- Deal aims to drive collaboration between ecosystems as well as platform for expansion
- Runway to the World is global exchange programme that aims to connect entrepreneurs
MALAYSIAN Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) last week signed a strategic partnership with Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) to drive collaboration between Malaysian and Vietnamese startups as well as provide a platform for them to expand their initiatives into both countries.
Together, MaGIC and SIHUB will collaborate in the latter’s Runway to the World (R2TW) programme, a global startup exchange programme that aims to connect entrepreneurs with local key ecosystem players and create a strong network.
The programme will help participating startups to tailor their business model to target country and find the right partners, investors, and clients to expand and accelerate growth. R2TW will focus on startups in four industries that will drive growth in the future: education and training; high-tech agriculture and food processing; green energy, environment, healthcare and sustainable tourism; artificial intelligence, robotics and smart systems.
Entrepreneurs participating in the R2TW program will also have access to MaGIC’s ASEAN Centre of Entrepreneurship (ACE), a support platform for startups to expand regionally and globally. ACE will be able to help Vietnamese startups who are keen to expand in Malaysia and ASEAN by providing services such as visa applications for hiring foreign talent, tax and accounting, clerical assistance, opening of bank accounts and many more.
Ashran Ghazi, chief executive officer of MaGIC sees strong synergies in the partnership. “We are excited to announce our partnership with SIHUB to collaborate in the R2TW program. MaGIC and SIHUB will each play host to both Malaysian and Vietnamese startups during the exchange programme. We encourage home-grown startups to participate in the programme and explore the opportunities to expand their reach into Vietnam’s growing and vibrant startup ecosystem.”
Ashran shares that the partnership with SIHUB also marks the launch of MaGIC’s upcoming entrepreneurship exchange programme. “Our programme is designed to help connect entrepreneurs with the region’s key startup community builders to facilitate growth and build a truly connected entrepreneurship ecosystem. Through the programme, we also hope to support and enable entrepreneurs who are looking to expand in ASEAN by giving them access to the benefits of cross-border collaboration like this at a regional level,” Ashran adds.
Vietnam’s startup scene has been growing rapidly in recent years, with a youthful pool of talent, burgeoning middle-class, as well as relatively low cost to establish and operate a business. The nation has a unique startup culture, with a strong entrepreneurship community. Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue announced in 2017 that the nation aims to have 1 million businesses by 2020, up from the current 500,000. In Ho Chi Minh City alone, startups make up 2.7% of the enterprises operating in the city last year, far above the national average of 0.6%.
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