This is one of good news for big corporates and startups in Malaysia. Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) has launched two programs,  MaGIC CER Circle and MaGIC Activate, under the MaGIC Corporate Entrepreneurship Responsibility (CER) platform, a national initiative to facilitate greater corporate and private sector involvement in entrepreneurship development across Malaysia.

Malaysia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has shown healthy growth over the past few years.  Both MaGIC CER Circle and MaGIC Activate are crucial to facilitating greater involvement from corporates and the private sector in the next major thrust of developing Malaysia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and driving national innovation.

MaGIC CER Circle is a “membership” platform to connect corporates and startup communities and help them to capitalize on disruptive technologies and build a continuous innovation pipeline through partnerships, while MaGIC Activate is a platform to help corporations running innovation challenges to reach out to more startups and entrepreneurs.

Y.B Datuk Ahmad Bin Haji Maslan, Malaysia Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry launched the initiatives, along with Ashran Dato’ Ghazi, Chief Executive Officer of MaGIC and representatives from MaGIC CER’s corporate and community partners, including AIA, CIMB, IJM, Media Prima, Allianz, UNICEF, Microsoft, Setia Haruman, Sunway, TM, Techstars and United Nations among others.

Y.B Datuk Ahmad Bin Haji Maslan, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, said: “It is important for us to foster the culture of innovation as we strive to fulfill our goal for the digital economy to contribute 20% of Malaysia’s GDP by 2020. I am glad to see MaGIC taking active steps to foster the culture of innovation. I believe the initiatives  will power innovation to build Malaysia’s future economy as we adapt to the fourth industrial revolution underway. I applaud pioneering corporates who have taken that first step and participate in MaGIC CER Circle and MaGIC Activate. I encourage other corporates and Malaysia’s entrepreneurs to take part in the programs, and explore how you both can benefit from these exciting programs. I look forward to hearing success stories and collaboration.”

Ashran Dato’ Ghazi, Chief Executive Officer of MaGIC, added: “Today’s launch is a significant step towards increasing the private sector’s involvement in driving Malaysia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. Malaysia has so many aspiring entrepreneurs who need nurturing, guidance, mentoring, and financing. Yet, regionally, private sector involvement in innovation and entrepreneurship is lagging behind our international counterparts.  Corporate innovation is no longer just a key ingredient in success, but essential to survival, we encourage corporates to leverage on CER to unlock a wealth of economic possibilities via collaboration with startups that were previously difficult to access and develop.  MaGIC CER Circle and MaGIC launched today will foster greater collaboration between the private sector and startups and entrepreneurs, helping both sides to overcome the challenges of working and collaborating effectively together.  I am excited to watch as greater collaboration between corporates and entrepreneurs develops, ultimately leading to a more sustainable and vibrant ecosystem.”

CER is designed to be a catalyst of the next wave of entrepreneurship and innovation, which will allow Malaysian corporates and entrepreneurs to quantum leap their growth, and truly become global industry leaders.

What is MaGIC CER Circle?

The CER Circle is a “membership” platform for corporates working with MaGIC. The platform will connect some of the biggest corporations across various industries with startup communities to capitalize on the potential of disruptive technologies and build a continuous innovation pipeline through partnerships.

MaGIC CER Circle will lower the barrier of entry for a corporation keen to work with startups by showcasing how others have approached similar partnerships.  MaGIC will also share information and learnings from international corporations who have run innovation labs with members of the Circle.

Finally, MaGIC CER Circle also creates the potential for corporates to work with partners to advance their organization’s innovation agenda, fuel cross-industry learnings, and solve cross-border challenges. 22 partners have signed up so far, including AIA, CIMB, IBM, IJM, Media Prima, Allianz, UNICEF, Microsoft, Setia Haruman, Sunway, TM, Techstars and United Nations.

Another platform : MaGIC Activate

MaGIC Activate is an online platform for corporates who want to create innovation challenges to reach out to the startup community.  Connectivity with startup and entrepreneurial communities has been one of the requests MaGIC has constantly received from corporations seeking to engage with startups.  

MaGIC Activate will help corporations running innovation challenges to reach out to more startups. It will also be a platform for startups seeking to innovate for certain industries to find corporate partners and help them grow, scale and/or access new markets. Through the Startup Corporate Open Innovation Challenge Platform by MaGIC Activate, the innovation challenges will connect corporates with entrepreneurs to uncover revolutionary innovative solutions. It is an initiative run by MaGIC in partnership with the Techstars Startup Program to foster collaboration between corporate innovators and entrepreneurs. Through our community partners, we have access to more than 3000 startups who we can engage for MaGIC Activate’s Open Innovation Challenges.

Eight innovation challenges have already been posted on the Startup Corporate Open Innovation Challenge Platform, examples of these include the Media Prima Education Challenge, which seeks solutions for a crowd funding platform for promising students who do not have sufficient monetary resources to pursue a tertiary education and the UNICEF Challenge, which looks to invest in innovative, open-source assistive devices and/or technologies that improve the lives of children with disabilities.

Other exciting challenges include the Sunway Group Innovation Challenge, which looks to explore technologies that could enable autonomous or driverless vehicles on the roads around Sunway City and potentially on the BRT track, as well as the IJM Port of the Future Challenge, which seeks innovative solutions that could significantly improve safety and efficiency of port operation and logistics while creating a positive impact on the community and the environment.

For more information on MaGIC CER Circle, MaGIC Activate and the Startup Corporate Open Innovation Challenge Platform, please visit  

Why Corporate Entrepreneurship Responsibility Matters

Entrepreneurs and SMEs are the backbone of our economy. 97% of the businesses established in Malaysia are SMEs. They account for 65% of our nation’s employment, 36% of our GDP, and almost 18% of Malaysia’s exports.  Entrepreneurship is a powerful tool for job creation and wealth generation.

CER connects corporates with entrepreneurs to facilitate innovation, helping them to confront disruption happening in their sector and prepare for the new economies of the future.  By collaborating with entrepreneurs, corporates can introduce more agility to their operations, disrupt existing business models, provide access to adjacent markets and adopt a more entrepreneurial mindset.

Additionally CER mobilizes corporates to leverage their resources and networks to help Malaysian entrepreneurs. Through CER, corporates can give back by creating market opportunities, mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs and giving them opportunities to learn from Malaysia’s successful business leaders.  

CER also provides entrepreneurs with an environment in which they can build viable, innovative solutions that address real business problems and fast-track the growth of their ideas.   

The opportunities and benefits in collaborating with startups, SMEs and entrepreneurs are countless. Corporates can rapidly innovate and drive bottom line growth by engaging with entrepreneurs who are on the cutting edge of new skills, disrupt existing business models, and bring more agility to operations. By adopting the same speed and entrepreneurial mindset of startups, Malaysia’s economy can leapfrog into the next industrial revolution.

IBM Malaysia managing director Chong Chye Neo welcomed IBM’s induction into MaGIC’s national Corporate Entrepreneurship Responsibility circle that enables knowledge sharing between corporates, developers and startups. “A seat at the table among pacesetters and peers would give rise to more than vibrant discourse. We would have the opportunity to reimagine and bring practical ideas to life. This way, we would surely spur the developer and startup community in Malaysia to greater heights. The strategic collaboration with MaGIC would bring IBM’s leadership and proven technologies in cognitive, blockchain and IoT to bear and have set our clients apart and ahead of the competition,” said Ms Chong.


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