Entrepreneur

MaGIC’s GAP Grew Startup Revenue By 74% In 2019. Now It’s Virtual & Looking Beyond Growth.

It’s about that time of the year again for the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) to hold its annual mid-to-late stage startup growth programme, Global Accelerator Programme (GAP).

Last year in 2019, the 30 startups who took part in MaGIC’s GAP Cohort 3 saw a 74% revenue growth during the 4-month programme.

Cumulatively, their revenue grew from US$6 million to US$10.6 million.

This year, things are being done a little different. As you’d expect, even this programme wasn’t spared by the pandemic, so Cohort 4 will experience an entirely virtual 3-month-long GAP.

40 startups from Malaysia and the rest of the region have been accepted into Cohort 4, and will be undergoing a customised syllabus that addresses hardships impacted by COVID-19.

In a recent survey done by MaGIC, the results confirmed that local startups are facing intense pressures to stay afloat during the pandemic.

It’s led to an update of GAP’s curriculum to focus on themes surrounding business resilience, agility, and sustainability, compared to the past years’ focus on accelerating business growth.

Updated Curriculum For The New Normal

That being said, the updated programme will kick off with the first curriculum pillar of “Investments”, where startups will focus on sustainability, growth, adaptability, and recovery.

The second pillar is “Business Acumen”, which focuses on diving deeper in the essential business elements of each startup.

“Communication” is the third pillar. It focuses on presentation and pitching skills.

Lastly, there is the “Tech Development” pillar, which focuses on building and enhancing the tech aspect of a startup.

Some of the 40 Cohort 4 startups listening to a speech by GAP alumni Dr. Yeong Che Fai of DF Automation / Image Credit: MaGIC

At the end of this, startup founders will be able to lead sustainable startups capable of surviving post-acceleration growth and any potential crises.

Curriculum aside, there are also 3 new interventions for GAP Cohort 4.

Focusing On More Than Funding

Firstly, it is introducing the Intensive Performance Coaching to aid startups in upscaling their skills in investment, funding, and busines strategy.

Secondly, there is the National Technology Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) initiative, which further provides access to funding, driving talent development, fast-track R&D and commercialisation through simplified policies and regulations.

In her speech, MaGIC CEO Dzuleira said, “We have successfully funnelled startups from NTIS to virtual GAP this year, and we foresee our high-performing startups from GAP will have the potential to be funnelled into NTIS.”

Lastly, there is GAP Investment Partners, which consists of equity crowdfunding platforms, angel investors and venture capital firms.

It will allow Cohort 4 participants to leverage on investment partners’ potential funding opportunities and market access.

Depending on the growth stage of participating startups, the range of potential investments is between RM15,000 to RM3 million per deal.

Virtual From Start To Finish

Throughout the programme, cohorts will also get access to over US$500,000 worth of benefits, including mentors and extensive corporate support by partners such as Amazon Web Services, Macrokiosk, and Stripe.

Expect to see startups from key industry verticals including healthcare, lifestyle, social innovation, smart cities, creative, cloud services, education and finance to come together here.

As usual, GAP will be concluded in December with a Demo Day, which is a showcase of the programme’s results.

Since that’ll also be virtual, cohorts will pitch their solutions, business ideas, and expansion plans in a livestream where investors, partners, and mentors will be tuning in.

Over the past 3 cohorts it’s had, GAP has accelerated 108 startups in total, raising over RM116 million in investments and generating close to RM222 million in total revenue.

Some recognised graduates in the industry include e-commerce and parcel delivery platform EasyParcel, GPS tracking and fleet management system startup Katsana, and social enterprise Biji-Biji Initiative.

  • You can learn more about MaGIC and GAP here.
  • You can read more coverage on MaGIC and its events and initiatives here.

Featured Image Credit: Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO of MaGIC

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