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SEA Dragon Boosts Scale-Ups
   
One of the signs of a burgeoning economy is a strong entrepreneurial support mechanism, especially one with rapidly growing links to the global ecosystem of investors.

Recently, the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) with support from MDEC hosted the SEA Dragon Platform programme with the sole intention of providing scale-up companies connect with funding opportunities and to also benefit from mentoring sessions with established global investors.  

The programme saw the participation of 40 global venture capitalists, corporate investors and high net-worth individuals as well as more than 170 scale-up companies from Malaysia and other parts of the Southeast Asian region.  

One of the main hurdles faced by startups and scale-ups when looking to move up the value chain is of course funding. A great idea can disappear overnight if there is lack of financial support to take it to the next level. 

In her launch speech, MDEC’s CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said: “Without the proper guidance and mentorship from seasoned investors who have gone through the agony of defeat and thrill of success, young entrepreneurs could be lost in their journey towards establishing a successful, reputable and recognizable company.”  

While many companies vied for a place on the platform, only 28 made it through the intense selection process, 60 percent of which were Malaysians. These companies now have the opportunity to directly pitch to more than 40 venture capitalists, investors and high net worth individuals from China, Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, Malaysia and across the region. 

Such programmes are a boon to the startup ecosystem, Datuk Yasmin noted. “Without the proper guidance and mentorship from seasoned investors who have gone through the agony of defeat and thrill of success, young entrepreneurs could be lost in their journey towards establishing a successful, reputable and recognizable company.”  

The revolution fuelled by digital technologies has swept us off our feet with the latest new devices, entertaining online platforms, and apps. Now, with the integration of cloud computing, IoT, Big Data, AI, Robotics, Blockchain and Mobile Apps, things are getting even more interesting. And it is the startups that will play a lead role in pioneering the new digital world.