Photo- MaGIC signs with GLCs and private sector players in KL
Cyberjaya-based Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) has announced that another boost for the startup sector has been created with a deal involving 14 large companies.
MaGIC's chief executive officer Ashran Dato' Ghazi confirmed that a strategic partnership with 14 government-linked companies (GLCs) and private sector players was recently signed on the side-lines of the recent GLC ExplorAce Conference in Kuala Lumpur.
Under the partnership, Ashran said MaGIC's network of creativity and innovation programmes will work with the private sector players' industry expertise to support entrepreneurship development in Malaysia and promote innovation.
Explaining the move, Ashran said: "As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, companies must innovate to future-proof their business and confront disruption happening in their sector." (For some recent local 4th industry revolution, see - Feeding the 4th Industrial Revolution in Malaysia, MIMOS sees two major talent moves and Despite 'talent conundrum,' Corporate Malaysia upbeat about the 4th industrial revolution)
"Corporates can rapidly innovate, disrupt existing business models, bring more agility to operations and drive bottom line growth by engaging with entrepreneurs who are on the cutting edge of new skills," he said. "This is why we are pushing the private sector to be actively involved in our thriving local entrepreneurship community and unlock a wealth of economic possibilities by collaborating with startups that were previously difficult to access."
MaGIC was launched on the 27th of April 2014 by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister YAB Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak to drive the entrepreneur and startup ecosystem in Malaysia.
How CER works
Ashran detailed some the other benefits for corporates, GLCs, and private sector players in being a member of MaGIC CER Circle. The MaGIC CER Circle and MaGIC Activate, under the MaGIC Corporate Entrepreneurship Responsibility (CER) platform was launched on 9 June 2017 as a national initiative to encourage greater corporate, GLCs, and private sector involvement in entrepreneurship development across Malaysia.
"By participating in the MaGIC CER platform, corporates, GLCs, and private sector players will be able to engage with our nation's entrepreneurs directly as well as advance their innovation agenda," he said. "Together, we can be a catalyst of the next wave of entrepreneurship and innovation, which will allow both corporates and entrepreneurs to quantum leap their growth and truly become global industry leaders."
As members of MaGIC CER Circle, corporates, GLCs and private sector players would be able to run innovation challenges for local, regional and global startups through MaGIC Activate's Startup Corporate Open Innovation Challenge Platform, Ashran added.
He said that these innovation challenges will connect corporates with entrepreneurs to uncover revolutionary solutions. It is an initiative run in partnership with the Techstars Startup Program which provides the platform access to more than 3, 000 startups. Eight innovation challenges have been posted on MaGIC Activate so far.
For example, the new partners will also be able to offer industry advisory and mentorship support in MaGIC's various programmes; run corporate innovation programmes together with MaGIC; and take part in MaGIC's Creativity and Innovation Labs as well as the Global Entrepreneurship Community 2017 as strategic partners.
Why does CER matter?
Ashran explained that entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are "the backbone of our economy: 97 percent of the businesses established in Malaysia are SMEs. They account for 65 percent of our nation's employment, 36 percent of our GDP, and almost 18 percent of Malaysia's exports. Entrepreneurship is a powerful tool for job creation and wealth generation."
He said CER connects corporates with entrepreneurs to better foster innovation, and to combat digital disruption in their respective sector and prepare for the new economies of the future. (Also, see interview features: Malaysia's battle plan for digital disruption: part 1 of an exclusive with MDEC's Dato' Yasmin Mahmood and Disrupting the disrupters in Malaysia: part 2 of an exclusive with MDEC CEO Dato' Yasmin)
In addition, "CER mobilises corporates to leverage their resources and networks to help Malaysian entrepreneurs," said Ashran. "Through CER, corporates can give back by creating market opportunities, mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs and giving them opportunities to learn from Malaysia's successful business leaders."
More than 30 partners
Ashran said MaGIC will also work with the 14 new partners by participating in corporate innovation initiatives as a strategic partner. This involves helping to design entrepreneurship and innovation programmes as well as engaging the new partners.
"We are excited to welcome our 14 new partners into the MaGIC CER family," he added. "This is an exciting development - for us and for Malaysia - as the CER movement has gained traction quickly in just two months. We now have more than 30 partners, double the number of partners we had during the launch. We encourage other corporate and private sector players to join us in the MaGIC CER platform."
The 14 GLCs and private sector players in the most recent signing with MaGIC include Standard Chartered Bank, Petronas, Malaysian Resources Corporation, Malaysia Rail Link, MIMOS, MRT Corp, UEM Group, Maybank, Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science & Technology (CREST) and many more. These 14 partners join the first 20 partners announced during the CER launch at MaGIC on 9 June 2017 which includes AIA, CIMB, IBM Malaysia, IJM, Media Prima, Allianz, UNICEF, Microsoft, Setia Haruman, Sunway Ventures, TM and the United Nations.
For other recent MaGIC news, see:
'Growth-hacking' at Malaysian university's new lab embraces 12 business sectors
Perak government transformation plan to help entrepreneurs stay 'ahead of the curve'
Malaysia's MaGIC taps India to dial up global ecosystem for local startups
MaGIC opens up global accelerator for Malaysian startups
The latest edition of this article lives at Computerworld Malaysia.