MaGIC keen on working with foreign ecosystems to build stronger Asian startup hub

MaGIC CEO Cheryl Yeoh and social entrepreneurship executive director Ehon Chan

The Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) is keen on collaborating with other startup ecosystems in Asia as it continues its effort in making Malaysia a startup capital in Asia, a top executive with the firm said.

Chief executive officer Cheryl Yeoh said, the government-supported agency is open to collaborating with other countries around the region and in Asia to further develop the Asian startup ecosystem.

“Last year, our focus was on developing the local ecosystem, this year, with Malaysia as the Asean chairman, we have opened our doors to the region. Going forward, we will perhaps collaborate with other ecosystems by getting regional entrepreneurs to come in to teach Malaysians and for Malaysian entrepreneurs to go out to teach as well,” she said, on the potential for knowledge sharing within the region.

MaGIC chairman Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah noted, in his opening remarks, MaGIC has grown into a globally recognised entity, with corresponding parties in the UK and South Korea knocking on its doors for potential collaboration.

“More than just a year ago, we were slightly behind the curve, but now we are moving ahead. The ecosystems in the UK and South Korea have expressed interest to work with us,” he said, at the opening of the MaGIC Academy 2015 symposium.

“In November, MaGIC will be launching the Asean Centre for Entrepreneurs, which will act as a linkage for Southeast Asian entrepreneurs to go out and vice versa,” Yeoh added, during a media briefing.

MaGIC is also courting investors, in particular from Japan to Malaysian shores.

“We want to attract more venture capitalists from Japan to come and invest in Malaysian startups,” Yeoh said.

“There are super-angels keen on Malaysian opportunities. They (super angels) invest bigger than seed rounds but not as big as the venture capitalists,” she elaborated to DEALSTREETASIA.

Over the course of the year, Japanese investors have gained an appetite for Malaysian and Asean startups. One of the more recent deals is KK Fund, which is run by Koichi Saito based out of Singapore, investing into Malaysia’s Be Malas.

Related story: Cradle Fund, KK Fund co-invest $500k in Malaysia based Be Malas

The government-supported agency for building a sustainable local startup ecosystem with regional access organised its MaGIC Academy 2015 symposium from September 9 to 12 this year, targeting a turnout of 3,500 aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.

The four-day event includes a host of talks, workshops and clinic sessions featuring international speakers and local entrepreneurs and investors.

Among the topics covered in the symposium are marketing, public relations, social media analytics, mobile UX, product management and web development.

There will be a career fair on the last day, where over 150 startups looking to hire are participating.

This is the second MaGIC Academy symposium the agency has organised, the first in 2014.

In the past year since, the academy has benefitted over 16,000 entrepreneurs, with 65,000 hours of training and workshops.

MaGIC has roped in 150 mentors for 80 workshops it has held in the past 12 months.

Also read: Malaysia consults McKinsey to build ‘Silicon Valley’ startup hub

MaGIC launches accelerator program, backed by corporates, mentors and investors

500 Startups, MaGIC to launch growth-stage accelerator for SEA

MaGIC & Founder Institute partner to bring international experts to Malaysian startups

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.