Photo - Albern Murty, Digi's Chief Executive Officer and Praveen Rajan, Digi's Head of Postpaid & Digital Services with Malaysia's up-and-coming startups at the launch of Digi Accelerate.
Digi Telecommunications (Digi) has launched its first accelerator platform, called Digi Accelerate, to help fast-track Malaysian startups into the global marketplace.
During the launch event in Kuala Lumpur, Digi's chief executive officer Albern Murty said the Digi Accelerate programme's 360 initiative will accelerate two startups in building entrepreneurship fundamentals.
"Malaysia has a lot of entrepreneurial talent and energy, which is encouraging for a country aspiring to become a digital nation," said Murty. "Startups are key to our digital future. Given the right conditions for growth, they can become some of the largest, most successful companies of our time and this means big business as they contribute to innovation, new tech, job creation, economic growth and continuously change the way we live."
Murty said Digi has partnered with its other Telenor Group counterparts such as dtac in Thailand and Telenor Myanmar. Features of the programme include:
- Regional 360 programme to fast-track startup development, beginning with two teams for year one
- Offers 4-month intensive bootcamp with global curriculum, mentors and networking opportunities, up to RM100,000 (almost US$25,000) seed fund per team, potential for commercialisation and access to 200 million customers globally
Under the programme, successful startup entrepreneurs from the region will have the opportunity to pitch to global and regional venture capitalists, and take advantage of potential commercialisation opportunities with Digi and Telenor Group, opening doors to 200 million customers globally.
"Even with their limited resources, the fast and agile nature of startups edge out large, resourceful corporates in driving innovation and disruption across major industries," said Murty. "The current wave of digital disruption is already evolving the way Malaysians use technology and smart devices, and this uptrend will continue rapidly, fuelled largely by startups. While we aim to energise the startup scene, this is also a big opportunity for us to learn the way of digital from our startups, especially at a time when we are digitising our business to drive our ambition to be our customers' favourite partner in digital life."
"With Digi Accelerate, our focus is to expose startups to methods of entrepreneurship, with structured coaching and mentoring so that on graduation day our founders have the knowledge and tools to keep improving and evolving, which is needed in today's constantly changing market. We look forward to seeing the digital disrupt they will create, and market globally," he said.
Murty said Digi Accelerate is eligible for early stage start-ups at any point of the product maturity spectrum, from ideas or concepts, to market-ready products in one of the 12 categories: Financial services, M2M and Internet of Things, Education, Music, Video and Gaming, Healthcare, Fitness and Wellness, Communications, Productivity and Cloud Services, Security, Travel, Logistics or E-Commerce.
Submissions for business proposals are open until 17 April 2016, after which a selection of top 12 teams will be announced on April 22 and advance to Pitch Day on April 28. The final selected two startups will win up to RM100,000 (almost US$25,000) in seed funding each, and attend Digi Accelerate's four-month intensive bootcamp from May to August 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, visit digi.com.my/accelerate
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