Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy and Innovation(GCCEI), a Korean public accelerator sponsored by KT, had a meeting on May 5 with Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), one of the top accelerators in Malaysia, to discuss how they can support startups in Malaysia.
MaGIC, which was officially opened on 27 April 2014 jointly by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and US President Barack Obama, has been playing critical roles as a professional accelerator under the Ministry of Finance of Malaysia since then. MaGIC Accelerator Program (GAP) has been working actively with business partners and venture capitalists (VCs) from Asian countries including Thailand, Singapore, Japan, China and Korea as well as western countries such as USA and Europe.
More and more foreign startups get interested in getting acceleration and doing business in Malaysia since there is no language barrier in the country and it has a multicultural environment.
MaGIC does not invest in startups directly nor gives grants to them, instead more focusing on playing roles as a platform where they connect startups to private VCs and business partners. According to Chong Cheng Loke, a program coordinator at MaGIC, Japanese VCs have been most active in investing in startups with MaGIC, amid an active participation by VCs from Thailand, China and Singapore. It gives a great help to startups that they can meet all those VCs in one sitting if they want to.
Attocube, one of the startups incubated by GCCEI, was accelerated at MaGIC in 2016 with the other two Korean startups.
Until last year, MaGIC had focused on the Asian region, but from this year, they go global by working together with European and American startups and VCs. More and more Malaysian startups are also eager to give it a try in the Korean market despite a language barrier. Thus collaborations between GCCEI and MaGIC can be practically helpful to the startups.
Briefly introducing the GCCEI and 1800 GCCEI-accelerated startups in Korea at the meeting, David Sehyeon Baek, Director of Global Cooperation & Marketing at GCCEI, said that Korean startups are eager to penetrate into the Southeast Asian market and as a result, GCCEI and MaGIC decided to work together by actively exchanging information and co-nurturing startups. Daniel Junghyun Kim, Director of Global Strategic Cooperation at VenturePort, a Korean private accelerator, introduced K-Grand Challenge Program 2017, through which foreign startups can be financed and accelerated in Korea. He asked MaGIC to recommend Malaysia’s excellent startups to apply for the program.
Baek said, “Korean startups used to look mainly at China, but more and more startups now want to work for Southeast Asian market, which naturally leads us to collaborating with the accelerators in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand that provide many opportunities for Korean startups to meet with VCs, business partners from various countries. In particular, Malaysia is one of the best partners in that English is officially spoken, and that they have many diversities in terms of religion, culture, race, and so on. It can be a great spring board for Korean startups to go global.”