Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd announced Vase, Local Usher and GrabGas as the winning teams of its first Digi Accelerate programme.
Designed to “strengthen and support Malaysia’s budding startup scene”, the three winning teams will progress into a four-month intensive bootcamp from May to August 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand, alongside qualifying teams from Myanmar and Thailand. The company originally planned for two winners but decided to select three based on the high-quality submissions it received.
Digi Accelerate received 75 applications with a majority of submissions focusing on Travel and E-Commerce. 12 teams were shortlisted as finalists and given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of four judges, consisting of Digi Accelerate mentors Fui-yu Choong, CEO of Kaodim, and Ching Wei Lee, Group CEO of iMoney Group as well as Eugene Teh, Digi’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Praveen Rajan, Digi’s Head of Digital Services.
The panel have selected Vase, Local Usher and GrabGas as winners due to the quality of their submissions and viability of their ideas.
Vase is a centralised portal for conducting surveys and providing on-demand insights, while Local Usher is a platform for urbanites to discover and book unique recreational experiences and GrabGas is a web and smartphone-based cooking gas delivery service.
Digi’s Head of Digital Services, Praveen Rajan said on behalf of the judges, “We looked hard at those who were able to show strong business viability, market opportunity and competition, as well as the team’s capability in taking their products and services to the next level. And it was very encouraging to see that many of our candidates came in with solid products backed with clear business plans, which is why we chose three winners instead of the originally planned two. It’s evident from these submissions that Malaysia has a strong pool of talented startups, who have a bright future given the right support ecosystem in place and whom will contribute to building a robust digital economy in Malaysia,”
During the bootcamp starting 4 May 2016, the three teams will spend four months learning from Silicon Valley experts and receiving direct mentorship from technopreneurs who have established themselves within the region. The winners will also be given the opportunity to pitch to regional and global venture capitalists and potentially explore commercialisation opportunities with Digi and Telenor, tapping into 200 million potential customers from around the world. This is in addition to the up to RM100,000 they will receive in seed funding to kick-start their businesses.
Digi Accelerate programme was announced in March. Submissions for business proposals was closed on 17 April 2016.