Mosti, Cradle Fund ink MoU with Microsoft to boost local start-ups

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic source: Dr Adham Baba FB

THE Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft Malaysia today to further support local start-ups.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (centre) said the agreement will allow start-ups to benefit from Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd’s experience in developing the nation’s start-up ecosystem.

He said Cradle Fund will collaborate with Microsoft in the Microsoft for Start-Ups Founders Hub programme to provide opportunities to improve skills, provide technical guidance and provide access to the Microsoft Mentor Network for start-up companies.

Additionally, he said, the start-ups involved were also given free access to GitHub Enterprise and increased productivity with Microsoft 365, as well as Azure cloud credit worth up to US$150,000 (RM668,400).

“We are confident that this collaboration will be a catalyst for more active growth and development for start-up companies in Malaysia,” he said during the signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

He added this collaboration is not just about providing access to digital technology to entrepreneurs, but rather ensuring economic resilience, digital skills and knowledge can be mastered. Besides that, it is also able to provide a trusted digital environment so that businesses can thrive during the digital age.

Cradle Fund acting CEO Norman Matthieu Vanhaecke (right) said there are currently more than 2,000 active start-up companies registered in Malaysia.

“Local start-up companies are faced with various issues, including the difficulty of realising their ideas and innovations. Most start-up companies have potentials and are competitive but find it difficult to take advantage of existing technology.

“Therefore, Cradle Fund is very excited to work closely with Microsoft as a collaboration partner to enhance technology expertise and thus develop a more sustainable start-up ecosystem in Malaysia.

“This step can also ensure that Mosti’s target through the implementation of the MYStartup programme can create more than 5,000 start-up companies and five companies with unicorn status by the end of 2025,” he said.

“At the moment, we are looking into several strategic partnerships because our main goal is to develop the Malaysian start-up ecosystem as a whole.

“As you know, an ecosystem consists of a lot of players that interact with each other and collaborate with one another. Thus, we look forward to working together with Microsoft to make this happen,” he added.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Malaysia MD K Rahman (second from left) said as the company celebrates its 30th anniversary of operations in Malaysia, it is committed to supporting the country’s digital transformation.

“As happy as we are to celebrate our 30th anniversary in Malaysia, we are more excited than ever to think about the potential for Malaysia to grow in the next 30 years and how we can continue to be part of this journey by empowering people in need, bridging digital barriers and paving the road for an inclusive and sustainable digital future for all Malaysians.

“We are so excited to be part of this effort to deliver on the Malaysian start-up ecosystem roadmap, which in turn supports key initiatives to achieve broader national targets under the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint and the 12th Malaysia Plan,” he said.