganic materials as an alternative to plastic and paper.
Some of the criteria to be shortlisted are the company’s growth potential, scalability, team dynamics, and ultimately synergy with Sunway group, Sunway iLabs said.
The startups of this cohort fall within the verticals of fintech, business SaaS, digital health, agri-food tech and carbon neutral, it added.
"We see tremendous potential in the startups that have been shortlisted. Not only are they leveraging technology to provide innovative solutions in their respective industries, they are also empowering communities, improving lives and reducing negative impact to the environment. We look forward to working with them,” said Dr Melissa Foo, head of Sunway iLabs Ventures
Throughout this six-month long programme, the startups will have access to one-to-one mentorship from key leaders within Sunway, meet potential business partners, attend workshops, and connect with Sunway’s 13 business units and Sunway City Kuala Lumpur’s (SCKL) ecosystem.
This aligns with SCKL’s goal of being a living laboratory to attract the best talents and innovation to generate sustainable real-world solutions for the prosperity and progress of the people and the planet, Sunway iLabs said.
The companies will also stand a chance to receive a grant to carry out their pilot project fully sponsored by Sunway. At the end of the program, all five startups will also have the opportunity to pitch to the wider network of local and regional VC funds, investors, industry leaders and corporations for funding or collaboration.
“We want the entrepreneurs to use this opportunity to do extensive market research, test their solutions, and find product/market fit in this diverse region,” said Matt van Leeuwen, chief innovation officer of Sunway Group.
“We are confident that the Sunway ecosystem has the right ingredients for the startups to do just that and propel their growth across Malaysia and Southeast Asia,” he added.
Aside from that, the companies will be able to leverage on JETRO capabilities to receive additional support such as connection to government agencies, incentive information sharing, and support services, Sunways iLabs said.
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