New cohort continues drive in innovation ecosystem

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Accelerator programme focuses on fintech, Internet of Things and robotics.

CYBERVIEW Sdn Bhd, the company leading Cyberjaya’s transformation into a Global Technology Hub, has shortlisted five startups to participate in the latest instalment of its Cyberview Living Lab Accelerator (CLLA) Programme.

The startups have been working out of Colnnov8, Cyberview’s collaborative smart city space, for over a month and will undergo four more months of intensive work under the programme.

“The latest instalment of our accelerator programme is testament to the success of the past instalments.

“For example, the Demo Day which was held last October saw satisfactory response from ecosystem partners, venture capitalists, and corporate partners towards the last cohort of the programme. In fact, the amount of funds raised by the previous cohort comes up to RM12.28mil,” said Cyberview managing director Mohd Najib Ibrahim.

The five startups participating in the latest instalment of the CLLA Programme are fintech players EPC Blockchain, MEDKAD and CheQQme, IoT solutions provider Touchless, and Ideasparq Robotics, an automation company which provides robotics solutions.

According to Najib Ibrahim, Cyberview has been focusing on the areas of fintech and the Internet of Things (IoT) for the past two instalments of the programme, but have decided to open up to startups in the area of robotics this time around. This is in tandem with the market’s increased appetite and attention towards these three areas, especially with Robotics being a focal point for innovation leaders making strides under Industry 4.0.

“Fintech has seen tremendous growth in the past few years, with global fintech investments hitting new record levels every year. In the middle of this is blockchain, which is expected to be the future of financial infrastructure.

“For IoT, the Malaysian market itself holds so much potential. According to the Malaysia National IoT Strategic Roadmap, the initial economic potential for the country in this particular area will be RM9.5bil GNI creation by 2020 and is expected to experience exponential growth to reach RM42.5bil in 2025.

“We have also decided to include robotics this year as it is one of the most important areas in emerging technology with research stating that the global industrial robotics space is expected to reach US$40bil by 2020. This solidifies even further how we need to move in line with global and regional trends,” he added.

He also lauded the Prime Minister’s recent announcement to revive Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) plan.

Finnext Capital is the programme manager, working with Cyberview for the second time to ensure that the startups are equipped with sufficient guidance and resources throughout the five-month period.

Finnext Capital is an innovation enabler consulting firm which provides professional advisory to both corporations and startups.

According to Siti Shafinaz Mohd Salim, acting head of Technology Hub Development Division, the priority is to provide these startups with problem statements that reflect the needs of Cyberjaya’s main stakeholders and its community. This is to ensure that a solid purpose and direction is set for these startups who already have at least a minimum viable product that can enrich the smart city ecosystem in Cyberjaya, and possibly the nation.

“They come to us because they need assistance, which includes mentorship and market access. It has always been our aim to engage with startups and provide them with a suitable launchpad towards the next phase of their commercialisation plan,” said Shafinaz.

The accelerator offers participants a programme value up to RM100,000 which comprises resources, facilities, mentorship, networking, market access opportunities, and other assistance.

“The CLLA Programme is unique in a sense that it supports startups with solutions that contribute to a smart city’s needs, and balances the scale between meeting the Cyberjaya community’s present demands and moving in tandem with the different moving parts of the tech space,” said Najib Ibrahim.

“We are always ecstatic when startups take the learnings from our programme and are able to expand their businesses either to local or global markets.

“One example is LuxTag, one of the startups from the last instalment of our accelerator programme which secured a hefty amount of funding recently. This pushes their valuation up significantly. But more importantly, this would allow them to further their mission and business goals, added Najib Ibrahim.

According to him, the key to transforming Cyberjaya as a Global Technology Hub is the impact of technology and innovation on society and the way communities live and do things.

The CLLA Programme provides the opportunity for startups to test and tweak their ideas in a real life city setting, which would allow them to engage with the community within the city and assess the potential impact and values of their innovation.

“Cyberjaya is a ready and safe testbed for startup founders to pilot their ideas. Twenty percent of Cyberjaya’s total population are early tech adopters, which simply means that the community here is always ready to provide feedback on what works and what does not,” Najib Ibrahim said.