Photo - (From left): Nazrin Hassan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd; Edward Pinto, Head - Customer Experience and Analytics of Hong Leong Bank Berhad; Dr. Sivapalan Vivekarajah, President of Malaysian Business Angel Network; and Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hong Leong Bank Berhad
First announced in October 2016, Hong Leong Bank (HLB) has now officially launched its mentorship programme for Malaysian technology and fintech startups, called HLB LaunchPad.
Under the programme, which is part of the HLB's collaboration with Malaysia's official trade association and governing body for angel investors and clubs, the Malaysian Business Angel Network ('MBAN'), up to five startups will be selected to undergo an intensive three-month programme specifically focusing on three areas: Simplifying Banking Today, Digitising Customer Journeys & Experience; and Re-Imagining Banking for tomorrow.
State early stage funding agency Cradle Fund (Cradle) will also be offering funding opportunities to eligible participants of the programme to help continue the rapid expansion of the country's fintech scene, as noted recently by national applied research agency MIMOS (see Fintech is disrupting Malaysia's FSI in ín a big way')
HLB LaunchPad will be focusing on areas around fintech, customer experience, cognitive technologies, big data, product and productivity enhancements, said Domenic Fuda, HLB's group managing director and chief executive officer.
"We are very excited to be rolling out HLB LaunchPad and are confident that our partnership with MBAN and Cradle will enable HLB to bring on board and nurture Malaysia's next generation businesses," said Fuda.
"Since we announced our collaboration in October 2016, we have seen many local start-ups with the potential to innovate and grow in the financial services space and we envision the HLB LaunchPad to be a catalyst for opportunities for both sides of the ecosystem," he said.
Participants will also be trained by design thinking experts and have the opportunity to validate their products in the market. In addition, they will receive an allowance of up to RM25,000 (US$4,600) per startup to enhance their product or service offerings.
Of note, one of the five startups may be considered for an equity investment of up to RM1 million if the start-up is able to meet Cradle's specific and comprehensive investment requirements.
Applications for the HLB LaunchPad will be open on 15 March 2017. For further information visit the hlblaunchpad section of Hong Leong Bank's website.
The latest edition of this article can be found on Computerworld Malaysia 17 March 2017.