As part of Microsoft’s commitment to discover and nurture high-potential technology startups in the region, 11 startups from Malaysia have been selected to be part of the Microsoft Emerge X program. As an Emerge X startup, they will participate in a year-long mentorship programme with Microsoft for Startups which is designed to help them scale and accelerate their growth. The 11 startups from Malaysia include Alpha Red Services, Betacard, Leaderonomics Digital, Naluri Hidup, OrangeFIN Asia, SalesCandy, Setel, Softinn Solutions, Soft Solvers Solutions, Supplycart.my, and Talentcloud.ai.
Further to the year-long mentorship, they will also receive GitHub and Azure credits, have the opportunity to attend a Founder Bootcamp for 3 days, gain access to enterprise clients globally through Microsoft’s unique co-sell program, and interact with Microsoft experts.
“For Asia Pacific to remain at the forefront of global transformation, it takes disruptors, visionaries, and futurists. There are no limits to what people can achieve when the world and technology reflect the diversity of everyone who uses it. Which is why at Microsoft, we build technology so that others can create technology, and to be successful we all need to come together,” said Andrea Della Mattea, President, Microsoft Asia Pacific.
“Through the Highway to a 100 Unicorns and our Emerge X programme, we aim to help startups on the road to innovation, where they can meet unarticulated needs of the industry and help businesses become resilient,” she added.
Growing the Startup Ecosystem in Malaysia and Asia Pacific
The Emerge X Programme, which is part of Microsoft’s Highway to a 100 Unicorns initiative, was launched in Malaysia and 15 other Asian Pacific countries in October 2020, following overwhelming success in India. Since the launch of the program, Microsoft has engaged and collaborated with more than 70 prominent startup ecosystem players and governments across the region, including Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and Cradle Fund, who then nominated more than 300 of their most promising for the programme.
From the nominations, 79 of the most promising startups across Asia Pacific were shortlisted. Additionally, 21 of them were invited to pitch their ideas at the Emerge X Regional Pitching Competition, held at the Philippine Startup Week 2020. Juliana Jan, Chief Investment Officer of Cradle, who was one of the judges said, “Southeast Asia is home to stunning coastal vistas, delectable food, and a long history of cultural tradition. Today, it is known for one thing – a region that is growing its innovative capabilities at full speed. Southeast Asia also has a booming internet economy. A massive 70% of Southeast Asian consumers are expected to go digital by the end of this year, with a pool of 400 million users accounting for the region’s US$100+ billion internet economy.
Juliana added that in the recent time, Southeast Asia has emerged from the shadows in tech and is accelerating the transformation of its digital landscape. “I am excited to see what’s next in our region and how our startups will fully utilise its potential in coming with innovative technology solutions. This is the time to fast-track innovative solutions while we are still combating COVID-19 that has changed the world as we know it. Technology as it has come to be known, gets a lot of attention for its extraordinary potential to change lives and change economies. It can help ordinary people access any products securely and efficiently, while boosting countries’ economic growth.”
Joining Juliana during the judging session were investors from BOV Capital, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Movac, M12, SBK Tech Ventures, Sequoia, Vista Consulting Group, and 54i Ventures, as well as ecosystem leaders from GitHub and Target Accelerator. At the event, Abivin (Vietnam), Lifetrack Medical Systems (Philippines and Singapore), Agrithmics (Sri Lanka), and Milky Way AI (Singapore), were announced as winners of the Emerge X Regional pitch battle.
Empowering Malaysia’s startup ecosystem
To further nurture Malaysia’s startup ecosystem, Microsoft will be organising the KL StartUp Summit + Microsoft Developer Day in 2021, bringing together some of the region’s most innovative and ambitious startups to network with a diverse line-up of speakers and participants.
Additionally, Microsoft will be supporting MaGIC as its technology partner via the MyStartup Hub 2021 programme. The initiative aims to reach global innovative startups from all over the world to establish a business hub in Malaysia, thus reinforcing Malaysia’s positioning in the regional ecosystem while instilling the exchange of knowledge between local and international startups.
“We strongly believe in the potential of the local startup ecosystem to disrupt industries and enable the nation’s inclusive and sustainable economic growth. We’ll continue partnering with fellow ecosystem enablers to provide a vibrant and conducive ecosystem for the development of innovative startup. This is part of our commitment to empowering our local startups with the right technology and expertise, enabling them to scale and achieve more globally,” said K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia.