KUALA LUMPUR, 19 MAY 2010 - A new agreement between government agency Cradle Fund and software giant Microsoft will help the country's economy through the promotion of innovation and intellectual property [IP], said the signatories.
Microsoft Malaysia general manager, local software innovations, Azli Jamil said the joint effort for a commercialisation funding project is a continuation of the company's successful BizSpark programme. "Under this partnership, budding Malaysian start-ups with innovative solutions will stand to gain from technology and commercial mentoring from Microsoft coupled with funding support from Cradle of up to US$155,000 (RM500,000) to attain commercialisation."
Jamil said Microsoft BizSpark is an initiative launched to accelerate the success of local Malaysian technopreneurs and early stage start-ups through professional and software support. "This complements Cradle's objectives of managing the Cradle Investment Programme (CIP), Malaysia's first development and technology commercialisation funding programme for budding innovators and new technology-based businesses."
Rigorous selection process
"The partnership between Cradle and Microsoft brings together some of the most valuable resources in technology for local technopreneurs to leverage on," Jamil said. "Through the partnership, Microsoft will identify companies through a rigorous selection process."
"Ten quality start-up companies will be recommended to Cradle for consideration over the next two years," said Jamil.
"Depending on the maturity and potential of the company, entrants may be eligible for funding under the CIP 500, Cradle's technology commercialisation fund which can provide up to US$155,000 (RM500,000)," he said. "At the same time, Microsoft will also identify and refer technopreneurs at the ideas stage for consideration for the CIP Catalyst programme, which will offer funds of up to US$46,612 (RM150,000) for prototype development."
Cradle Fund, an agency under the ministry of finance, Malaysia (MOF), is the organisation that manages the Cradle Investment Programme. A total sum of US$31 million (RM100 million) has been allocated to Cradle for this programme by MOF. The Cradle Investment Programme (CIP) is Malaysia's first development and technology commercialisation funding programme that enables Malaysia's budding innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs to transform their raw technology-based ideas in the ICT, non-ICT and high growth technology industries into commercially viable ventures.
An exciting phase
Now we have reached an exciting phase in our initiatives," added Jamil. "Working together with Cradle offers us an opportunity to assist companies from start to finish, and we are confident that we will soon be seeing our selected start-up companies flourish at a bigger scale than before."
Globally, over 30,000 start-up companies have signed up for BizSpark," he said. "In Malaysia, more than 250 start-up companies have come on board since it was introduced less than two years ago. From our estimates, there are quite a number of quality start-up companies that are ready to go to market and this is where the commercialisation grant of US$155,000 (RM500, 000) from Cradle would be most useful.
Cradle chief executive officer, Nazrin Hassan said the partnership was in line with Cradle's policy of using commercialisation as a gauge of success for any innovation. "The partnership with Microsoft will benefit technopreneurs as linkage to an internationally renowned brand such as Microsoft gives them the sense of security of being part of a good brand and helps attract the attention of reputable investors."
"As the first network partner to provide commercialisation funding for BizSpark start-up companies, Cradle is honoured to have a partner as illustrious as Microsoft to achieve Malaysia's goal of becoming an innovation economy. We look forward to jointly increasing the number of export-ready made-in-Malaysia IPs, said Hassan.
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