Week in Review: Pressure on for Sunway Group to deliver kick-ass accelerator programme

  • Malaysian conglomerate aims to deliver investible startups solving market problems
  • Axiata Digital partners MDEC to open its ‘gold mine’ to startups, businesses

KUDOS to the Malaysian based regional conglomerate, Sunway Group for launching an accelerator with a twist. Usually, the hardest part about any accelerator programme is to get into it. In the case of Sunway Group and its inhouse incubator, Sunway iLabs, that’s just the second hardest thing.

The hardest will be to stay in the programme because after one month only up to 10 of the initial 20 startups will be picked to remain in the programme. That first month will be an all out, pressure packed race between them to demonstrate the most growth and show that they deserve to remain in the accelerator and receive the market access, mentorship and money, though I suspect market access and mentorship will be the immediate priority of the teams.

For Sunway, there will also be pressure though. They need to demonstrate that their market focused accelerator can actually accelerate the growth of the startups that remain in it for the full six months. Demonstrate that and I predict this will become the most sought and fought after accelerator programme in Southeast Asia and reset the bar for how accelerator programmes should be developed.

Fail to do that and it will join the scrap yard of programmes that promised much but delivered little.

Meanwhile in what is a significant development, Axiata Digital, the digital services arm of Axiata Group Bhd has, in collaboration with Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), extended its application programming interface (API) platform called, Mobile Internet Fulfilment Exchange (MIFE) to Malaysian businesses as a gateway into the regional marketplace across Axiata’s footprint countries in Asean and South Asia. It is also projected to help companies using the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ).

This will now offer traditional businesses an easier path to try and expand their services to other countries in the Axiata footprint without the time consuming and costly manner of making numerous trips to each new country they want to expand into, looking for partnerships etc. 

At the same time, Axiata Digital has also developed a self-service portal for startups to use MIFE’s APIs to give them a better chance at monetization with its CEO, Mohd Khairil Abdullah describing their customer access and insights as a “gold mine” that should be made available to digital companies to help the ecosystem grow. The self-service portal will also be made available through the Malaysia Digital Hubs, thereby strengthening that initiative as well. 

I am sure many companies will be looking to explore this new market opportunity that has opened up for them to access the over 300 million total customer based of Axiata.

I will leave you this week with our usual picks of the top seven articles of the week and I urge you to check out the What’s Next stories as well, where we brought together a group of mostly Brick & Mortar leaders to talk about their journey to adapt their business to digital disruption. As I love to repeat, it is authentic sharing.

Have a restful weekend and a productive week after.


Editor’s Picks:

Accelerator, reimagined by Sunway Group's iLabs

What’s Next 2017: Enter the incumbents and their digital strategies moving forward

What’s Next 2017: Growing the business by leaps and bounds with data

Level Up KL 2017 wants to bump up SEA through cross-border links

BlackBerry CSO: Security will continue to be a ‘cat-and-mouse’ game

Recommend, Mah Sing collaborate for designer homes

Axiata Digital, MDEC collaborate to extend MIFE API Platform

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