MaGIC ASEAN accelerator programme MAP to groom regional startups

MaGIC Accelerator Programme

Malaysian Global Centre for Innovation and Creativity (MaGIC) has launched the first ASEAN-focused accelerator, the MaGIC Accelerator Programme (MAP), to grow a community of regionally-focused startups.

The accelerator was announced on Saturday at the 1Asean Entrepreneurs Summit (1AES) held in Kuala Lumpur.

MAP, inspired by the Startup Chile model, is open for application this April 1 and will be a bi-annual programme from next year on.

For this year, 75 startups will be taken in from July to November as the first four-month batch, with a preference for teams of up to three founders. 50 of the selected startups should be market- and for-profit- models while 25 will be social enterprises.

At this scale, MaGIC said it will be the largest accelerator programme for the region.

The 50 for-profit startups are placed in the ASEAN Startup Track and 40 per cent of the participants will come from ASEAN countries other than Malaysia; the 25 companies under the social enterprise track will consist of only Malaysian startups.

Startups applying must have at least a prototype or must have launched a product with some users or market validation. For the social enterprises, the focus is on ideation and prototype and the companies would have more “hand-holding”, as Digital News Asia reported.

MaGIC vice president of accelerator programmes Warren Leow noted that this was primarily because the ecosystem is not as mature as that of the tech ecosystem.

The selected startups also receive a RM30,000 ($8,120) grant each, which is milestone-dependent. MaGIC takes no stakes in any of the companies, nor will it fund them.

Investors and even the media will be invited to work out from the MaGIC office in Cyberjaya, where MAP will have an entire floor dedicated to itself.

MaGIC has also lined up a strong pool from Malaysia and other ASEAN countries.

“Not only have they built regional companies themselves, such as Patrick Grove of Catcha Group, Vishen Lakhiani of Mindvalley, or Mark Chang of JobStreet, but we have also gotten them to dedicate certain hours to MAP,” Leow said.

MaGIC CEO Cheryl Yeoh said MAP, backed with a strong lineup of mentors and programmes, would prepare founding teams for investment pitches. “If you come to our programme, instead of taking one year on your own, you will be more investment-ready after four months,” Yeoh said.

The four months culminates with the MAP Demo Day when the selected startups meet investors. “At the same time, it will be an excellent opportunity to get visibility and raise funding for the startups that participate,” Yeoh added.

Among the corporate sponsors for MAP are Axiata Group, Digi Telecommunications, Tune Talk, Accenture, Zaid Ibrahim & Co and Macrokiosk. The startups will benefit from access to venture philanthropists, impact investors, mentors, industry experts and training from experts around he world.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.