MDeC announces ‘MSC Malaysia for Startups,’ support from MaGIC
By Digital News Asia May 12, 2015
- Supported by ecosystem players, including 500 Startups and Founder Institute
- Aims to take aspiring startups global, MSC location requirements removed
MALAYSIA’S national ICT custodian Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) has officially launched the MSC Malaysia for Startups programme to facilitate and accelerate local startups in obtaining MSC Malaysia status.
The programme comes with the support of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), as well as other ecosystem players such as StartupMalaysia.org, the New Entrepreneurship Foundation (MyNEF), Cradle Fund, Cyberview, the National Incubator Network Association, 500 Startups, the Technopreneur Association of Malaysia (TeAM) and the Founder Institute, MDeC said in a statement.
“The MSC Malaysia for Startups programme is an extended platform for nurturing startups and is intended to take them to the next level of growth,” said MDeC chief executive officer Yasmin Mahmood (pic).
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MDeC manages the Multimedia Super Corridor or MSC Malaysia project, which aims to boost the ICT sector in the country.
MSC Malaysia status is granted by the Malaysian Government, through MDeC, for ICT and ICT-facilitated businesses that develop or use multimedia and digital technologies to produce and enhance their products and services.
The status also opens access to a host of privileges granted by the Government to qualified businesses.
Location requirement removed
MSC Malaysia status offers multi-tiered incentives that are designed to spur the growth and increase the participation of digital entrepreneurs, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and startups in the ICT industry.
In its statement, MDeC said it recognises that ICT companies at different growth cycles have different needs, and that the MSC Malaysia for Startups programme would help position Malaysia as the ‘Entrepreneur Hub’ of South-East Asia.
The programme also serves as an alternative route for young companies to attain MSC Malaysia status without being held to location requirements, MDeC said.
Traditionally, MSC Malaysia status companies must relocate to a designated ‘cyberzone,’ but this has led to criticism by companies and associations such as TeAM that the property prices in such locations are above market prices, putting them beyond the financial resources of startups and many SMEs.
TeAM has indeed been asking for the location requirement to be removed for some time now.
Meanwhile, MDeC said that companies which join the startup programme will be able to benefit from:
- Flexibility in choosing location of operation;
- Ease of hiring foreign talents (they can employ up to 20 foreign knowledge workers in key positions);
- Competitive financial incentives, including 70% tax exemption of statutory income for five years; and
- Other MSC Malaysia Bill of Guarantees (BoGs) specified under this programme.
“In addition to the specified incentives provided under the BoGs, MSC Malaysia status companies also benefit from the MSC Malaysia ecosystem,” said Yasmin.
“[These] benefits include networking opportunities to further business objectives and partnerships, capability-building programmes to enhance their competitive edge, and market access programmes to assist these companies to compete globally,” she added.
MaGIC is the government agency entrusted to develop Malaysia’s startup ecosystem, and it will be a key partner in promoting this programme and funnelling potential startups for participation, according to MDeC.
“When MaGIC had its first entrepreneur’s dialogue in 2014, the MSC status location requirement was one of the issues raised by startups,” said its chief executive officer Cheryl Yeoh (pic).
“This latest development and the additional benefits it offers will definitely boost and increase the number of MSC Malaysia status startups, and help drive the setup of foreign companies here in Malaysia.
“We at MaGIC are highly supportive of this programme and are proud to work closely with MDeC to promote this initiative to the local startup community,” she added.
There are currently over 3,600 MSC Malaysia status companies, comprising global and local companies across multiple sectors which are primarily grouped under the Creative Multimedia, Global Business Services (formerly known as Shared Services and Outsourcing), and information technology (InfoTech) clusters.
More information on the MSC Malaysia for Startups programme is available here.
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