With the emergence of new startups growing through the ecosystem, various investors have also been seeking ways to be able to properly tap into the talent that exists out there and help provide their support.
Hong Leong Bank Berhad (HLB) announced their efforts today with their two-part initiative that sees the bank joining hands with the governing body for Malaysian angel investors and clubs, the Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN).
With the partnership, HLB and MBAN hope to support the local entrepreneur and startup ecosystem in the technology space through promoting the local ecosystem, specifically in supporting mentorship and developmental programmes for startups. So think of something along the lines of another platform for startups to now seek help from governing bodies that can provide them with the guidance they need to succeed.
Amongst the specific areas of technology in which HLB will be looking at are customer experience, analytics, productivity and digital solutions which promote innovation in the financial industry.
The first step with this collaboration would be them rolling out their first startup mentorship programme which will be named HLB LaunchPad before 2016 closes its curtains. As with other accelerator programmes of a similar feel, the programme is aimed to help nurture the next generation of local startups selected via a pitch and grant process.
To help officiate this collaboration were the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB, Domenic Fuda, the Chief Executive Officer of Cradle Fund Sdn. Bhd (Cradle), Nazrin Hassan, the President of MBAN, Dr. Sivapalan Vivekarajah as well as senior leaders from the local startup and angel investing community.
“Not only is this the first for the industry, it is also the first time we are venturing into mentoring the startup space. We believe that this collaboration will play a role in creating a vibrant entrepreneurial and young startups community, reinforcing HLB business banking heritage,” said Domenic Fuda, GMD and CEO of HLB.
Being the official voice for the Malaysian investor community, MBAN spoke on their excitement at the prospect of partnering with an organisation that represents high net worth investors in Malaysia.
He states that with technology and new models already disrupting society and the economy in a big way, he sees the partnership presenting various opportunities for them to tap onto HLB’s networks and community to ensure that such disruption brings positive results for the nation.
“We will also play a major role in the accelerator program especially since our members have extensive entrepreneurial and investment experience that we can share with the selected companies. We believe this is the beginning of a fruitful and successful relationship with HLB,” said Dr. Sivapalan Vivekarajah, President of MBAN.
To complement HLB’s collaboration with MBAN, the Bank will be rolling out a mentorship and grant-based programme called the HLB LaunchPad by the end of 2016. With the support of Cradle, this collaborative effort will enable HLB to bring on board and nurture Malaysia’s next generation businesses.
“Whilst the assessment and nurturing processes are critical, access to the financial infrastructure and knowledge of navigating the monetary aspects of ideating, developing, commercialising and building a business are equally as important. We also understand that independence is important to allow these startups to flourish.
As such, this will be one of the first of such programmes where a grant is provided to technology entrepreneurs to commercialise their innovative technology products or services, helping the business in its initial stages of development. These are areas where we see ourselves bringing value,” Domenic concluded.
Feature Image Credit: MBAN