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Microsoft to boost Malaysian startups

AvantiKumar | Nov. 10, 2008
Software giant launches new US$85 million initiative

From left:  Saifol Shamlan, vice president, MDeC; Yasmin Mahmood, managing director, Microsoft Malaysia; and David Wong, chairman, PIKOM witnessing 11 parties inking industry support towards Microsoft BizSpark and start-up acceleration.

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 NOVEMBER 2008 - Software giant Microsoft Malaysia has launched a new programme worth RM300 (US$85) million to boost Malaysian technopreneurs

According to the company's Malaysia managing director, Yasmin Mahmood, industry stakeholders that have signed on as network partners to support the Microsoft BizSpark programme include government agency, Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry Malaysia (PIKOM) and eight other organisations.

The broad mandate of Microsoft BizSpark is to encourage innovation, creativity and nurture entrepreneurialism among today's most promising startups by providing access to software, tools and resources at a stage where they need it most but can least afford it, ensuring their passage to becoming tomorrow's most successful businesses, said Mahmood.

Three pillars to help startups

Mahmood said the BizSpark programme comprises three key pillars. These are Get Software, to obtain fast access to Microsoft's development tools; Get Support, to receive professional support from Microsoft and the BizSpark Network partners locally and around the world; and Get Visibility, which is a website, the BizSparkDB, dedicated to highlighting promising companies from around the world every day.

The BizSpark programme is proof that Microsoft has always viewed the development of the local software economy as of great importance to the industry and to Malaysia, hence the company commitment and investment in the industry's future over the next three years, said Mahmood.

We're helping local startups realise their potential and experience the opportunities made possible through technology, Mahmood said. Through this programme, start-ups and technopreneurs will have access to RM625,000 (US$177,000) worth of world-class tools, technologies and market resources to help bring new ideas, new companies and new software innovation to life.

Target 500 companies over three years

BizSpark is also a results-oriented initiative, said Mahmood. Already we have 10 startups signed on to form the pioneer batch and we plan to have 500 companies equipped over the next three years. And from our estimates, based on the success of our other programmes, these companies will create some 5,000 new jobs in Malaysia, and will generate an additional RM1 billion (US$284,000 million) for the local software economy.

MDeC vice president, Saifol Shamlan, said: BizSpark is one of the first initiatives that has managed to pull together such a widespread industry alliance, involving the strategic and relevant agencies which are vested in software-fuelled innovation and entrepreneurship thereby providing a powerful global partner ecosystem to support start-up success. MDeC's involvement as a network partner will help us focus on accelerating the growth and capacity building of local start-ups."


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