Week in Review: Corporate link the winning edge for MaGIC’s GAP

  • More regional corporates partnering with MAP accelerator will draw startups globally
  • Mohd Irwan Serigar, Ivan Teh recognized by National ICT Association of Malaysia


THE largest accelerator in Malaysia, and one of the largest in Southeast Asia, MaGIC’s Global Accelerator Programme (MAP) had its Demo Day on Oct 10 in Cyberjaya, Selangor. The culmination of the four month accelerator saw 44 of the 54 participating teams trying their best to impress the close to 100 investors in the room.

Those who have been following the work of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre will know that this is the fourth cohort of its accelerator that was initially known as the MaGIC Accelerator Programme or MAP.

[Correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated this was the third cohort.] 

As DNA has reported before, MaGIC has repositioned its programme to the global stage with the aim of strengthening Malaysia's position as the gateway to the Southeast Asian (SEA) region. Although still relatively new, MaGIC accelerator has already been ranked as among the top 20 most active accelerators globally in Gust’s Global Accelerator Report 2016 with its ranking in 7th place.

One feature of GAP that MaGIC has been focusing on and which I feel will become its differentiator is the industry engagement that sees corporate players come in and engage with the startups and MaGIC CEO Ashran Ghazi made reference to this as well when he says they aim to make the interaction between corporates and startups smoother.

As he aims to position Malaysia as the tip of the spear for startup’ SEA push, I am hoping to see more regional conglomerates become GAP partners, which in turn will excite more startups globally to want to join its next cohort.

One startup that is already enjoying the benefits of having a regional corporate link-up is Touristly, thanks to the investment AirAsia made in it. Aaron Sarma, founder of Touristly must be positively salivating at the opportunities to monetize the 70 million AirAsia customers a year. Its latest effort is through the digital magazine of AsiAsia, travel3sixty.com. Most startups raise money and start acquiring customers aggressively in order to raise a bigger round next but Sarma raised money and snared himself 70 million potential customers! Watch for more initiatives from him to monetize this pool.

Speaking of MaGIC, some congratulations are in order for its chairman, Mohd Irwan Serigar who last night was recognized by the National ICT Association of Malaysia as its ICT Personality of The Year. Also recognized was Ivan Teh, founder and MD of regional big data and analytics software company Fusionex International as Technopreneur of the Year. Incidently, both Irwan and Teh are also DNA Digerati50.

There are now three weeks left before DNA’s What’s Next: The Business Impact of Disruptive Technology conference kicks-off and if you have not gotten your tickets, you can do so here. Focusing on the impact of digital disruption on Brick & Mortar companies, this year we have a number of corporate leaders taking part including Lim Kim Heng, the co-founder and MD of the leading electrical and electronics retail chain in Malaysia, Senheng Electric.

Typical of corporate leaders, Lim who has quietly built Senheng into a US$237 million (RM1 billion) turnover company, told me “Karam, I don’t like to talk about the business in public.” But I managed to convince him of the importance of him sharing his journey and the key role he saw data would play and of how he is now trying to position Senheng to remain a winner in this ecommerce age and with Amazon now in Singapore as well.

So get your What’s Next ticket now!

Finally, enjoy your weekend and have a productive week ahead.

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