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Monday, December 4, 2023

Launchgarage, MDEC launch program to connect MY firms with PH startups

Launchgarage Innovation Hub teamed up with Malaysia Digital Economy Corp. to launch its third cohort through the Gain: Expand PH program—a market access program that provides Malaysian startups with opportunities to connect with strategic partners, clients and investors in the Philippines.

Launchgarage chief operation officer Jojo Flores said the program is a part of the five-year exclusive deal with MDEC that they initially signed in 2019. The strategic partnership enables seamless cross-border collaboration as the Malaysia-based company serves as its exclusive partner in running various market access programs.

“As we start to recuperate from the devastating effects of the pandemic, we are glad to once again collaborate with our Malaysian counterparts in MDEC to continue co-hosting these market access programs, which provide value and accelerate their validation process when entering the Philippine market,” said Flores.

MDEC senior vice president for ecosystem development division Gopi Ganesalingam said MDEC is honored to have been given a chance to continue these startups’ expansion in the Philippines.

“Pre-pandemic, the cross-border collaboration between Launchgarage and MDEC has initially created market access opportunities for Malaysian startups to expand their network and services to the Philippines, and now, we aim to see greater success from our first two runs. We expect more deals to be closed and valuable partnerships to be forged through the program,” he said.

Designed to accommodate Malaysian companies virtually and give them a better understanding of the country they want to expand in, the program offered webinar sessions by renowned industry experts on different topics such as introduction to the Philippine startup ecosystem, legal and regulatory compliance, digital marketing and investments.

Launchgarage founders Jay Fajardo and Jojo Flores led growth hacking and advisory sessions. Deal flow and exploratory meetings were also conducted throughout the program to jumpstart their growth and presence in the Philippines.

A culmination event called a ‘demo day’ was held virtually on April 18 and provided an avenue for the cohort to pitch their companies to invited partners, investors, media partners and government agencies.

The program is further enhanced through support from the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp. which will provide insights on market access and doing business in the Philippines.

MATRADE’s trade office in Manila is also involved to help ensure the Gain: Expand PH program, particularly business meeting arrangements between the Malaysian companies and the Philippines business partners is well executed.

After receiving several applications, only half of the applicants were accepted to join the program.

The third cohort consists of enterprise tech solutions, including document management solutions, AI-software robotics RPA system, recruitment marketplace platform and advanced eKYC solutions.

The 2022 cohort features a diverse set of elite-tier companies, which include InfoConnect, an information and content management solution provider that include data capture and scanning, document and records management, forms processing, output management, business process management and integrated business management; OrangeFIN Asia Sdn Bhd, an MSC Status company that offers OrangeWorkforce, a software-driven robotic workforce with artificial intelligence (machine learning) capabilities that can handle complex, high-volume and repeatable tasks that humans traditionally do.

Others are Recruitopia, a recruitment marketplace platform built to help employers to find innovative ways and strategies to recruit candidates and connect business owners, hiring managers, talent acquisition specialists with external recruiters, enhancing the collaboration and experience for every stakeholder in the hiring process; and Innov8tif Solutions Sdn. Bhd., an AI company that helps businesses widen the sales funnel, speed-up processes without paper and prevent identity fraud using patented AI-based fraud detection technologies.

Launchgarage is the premiere technology accelerator for traction stage startups in the Philippines, with a large and diverse global network of industry experts, stakeholders, investors and collaborators that aims to bring local companies to the worldwide market through deal-flow facilitation, advisory and various programs.

It was founded in 2016 by Fajardo and Flores, two of the country’s most revered and well-known icons in the tech industry.

MDEC is the agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia, leading the digital transformation of the economy for 25 years. It aims to enable a progressive, innovation-led digital economy.  MDEC will continue to lead Malaysia towards becoming a globally competitive digital nation through developing and executing the Malaysia Digital initiative, which aims to create substantial digital economic spill-over through equitable access to digital tools, knowledge, and income opportunities.

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