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Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation introduces Malaysia Digital Hub and Tech Entrepreneur Programme to support start-ups

Photo: Tan Sri Irwan Serigar, Secretary General of Treasury, Ministry of Finance (right) and  Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MDEC (left)/ Photo Credit- MDEC

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) launched two new connected initiatives to support technology start-ups, in the form of the Malaysia Digital Hub (MDH) and the Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Programme (MTEP). These are in line with MDEC’s mandate to assume the role of the lead agency in driving the digital economy in Malaysia.

This follows several other announcements since the beginning of 2017, such as the launch of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) and the establishment of the ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX).

YBhg. Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Secretary General of Treasury, Ministry of Finance, reiterated Malaysia’s commitment  to grow technology-related startup companies and expressed hope that the efforts will continue to get the support from the startup community as well as private sectors.

Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MDEC added,“Malaysia is gradually gaining interests from startups and entrepreneurs worldwide. Located at the heart of ASEAN, Malaysia is able to connect businesses to a regional market of more than 625 million people. With the introduction of Malaysia Digital Hub and MTEP, the local and global tech startup communities can now leverage these benefits that our country has to offer. We believe this will help to strengthen Malaysia’s position as a global hub for startups and entrepreneurs.”.

Malaysia Digital Hub

MDH seeks to serve as a place for growing startups to develop their next big idea in technology and be connected to the ecosystem of the digital economy.

While MDH encourages participation from all tech startups, it has four focus categories: growing startups, global tech companies, accelerators and talent builders and investors.

MDH provides start-ups with high-speed broadband and fibre optic connectivity, funding (both private and government) and facilitation opportunities and IP (Intellectual Property) Protection. Start-ups get access to a Founders Network, with founders of over 20 nationalities.

DigitalHub is a new MSC category, designed for startups and internet companies. Currently, there are three government-approved digital hubs,  APW, The Co. and Common Ground. All are located in Klang Valley.

Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Programme

MTEP is described as an initiative by the Malaysian government to attract gifted and ambitious individuals from all around the world, and help them to kick-start their startups in Malaysia. The programme is MTEP aimed at tech founders who want to capture the ASEAN market from Malaysia via a 1-year stay or a 5-year stay in the country.

Both new and established entrepreneurs from all over the world are encouraged to apply. A 1-year pass is available for new entrepreneurs and a 5-year pass for established entrepreneurs, with the latter referring to individuals with a track record of established business.

Application requirements include a Business Pitch Deck, financial track record and sponsors. The details from the MTEP website are as below:

Image: Screenshot from MTEP website

The application process will take up to 21 days. MDEC approves the applications and Malaysian Immigration office issues the Pass.

Incentives

The incentives for selected start-ups include corporate tax exemptions, access to funding, and availability of coaching and mentorship. These initiatives can enable start-ups to run business at a low cost, in a stable business-friendly environment.

In addition, there is freedom of ownership for foreign companies for investors.

Partners

MDEC has tied up with strategic industry partners to enrich the ecosystem. For example. Maybank will hold an annual “Go-to-market with Maybank” programme for FinTechstart-ups. Microsoft will provide training, mentoring and cloud services for startups at APW, in addition to sistance for VR/AR startups at the HoloLens Centre at APW.

Y Academy, with an Indonesian-based venture builder, Kejora is offering a customised market immersion programme, named “Frequent Flyer Geeks” for providing market insights and preparing startups for entry into the Indonesian market. Startups can connect with potential partners, investors and in certain cases, regulators. It is open to start-ups at all Malaysia Digital Hubs.

Read the press release from MDEC here

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