Microsoft Malaysia, MDEC and MaGIC launch ‘Highway to a 100 Unicorns’ initiative

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Kuala Lumpur, 19 October 2020 – Microsoft Malaysia is collaborating with Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) and the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) to launch the “Highway to a 100 Unicorns” initiative.

In a joint statement today, they said the initiative is part of an effort to strengthen the nation’s start-up ecosystem, and empower local start-ups with mentoring, technology and access to enterprise clients.

Eligible start-ups will gain access to focused workshops on business and technology, as well as monthly knowledge-sharing webinars with the global start-up community.

Additionally, top start-ups from Malaysia will stand to gain from an intensive year-long mentorship programme, access to enterprise clients as well as engagement opportunities with Microsoft experts and industry leaders.

Microsoft Malaysia managing director K Raman said local start-ups can potentially become tomorrow’s unicorns, helping to shape the economic recovery and resilience, and build a stronger long-term future in Malaysia.

MDEC chief executive officer (CEO) Surina Shukri said Kuala Lumpur had been recognised as the 11th emerging start-up ecosystem in the world by Startup Genome, adding to confidence that Malaysia is primed to be the preferred “land and expand” base for the best innovators and tech start-ups regionally.

“As the spearhead of Malaysia’s digital economy, MDEC is firmly committed to assisting local tech start-ups in their fundraising journey, global market expansion and forging corporate partnerships to entrench Malaysia as the Heart of Digital Asean,” she said.

Meanwhile, MaGIC CEO Dzuleira Abu Bakar said this initiative presents an exciting opportunity for local innovators and founders to scale and move beyond borders through global collaborations, as well as industry-led mentorship and guidance.

“MaGIC, together with our partners, is poised to further help start-ups looking to broaden their reach,” she said.

Registration for Highway to a 100 Unicorns is now open until Oct 31, 2020.

To be considered, start-ups will first have to submit an application for the Emerge X competition.

All Emerge X start-ups will be awarded free GitHub and Azure credits and focused business and technology workshops, as well as focused workshops on technology and business.

The top finalists from Malaysia will be announced in November, joining other shortlisted innovators and entrepreneurs from 16 other Asia-Pacific countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

-The Edge Markets