Press Release

Sunway Creates Pathways To Expand Malaysia – Japan Cross Border Partnerships

The “Innovation Discovery with Japan” virtual pitching session by Sunway iLabs in collaboration with JETRO Kuala Lumpur
Sunway City Kuala Lumpur,30 March 2021

Sunway through its innovation arm Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs) has successfully completed its Digital Transformation Acceleration Programme in collaboration with Japanese External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Kuala Lumpur.

Five Japanese start-up companies pitched to more than 200 potential business partners including start-ups, SMEs, MNCs and government agencies beyond Sunway’s ecosystem who attended the virtual session themed “Innovation Discovery with Japan” on March 18. They are the second cohort of the Sunway iLabs-JETRO Kuala Lumpur accelerator programme which kick-started in 2019.

Sunway iLabs mentored the companies based on their product verticals and organised business matching to relevant Malaysian partners for commercialisation, corporate feedback, pilot testing as well as research and development. The companies are Funlead, Synspective, Aerosense, Toyeight and Studist attended the three-month accelerator programme that focused on five verticals – agritech, proptech, smart cities, edutech, and SAAS (software as a service).

The five Japanese start-up companies, had access to resources across Sunway’s 13 business divisions as well as Sunway City Kuala Lumpur’s thriving ecosystem for potential partnerships and talent recruitment as well as market intelligence research.

This is in line with Sunway’s vision to position Sunway City Kuala Lumpur as a living laboratory bringing in experts to generate sustainable, real-world solutions for the future urban spaces towards the betterment of the environment and humankind.

Sunway Group Chief Innovation Officer and Sunway iLabs Director Matt van Leeuwen said that he looks forward to growing the start-ups and fostering the ecosystems to support entrepreneurship in Malaysia.

“We first developed the Sunway iLabs-JETRO Kuala Lumpur accelerator programme in 2019 to help fast track the growth of Japanese companies into the Southeast Asian market, using Sunway’s ecosystem in Malaysia as a launchpad for success. We provide consultation and provide market access by facilitating discussions between Sunway business units and the Japanese start-ups, as well as connect them to industry partners, researchers, and even venture capitalists.”

“With the completion of the Digital Transformation Acceleration Programme and the business matching exercise, we hope to see further collaborations between these high-potential start-ups with the correct partners within our ecosystem to develop successfully together,” Matt added.

JETRO Kuala Lumpur Managing Director Mai Onozawa said that the accelerator programme has been beneficial to all five start-ups who are looking at Malaysia as a launchpad to the rest of Southeast Asia.

“In recent years, JETRO has been focusing on supporting collaborations among talented start-up and big companies of Malaysia and Japan through digital technology. In collaboration with Sunway who has opened its networks and resources, we have been able to intensify the support for Japanese companies finding their partners and expanding their business in Malaysia.”

Smart Drive and Allm Group, the two start-ups of the first cohort of the Sunway iLabs-JETRO Kuala Lumpur accelerator programme, have set up their companies in Sunway FutureX and are now performing pilot projects with different Sunway business divisions.

Sunway FutureX, located in the heart of Sunway City Kuala Lumpur, is a skills-building and innovation hub, focusing on developing technologies around six key verticals – Smart Cities, Agrifoodtech, Edutech, Digital Health, eCommerce and Fintech.


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