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MDEC announces fourth ‘Malaysia Digital Hub’ as part of initiative to support tech startups

Photo credit: MDEC 

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) announced its fourth approved digital hub, WORQ, under the Malaysia Digital Hub initiative recently. WORQ is a productivity community and large-scale co-working space located in Klang Valley.

The Malaysia Digital Hub initiative was launched earlier this year to offer opportunities to startups for connecting to ASEAN and global digital ecosystem. The hubs provides startups 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.

While it encourages the participation from all tech startups, Malaysia Digital Hub focuses on four categories - growing startups, global tech companies, accelerators and talent builders and investors.

Three other digital hubs that were approved by the government earlier, APW, The Co. and Common Ground. The announcement of WORQ as a new Malaysia Digital Hub was made at the Create@Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest, ASEAN Division. Fifteen tech entrepreneurs from across Asia presented their ideas during pitching sessions held at WORQ. CXS Analytics from Malaysia and Oceo Water from Singapore were announced as Champions of the ASEAN Division and awarded the equivalent of US$50,000 (RM214, 000) for first place and US$10,000 (RM43,000) for second place. They will  compete for the World Championship title in Shanghai, China together with champions from other 12 markets and regions in the global final which will be held in October this year.

The contest is the latest in a series of collaboration initiatives between MDEC and Alibaba Cloud which supports the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) programme and demonstrates the opportunities made possible through the platform.

Earlier this year, Alibaba Cloud announced that it will establish a data center in Malaysia which is set to become the first global public cloud platform in the country, supporting local entrepreneurs from different industries with different sizes of business to migrate their IT infrastructure to a powerful, reliable and secure platform.

“Alibaba Cloud and MDEC’s partnership was established on one mutual interest and that is, our commitment towards developing the tech entrepreneur ecosystem. This synergy has connected the Malaysian tech entrepreneurs to bigger opportunities and the Create@Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest ASEAN Division is a perfect example of that. Through this contest, Malaysian entrepreneurs had the chance to present their ideas to industry experts and gain the experience,” said Dato’ Wan Peng, COO of MDEC.

In March this year, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Jack Ma, the founder and Chairman of Alibaba Group launched the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ). The DFTZ initiative is a part of the National E-commerce Strategic Roadmap launched late last year. The Roadmap aims to double the country’s e-commerce growth from a forecast Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.8% during the 5 year period from 2015 to 2020 under business-as-usual conditions to 20.8%, through the implementation of acceleration intervention measures. The cloud initiative mentioned above is part of a broader plan by the Alibaba Group to set up an e-commerce hub as part of the collaboration with the Malaysian government, encompassing logistics, cloud-computing and e-financial services.

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