Leaders in Innovation Accelerator Malaysia 2018 to produce Malaysia’s next Tech Unicorn

An announcement made by Bernama highlighted the Leaders in Innovation Accelerator (LIA) Malaysia 2018 programme which empowers home-grown talents to secure investment and accelerate their international business growth.

The Leaders in Innovation Accelerator (LIA) Malaysia 2018 is an intensive 16-week programme of practical entrepreneurship skills and expert business mentoring.

Applications are now open for the programme which is directed at innovations developed in publicly-funded universities and research institutes that combine socio-economic impact and international growth-market potential.

The goal of the programme is to empower home-grown talents to secure investment and accelerate international business growth by matching Malaysian researchers, academics, independent technology entrepreneurs and early-stage technology start-ups with expert business mentors based in the UK.

The LIA Malaysia programme will be executed in collaboration with the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT). It is an exciting follow-up to the Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF) programme, which is a Royal Academy of Engineering initiative supported by the UK Government’s Newton Fund.

LIA Malaysia is the first in-country Accelerator programme to result from the highly successful LIF Programme, which is an intensive residential programme of expert coaching and entrepreneurship training for innovation fellows from the 14 Newton Fund partner countries.

Oxentia Development Director Dr Tim Hart said, “It is a testament to both the huge potential of Malaysian entrepreneurs and the excellent working relationships with MIGHT that Malaysia will be home to the first LIF programme spin-out accelerator.”

He added, “This is a pioneering programme. We know first-hand from the success of the LIF programme that the Malaysian research base has huge untapped innovation potential. LIA Malaysia will bring together the best and brightest Malaysian innovators and empower them to expand their product reach to a global market.”

Head of International Activities at the Royal Academy of Engineering Shane McHugh explained, “In our work in Malaysia under the Newton Ungku-Omar Fund LIF programme, we have helped some fantastic research entrepreneurs take the first steps in commercialising their great ideas for solving local challenges.”

He added, “We are delighted that under the Newton Ungku-Omar Fund, Oxentia and MIGHT will collaborate to take some of the most exciting innovations we have come across, and turn them into sustainable businesses which can create jobs and boost economic growth and social development.”

MIGHT President and CEO Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman said, “MIGHT looks forward to working with our partners the Royal Academy of Engineering, Oxentia and the Newton -Ungku Omar Fund to further strengthen collaboration between the UK and Malaysia in the areas of science, technology and innovation.”

He added, “The Malaysian LIA clearly demonstrates the commitment from both countries to support sustainable development by up-skilling our technology and innovation research base.”

Newton Fund Strategic Manager, in Malaysia, Izza Ismail is enthusiastic about the programme’s potential to create real-world research impact.

She said, “Build, explore, learn, create, influence. The Newton-Ungku Omar Fund fully embraces the LIA Malaysia virtues within our programmes to help develop and support research and innovation collaborations between the UK and Malaysia.”

She added, “We have been funding quality research projects since 2015 and have grown to realise the importance of research translation and commercialisation. This is one of our key programmes and we look forward to helping empower Malaysian entrepreneurs bring their brilliant ideas to fruition”.

Applications close on 16 July 2018. Thirty of the most promising teams will initially be shortlisted to join a three-day boot-camp in Kuala Lumpur. Fifteen teams will then be selected for the one-on-one 16-week mentored acceleration programme.

At the end of the programme participants will pitch to international investors and potentially secure funding for what could be South East Asia’s next Tech Unicorn.

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