MaGIC launches CER Circle and MaGIC Activate as part of its CER platform

  • National initiative to drive corporate involvement in sustainable entrepreneurship development
  • Corporates can introduce more agility, disrupt business models, adopt more entrepreneurial mindset

MaGIC launches CER Circle and MaGIC Activate as part of its CER platform

MALAYSIAN Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) has launched two programs, MaGIC CER Circle and MaGIC Activate, under the MaGIC Corporate Entrepreneurship Responsibility (CER) platform, a national initiative to facilitate greater corporate and private sector involvement in entrepreneurship development across Malaysia.

While Malaysia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has shown healthy growth over the past few years, both MaGIC CER Circle and MaGIC Activate are crucial to facilitating greater involvement from corporates and the private sector in the next major thrust of developing Malaysia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and driving national innovation.

The MaGIC CER Circle is a “membership” platform to connect corporates and startup communities to capitalize on disruptive technologies and build a continuous innovation pipeline through partnerships while fueling cross-industry learnings, and solving cross-border challenges.

MaGIC Activate fulfills a key request MaGIC has been constantly receiving from corporations – engagement with startups and entrepreneurial communities. The initiative is designed to help corporations running innovation challenges to reach out to more startups and entrepreneurs, not just domestically but regionally and globally.

Ahmad Maslan, Malaysia Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry launched the initiatives, along with Ashran Dato’ Ghazi, Chief Executive Officer of MaGIC and representatives from MaGIC CER’s corporate and community partners, including AIA, CIMB, IBM Malaysia, IJM, Media Prima, Allianz, UNICEF, Microsoft, Setia Haruman, Sunway Ventures, TM, Techstars and United Nations among the 22 partners signed up at the launch on Fri.

“It is important for us to foster the culture of innovation as we strive to fulfill our goal for the digital economy to contribute 20% of Malaysia’s GDP by 2020,” said Ahmad, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry.

“I am glad to see MaGIC taking active steps to foster the culture of innovation. I believe the initiatives will power innovation to build Malaysia’s future economy as we adapt to the fourth industrial revolution underway. I applaud pioneering corporates who have taken that first step and participate in the MaGIC CER Circle and MaGIC Activate. I encourage other corporates and Malaysia’s entrepreneurs to take part in the programs, and explore how you both can benefit. I look forward to hearing success stories and collaboration,” he added.

Ashran added: “The launch is a significant step towards increasing the private sector’s involvement in driving Malaysia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. Malaysia has so many aspiring entrepreneurs who need nurturing, guidance, mentoring, and financing. Yet, regionally, private sector involvement in innovation and entrepreneurship is lagging behind our international counterparts. Corporate innovation is no longer just a key ingredient in success, but essential to survival, we encourage corporates to leverage on CER to unlock a wealth of economic possibilities via collaboration with startups that were previously difficult to access and develop.”

Ashran is hopeful that MaGIC CER Circle and MaGIC Activate will foster greater collaboration between the private sector and startups and entrepreneurs, helping both sides to overcome the challenges of working and collaborating effectively together. “I am excited to watch as greater collaboration between corporates and entrepreneurs develops, ultimately leading to a more sustainable and vibrant ecosystem.”

CER will allow Malaysian corporates to confront disruption happening in their sector and prepare for the new economies of the future working with entrepreneurs to quantum leap their growth, and truly become global industry leaders. By collaborating with entrepreneurs, corporates can introduce more agility to their operations, disrupt existing business models, provide access to adjacent markets and adopt a more entrepreneurial mindset.

MaGIC CER Circle will lower the barrier of entry for a corporation keen to work with startups by showcasing how others have approached similar partnerships. MaGIC will also share information and learnings from international corporations who have run innovation labs with members of the Circle.

Besides helping corporates connect to startups, MaGIC Activate will also be a platform for startups seeking to innovate for certain industries to find corporate partners and help them grow, scale and access new markets. Its Startup Corporate Open Innovation Challenge Platform will connect corporates with entrepreneurs to uncover innovative solutions. This is an initiative run by MaGIC in partnership with the Techstars Startup Program to foster collaboration between corporate innovators and entrepreneurs. Through community partners, MaGIC has access to more than 3,000 startups it can engage.

Eight innovation challenges have already been posted on MaGIC Activate, examples include the Media Prima Education Challenge, which seeks solutions for a crowd funding platform for promising students who do not have sufficient monetary resources to pursue a tertiary education and the UNICEF Challenge, which looks to invest in innovative, open-source assistive devices and/or technologies that improve the lives of children with disabilities.

Other exciting challenges include the Sunway Group Innovation Challenge, which looks to explore technologies that could enable autonomous or driverless vehicles on the roads around Sunway City and potentially on the BRT track, as well as the IJM Port of the Future Challenge, which seeks innovative solutions that could significantly improve safety and efficiency of port operation and logistics while creating a positive impact on the community and the environment.

Sunway Ventures’ entrepreneur-in-residence said that Sunway Ventures’ participation in CER will help create meaningful impact for Malaysians by accelerating innovation.

“Sunway Ventures and Sunway Innovation Labs looks forward in engaging MaGIC’s startup community through MaGIC Activate to develop impactful and meaningful solutions within our exciting Sunway City smart sustainable transformation. This would encompass projects such as smart buildings, smart homes, smart communities and solutions for urban mobility that lessens our carbon-footprint," said ST Chua, Sunway Ventures’ entrepreneur-in-residence.

IJM’s Deputy CEO and Deputy Managing Director Lee Chun Fai also applauded the CER initiative. “Corporations working with entrepreneurs or startups are extremely important as we understand that innovation comes from inside and outside of the wall of corporations. It’s vital that there is a strong collaboration between big corporations and startups. With this relationship we will be able to accelerate our digital business strategy and co-create an ecosystem that is catalyst to futureproof our business. IJM believes that we need to collaborate to innovate for us to remain relevant in the new economy”, added Lee.

For more information on the MaGIC CER Circle and MaGIC Activate, please visit www.magicactivate.com.

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