MaGIC, Uber and Digi Launch ASEAN’s Next Great Idea to Spur Entrepreneurship

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The Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Uber and Digi have launched an ideation lab aimed at growing exciting, impactful business ideas from entrepreneurs within the ASEAN region.

The initiative will provide aspiring startups with an opportunity to be part of the ideation lab and an international exposure trip to San Francisco.

Interested participants with revolutionary ideas can start applying into the programme from today until 17 September 2016. Following that, a panel from MaGIC, Uber and Digi will handpick the top 20 entrepreneurs to participate in a two week ideation lab, which will run on Digi Incub8 and MaGIC’s pre-accelerator curriculum, at MaGIC’s campus in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

The selected startups will learn how to develop three key aspects of their future business: customer, product and market. These will help the entrepreneurs fine-tune their ideas or concepts and create a working prototype, preparing them for the next stage of seed investments and funding.

After the rigorous lab, the top 20 entrepreneurs will have a chance to present their refined business ideas to key executives from MaGIC, Uber and Digi at the Global Entrepreneurship Community event on 2-3 November 2016. Deserving champions will have the opportunity to meet early stage investors and other key players within the entrepreneurship ecosystem in San Francisco.

Ashran Dato’ Ghazi, Chief Executive Officer of MaGIC, said: “We’re really excited to collaborate with Uber and Digi to launch this ideation lab. This could be a great springboard for early stage companies in the region to fine-tune their innovative and revolutionary ideas further before going into the market. We also hope that the lab will provide the participants with a forum for education, mentorship and inspiration, leveraging on the knowledge-based economy. We look forward to your submissions and remember, there are no ideas too small.”

Leon Foong, General Manager of Uber Malaysia, added: “Uber’s story began when two entrepreneurs had an idea – to get a ride at the push of a button. From these humble beginnings, Uber today has demonstrated the power of an idea that is so disruptive, it is changing the way people move in cities today. Uber recognizes the power of great ideas and we are thrilled to partner with MaGIC and Digi to discover the next big idea that will change our world.”

Praveen Rajan, Digi’s Chief Digital Officer, said: “Startups are key to our future; they have and I believe they will continue to play a big role in shaping every aspect of the way we live, work and play. ASEAN certainly does not lack talented, creative individuals with great ideas and we hope this platform will provide the right conditions for the best ideas to start up, and grow into a thriving, sustainable entrepreneurial pursuits.”

The ideation lab is part of MaGIC’s Corporate Entrepreneurship Responsibility (CER) pilot initiative, where it strives to connect corporate leaders with entrepreneurs. Ashran Ghazi said, “The CER programme is one of our efforts to increase our corporate partners’ participation in building the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Through the collaboration, corporates can benefit from fresh, impactful and innovative ideas from the startups while the entrepreneurs could benefit from mentorship and industry-specific experience from the corporates. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

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