The Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) held one of the largest accelerator Demo Days in the region on 3 and 4 August for the graduates of its ASEAN Accelerator Programme (ASEAN Track) and Social Entrepreneurship Programme (SE Track).

At the Demo Day about 50 startups from 15 countries, who had successfully completed the programme, presented their products and business ideas to a room full of investors, partners, stakeholders and proud mentors.

The MaGIC Accelerator Programme (MAP) is one of the largest accelerator programmes in Southeast Asia with two parallel tracks: the ASEAN Track and the Social Entrepreneurship (SE) Track. The second cohort of its ASEAN Track saw participants from Australia, Denmark, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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The programme was officially launched by Dr. Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Secretary General of Treasury from the Ministry of Finance alongside MaGIC CEO, Ashran Ghazi on 5 May 2016.

During the programme, MaGIC provided the carefully-curated startups (in ASEAN Track) with benefits worth over US$400,000; an opportunity to learn from world-class mentors; direct access to route-to-market partners – such as Axiata, Digi, Maxis, Maybank, Accenture – as well as visa, monthly stipend, return flights, accommodation and working space.

Among the startups that graduated from the ASEAN Track were Tripovo (a Malaysia-based online travel booking platform that enables travellers to seamlessly customise their own travel itinerary and holiday packages), QueQ (a Thailand-based mobile queue management system which will help businesses digitise and manage their queues), Eggbun Education (a South Korea-based language learning application that engages a chatbot to teach users any languages), and Snaplio (a Denmark-founded marketplace that connects freelance photographers in Southeast Asia with inbound tourists).

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Yesterday 23 social enterprises who had successfully completed the four-month SE Track presented to a room of venture philanthropists and impact investors.

Among the most innovative social enterprises that presented were The Picha Project (KL-based SE which empowers marginalised groups in Malaysia by providing them a platform to cater food to the public), Loo Urban Farm (Penang-based SE that focuses on sustainable vertical urban farming to reduce carbon footprint and global warming as well as to minimise farm land), Seven Tea One (a Selangor-based fair-trade tea company which aims to empower farmers and underprivileged communities by incentivising rural and urban farms), Therapility (KL-based online platform that offers carers with access to rehabilitation techniques and materials from around the world), and Kayu Besi (a Selangor-based SE which aims to reduce waste by turning industrial wood pallets into home and commercial furniture products).

The social entrepreneurs were mentored for four months by leading industry experts such as Google Head of Technology Prashant Pathmanaban, UNICEF Innovation Lead Chelsey Lepage, Biji-Biji Co-Founder/CEO Rashvin Pal Singh, and Start Some Good Manager of Global Partnerships Stephanie Arrowsmith.

Each social entrepreneur also received RM30,000 (US$7414) of seed funding to support a pilot of their ideas, as well as monthly stipend, allowance for return flights, accommodation, and working space.

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The SE Track is the first in Malaysia aimed at accelerating the development and growth of innovative startups with technologies, products or solutions that will address social or environmental issues and build a sustainable future for Malaysia.

The landmark programme received almost 400 applicants for the second cohort – only six per cent was shortlisted and they come from the following states: Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Kelantan, Sarawak, Pahang, Sabah, and Penang.

“I would like to congratulate those fifty startups that participated in today’s Demo Day for successfully completing our second ASEAN Accelerator Programme. I am proud of the role of MaGIC and specifically our ASEAN Accelerator Programme is playing in developing some of the most innovative startups in Malaysia and regionally. I am excited for the future of the second cohort and look forward to more exciting ideas from the upcoming third cohort,” said Ashran Ghazi, Chief Executive Officer of MaGIC, in a press statement.

Applications for the third cohort closed on 27 June, 2016 and the third cohort will commence the programme on 22 August, 2016.

MAP is inspired by Startup Chile model and the longest-running and largest accelerator programme in Southeast Asia. The four-month programme is fully funded by MaGIC.