Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), ride-hailing app Uber and Telecom operator Digi have initiated an ideation lab whereby 20 startups throughout Southeast Asia will be groomed to be investment-ready and this does not require any equity from the participants. A few selected ones will also proceed to the next round and be given the chance to meet early stage investors.
The program is a six-day initiative known as “ASEAN’s Next Great Idea” which will conclude on November 30. Mentors at the MaGIC include Chelsey Lepage, Innovation Lead at UNICEF, Prashant Pathmanaban, Head of Technology at Google and Michael Octoman, Partner at Navis Capital, among others.
“During the program, the top 20 startups – shortlisted from a pool of 417 applicants – will learn how to develop three key aspects of their future business which are their customer, product, and market,” MaGIC said in an announcement on Tuesday.
Additionally, the lab will also provide participants with direct access to the best resources in the ecosystem: MaGIC’s expertise in building entrepreneurs, Uber’s real world experiences, and Digi Incub8’s strength in startup strategy. All these will help the entrepreneurs to fine-tune their ideas or concepts and create a working prototype, preparing them for the next stage of seed investment and funding.
Following this, the top 10 participants will present their refined business ideas to key executives from MaGIC, Uber, and Digi at the Global Entrepreneurship Community event on December 8 in Kuala Lumpur. Furthermore, qualified ideas will have the opportunity to meet early stage investors and key players within the entrepreneurship ecosystem in San Francisco, as well as a visit to Uber’s Silicon Valley headquarters.
“I hope with programs such as ASEAN’s Next Great Idea lab, more and more individuals are encouraged to come forward with their ideas and develop them further. The emergence of new ideas is what keeps our entrepreneurship ecosystem growing,” said MaGIC CEO Ashran Dato’ Ghazi.
With this, ASEAN’s startup ecosystem will continue to thrive with ideas that can dramatically shape people’s digital lifestyles with their smart devices. While the role MaGIC plays is through instilling an entrepreneurial mindset where solving a problem is at the heart of any startup.
“The ambition now is to help translate the growth potential of these ideas and startups into creating long-term, sustainable businesses,” Digi’s Chief Digital Officer, Praveen Rajan added.
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By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media