Uber and the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) have partnered to launch an ideation lab, a new initiative targeting the Southeast Asian entrepreneurial community.
According to Uber and MaGIC, this lab will aid entrepreneurs refine their business concepts and accelerate their investment readiness. Interested parties can submit applications till September 17, 2016.
The applications will be reviewed by a joint panel from Uber, MaGIC, and Digi, with the top 20 selected entrepreneurs participating in a two-week programme at MaGIC’s campus in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.
Recently, Uber has been expanding its spread into via investments into other startups. This partnership with Uber comes amidst an emerging trend of startup ventures investing in other venture-backed startups. and comes as it commits more resources to deepen its footprint in Southeast Asia, with up to 150 engineers being redeployed to Southeast Asia.
Citing people familiar with the development, Bloomberg has shared that Uber will be developing new features (i.e. mapping ) to lessen its reliance on Google Maps as it boosts services for the region.
The involvement of Uber in the ideation lab creates a pipeline of potential investments for the transport service firm, whether for M&A purposes or expanding into new business areas, as well as to deepen its involvement in a key market like Malaysia.
Digis’ chief digital officer Praveen Rajan, said, “Startups are key to our future. They will continue to play a big role in shaping every aspect of the way we live, work and play.”
In addition to the ideation lab, Digi operates a pre-accelerator programme for startup ventures called Digi Incub8.
According to MaGIC, selected entrepreneurs attending the ideation lab will be able to learn about three key aspects of developing a business: customer, product, and market.
Following the completion of the course, entrepreneurs will be able to pitch their ideas at the Global Entrepreneurship Community event in Kuala Lumpur on November 2-3 where they can network with early-stage investors and Uber executives.
MaGIC CEO Ashran Ghazi said, “Through collaboration, corporates can benefit from fresh, impactful, and innovative ideas from the startups while the entrepreneurs could benefit from mentorship and industry-specific experience from the corporates.”