GEORGE TOWN, May 25 – Digital Penang and Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd (Cradle) exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to accelerate efforts in engaging and supporting startups in Penang and the Northern region at large. Cradle, an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI), will gain support from Digital Penang, under the purview of the State government, to reach out to early- stage startups through Cradle’s ongoing MYStartup Programmes.

The ceremony saw the exchange between Rafiza Ghazali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Cradle and Tony Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer of Digital Penang; and was witnessed by YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham bin Baba, the Minister of MOSTI. Through this partnership, Digital Penang will act as the strategic partner to support Cradle’s upcoming MYStartup Programmes for northern region startups which comprise of MYHackathon 2022, MYStartup Hackathon, MYStartup Pre-Accelerator, MYStartup Accelerator, MYStartup Internship and MYStartup Mentorship.

Through these programmes, participating startups will benefit from money-can’t-buy opportunities through guidance, training and also the possibility of gaining matching funds. The programmes are hoped to further enhance their competitiveness and marketability; while being aligned to the national goal under the Malaysian Startup Ecosystem Roadmap (SUPER) 2021-2030 of creating 5,000 startups and 5 ‘unicorns’ by 2025.

Acting as the Penang representative for Cradle, Digital Penang has to date engaged with more than 80 Penang-based startups of various stages in tech focus areas such as FinTech, AgriTech, Game Development, SpaceTech, Engineering and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) just to name a few. Cementing on the significance, CEO of Digital Penang, Tony Yeh said, “Our role as a government agency is to spur more key players from private sector to participate in the ecosystem such as incubators, accelerators, angel investors and venture capitals (VCs).

We also collaborate with universities to stimulate the ideation pipeline. We are working with the industry and agencies such as Cradle to guide and create market access to help startups in their journey”. Commenting on the collaboration, Rafiza Ghazali, Group CEO, Cradle said “MOSTI together with Cradle launched the MYStartup Programme to ensure that Malaysian startups are further strengthened through comprehensive technical support and inclusive guidance programmes.

Collaborations through MOUs with partners like Digital Penang facilitate our aim of bridging the gap for startups located outside the Klang Valley area – ensuring they receive similar exposure and opportunities. Cradle will continue its cooperation through similar local hubs which will enable startups to stay in touch with ecosystem representatives while enhancing the connectivity, especially at the grassroots level.

In synergy with the Penang state government’s effort to elevate the digital economy as part of the Digital Transformation Masterplan, Digital Penang has acquired eight (8) ecosystem partners to set a hub at the Creative Digital District @ George Town. The partnerships target to attract 50 digital investors and provide 2,000 high-income jobs in the district over the next three (3) years. The government agency delegated to champion the digital and technology startup sector has to date reached 560 startups through our funding programmes, events and workshops.