25 start-ups go to Phase 2 of MaGIC’s social impact programme

September 23, 2021

TWENTY-FIVE start-ups have been chosen for the second phase of Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre’s (MaGIC) Social Impact Challenge Accelerator (SICA).

They will be placed under the Impact Accelerator programme by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to boost MaGIC’s growth mainly in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This round, the programme will collaborate with venture capital firm 500 Global to support the start-up’s business acceleration through its network of mentors and to direct their business strategies toward the SDGs.

The Impact Accelerator programme will take the best elements of 2017’s ImpactAim customised to local context and needs to boost the development of social entrepreneurship and impact-oriented start-up ventures in Malaysia.

The programme focuses on accelerating the growth of impact ventures in various priority areas, namely affordable and accessible senior care, upcycling plastic into commercial products, accessible and affordable education, providing children with mental health and psychosocial support, access to a safe and clean environment, and lastly on climate change and the development of sustainable cities.

The teams will undergo a 10-week grooming with the opportunity to present their business pitch on a demo day where they can establish connections to investors and scale-up partners, before qualifying for the third phase of SICA.

Additionally, participants who perform well during the demo day will have the opportunity to receive post-accelerator support, such as financial assistance from participating partners, access to local and international networks and mentorship, the ability to access government procurement (Program Perolehan Impak Sosial Kerajaan), and attracting international investment.

Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam Manon Bernier said that not all new technologies and innovative business models are suited to support sustainable development.

“It needs certain adjustments such as SDG-alignment and impact measurement and management to elevate the impact according to market needs. “Therefore, the strategic partnership with MaGIC infuses Malaysia and global impact investment ecosystem with SDG impact factor, enabling a more productive environment for finding, developing, testing and scaling technology and business solutions that address global and national SDG-related challenges,” she said in a statement yesterday.

MaGIC acting CEO Amiruddin Abdul Shukor said the company looked forward to connecting the new innovative solutions in addressing their problem statements and at the same time, increase market adoption of impact driven products and services through this collaboration.

“We are excited to have these 25 local start-ups getting a step closer to accelerate their impact-driven innovation model development for greater market roll out,” he said.

Meanwhile, 500 Global regional director of Asia Pacific Ee Ling Lim said that as the entire global economy is being rebuilt, not only can profit and purpose go hand in hand but it is in fact a virtuous cycle.

“Through coaching these 25 start-ups, this collaboration reflects our testament to prepare the next generation of unicorns to better serve the communities, environment, creating a world which is more diverse, inclusive and sustainable with financial growth,” he added.

In addition to the Impact Accelerator programme, UNDP Malaysia will also be working closely with National Technology and Innovation Sandbox with similar objectives.

The pilot project will be focusing on solutions related to Energy, Smart Cities and Transportation in 2021 via a six-month curated capacity building programme.