On Tuesday, the Malaysian government officially kicked off the MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre) Accelerator Program, accepting 77 startups into the program. According to Tech in Asia reporter Judith Balea, the program received more that 1,000 applications.1 The MaGIC Accelerator is really quite unique in terms of the program structure.
The 4 month program will run two separate tracks concurrently. The ASEAN track, of which 52 of the startups are in, is aimed at ramping up growth to make the companies investment ready by the end of the program. The second track is a bit different. The Social Enterprise program is more focused on growing and cultivating ideas into businesses. As the name of the track implies, the Social Enterprise startups are those that are focused on various social and environmental issues.
The program itself is also quite unique. Both tracks feature different rounds of weekly and monthly themes. For the ASEAN track, these themes include things like identifying and analyzing target markets, measuring various metrics and tracking growth, pitch development, and others. The Social Enterprise track is a bit different, as it focuses on infant companies. This track is more or less a four month long crash course in business, with topics ranging from business model planning, management practices, and marketing amongst others.
Perhaps the most interesting component of the MaGIC Accelerator are the benefits and monetary terms afforded to the startups. Again, they are different for the two tracks. For the ASEAN track, startups will receive more than $400,000 worth of software and other necessities from the likes of Google Developers Launchpad, Microsoft BizSpark, Amazon Web Services and others. Further, each team member will receive free accommodations for the duration of the accelerator, and a monthly stipend of around $400 USD. While those terms may not fly for companies required to give up equity, the MaGIC accelerator does not take any. The Social Enterprise startups will receive around $8,000 dollars in seed funding, in addition to all the benefits the ASEAN track receives, again with MaGIC not taking an equity stake.
It is pretty clear that Malaysia has made attracting and retaining startups a key economic goal. In addition to accelerator, MaGIC recently formed a partnership with 500 Startups to create DistroDojo, a post funding growth boot camp for startups. The recent level of 500 Startups involvement in Malaysia – and the region as a whole – combined with the MaGIC initiatives have the country poised to explode in growth. For more info, check out MaGIC’s website.
- Judith Balea, Tech in Asia, “MaGIC accelerator program accepts 77 startups, becomes largest in region,” 28 July 2015 ▲