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Can Malaysia become the next global startup hub?

Malaysia has set a goal to create five domestic US$1 billion 'unicorns' by 2025, aiming to become a global start-up hub.

Tech entrepreneurs believe Kuala Lumpur is close to joining the global map, but needs better access to funding, talent, and government support. Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur Damon Grow emphasized Malaysia's potential due to its diverse, English-speaking population and strategic location in Southeast Asia.

Start-ups in Malaysia have historically lacked focus and support. However, recent investments by global tech firms, like Nvidia's AI technology deployment in partnership with YTL, signal changing perceptions. Malaysia hopes to build on successes like Grab -- which moved to Singapore after setbacks in Malaysia.

Inspired by Finland's start-up ecosystem, Malaysia's Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is driving the five-unicorns-by-2025 target. Initiatives like the KL Slush’D event aim to stimulate the local tech scene.

The government has also launched strategic sectors including renewable energy, digital economy, and food security to boost the country’s digital economic activities, with a view to pivot the economy towards innovation and reduce reliance on natural resources.

With new leadership and a focus on digital innovation, Malaysia is positioning itself as a competitive player in the global start-up ecosystem.

Article by Hadi Azmi for South China Morning Post. Read more here or in the PDF below.

Is Malaysia set to become a global start-up hub that can compete with Singapore_ _ South C
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