MYSTARTUP INAUGURATES 2024 WITH ‘NXT JOHOR’, UNLOCKING THE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE SOUTH

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Cradle Group Chief Executive Officer Norman Matthieu Vanhaecke; Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation YB Dato' Haji Mohammad Yusof Bin Apdal; Deputy Secretary-General (Technology Development) of Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) YBhg. Datuk Ts. Dr. Mohd Nor Azman Hassan; and Iskandar Investment President and Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Idzham Mohd Hashim visited participating booths at MYStartup NXT Johor.

ISKANDAR PUTERI, 1 March 2024 – MYStartup NXT, a series of micro-conferences  by MYStartup, is commencing 2024 with a new location in Iskandar Puteri, Johor. The  conference encompasses discussions on strategic insights, inspiring stories, and wealth building tools from diverse speakers, including local entrepreneurs, government agencies  and ecosystem experts. 

Cradle Fund Sdn. Bhd. (Cradle), Malaysia’s focal point agency for the startup ecosystem under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), has been pivotal in  driving MYStartup NXT. This initiative is aligned with the overarching goal of cultivating a  globalised, high-performing, inclusive, and sustainable ecosystem for the country. 

In 2023, MYStartup NXT successfully covered four (4) locations, commencing in  Cyberjaya, followed by Sarawak, Penang, and Sabah, which garnered a total of over  1,000 attendees. This year, Johor has been chosen as the inaugural location for  MYStartup NXT to continue realising the national goal of creating over 5,000 quality  startups by 2025, and providing them with the comprehensive support and resources  needed to thrive in the startup ecosystem. 

Johor’s rapidly expanding startup ecosystem is experiencing significant growth, driven by strategic positioning, proactive government initiatives, and a burgeoning talent pool.  Located close to Singapore, a vibrant tech hub, Johor is a strategic gateway for startups,  providing valuable opportunities for networking, collaboration, and talent acquisition  opportunities.

According to StartupBlink’s Global Startup Ecosystem Index Report, Johor Bahru jumped  404 places, securing a spot among the top 600 cities worldwide in 2023 and solidifying  its position among the global top 1,000 cities. Johor Bahru also jumped nine spots in Southeast Asia, where it ranked 13th and maintained the 3rd most vibrant ecosystem  in Malaysia. 

In collaboration with Iskandar Investment Bhd. (IIB), the one-day micro-conference is  poised to be an engaging platform that offers aspiring and existing entrepreneurs the  opportunity to learn, network, and expose themselves to corporates, technology giants,  investors, and other relevant stakeholders to start and scale their businesses. 

“Fulfilling its mandates, MYStartup remains committed to empowering startups in the  country, and our commitment knows no boundaries. We will continue to address challenges encompassing capital, talent, and infrastructure constraints. I’m confident that  Johor’s landscape will flourish and serve as a pivotal catalyst for our economic growth,”  said Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, YB Dato’ Haji Mohammad  Yusof Bin Apdal.

Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, YB Dato’ Haji Mohammad Yusof Bin Apdal is giving his speech at MYStartup NXT Johor, held in Iskandar Puteri, Johor.

“Our dedication is firmly directed towards realising Malaysia’s complete potential as a  nation aspiring to be a tech and innovation hub, aligned with the overarching vision of  Malaysia MADANI, as well as the country’s goal to become among the top 20 global  startup ecosystem by 2030 as outlined in Malaysia Startup Ecosystem Roadmap  (SUPER) 2021-2030. At MOSTI, we hold fast to the PRECISE principle, which  encapsulates the essence of people-centric, research and development, enculturation,  capacity building, investment, and startup ecosystem,” added YB Dato’ Haji Mohammad  Yusof Bin Apdal. 

Meanwhile, Cradle Group Chief Executive Officer, Norman Matthieu Vanhaecke,  expressed that as the focal point agency for local startups in the country, it is truly inspiring  to witness the thriving startup ecosystems in various regions across Malaysia. 

“Our commitment to nurturing innovation is evident, and an initiative such as MYStartup  NXT underscores the critical role of collaborative efforts in fostering a robust  entrepreneurial landscape. At Cradle, we take pride in championing an inclusive and  impactful development for startup ecosystems nationwide through three main pillars – 

founders, investors and tech developers. To date, we have onboarded more than 100  Johor-based startups on MYStartup Portal. Some of the notable ones are DF Automation  & Robotics (robotics), Materials in Works (climate tech), Sayur Kita Asia (agritech), and Imagine AI (artificial intelligence). Together, let us build a future where Malaysian startups  can flourish, innovate, and contribute significantly to our nation’s economic prosperity,”  Norman added.  

“Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) is thrilled to be the Southern chapter partner for  MYStartup. As the master developer of Medini, IIB recognises the pivotal role that  startups play in driving economic development. Medini’s recognition as the digital hub of  Johor, its strategic location and robust infrastructure holds immense potential as a hub  for startups and technology-driven enterprises.  

“Together with MOSTI via Cradle, we are committed to harnessing the potential of  Malaysia’s startup companies. The collaboration with Cradle enables us to nurture a  dynamic ecosystem where startups can thrive, collaborate, and contribute to the region’s  socio-economic growth”, said IIB President and Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Idzham  Mohd Hashim. 

Exchange of Momendrum of Understanding between Cradle and Iskandar Investment- (L-R) Cradle Group Chief Executive Officer Norman Matthieu Vanhaecke, Iskandar Investment President, Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Idzham Mohd Hashim. Witnessed by Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation YB Dato’ Haji Mohammad Yusof Bin Apdal and Deputy Secretary-General (Technology Development) of Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) YBhg. Datuk Ts. Dr. Mohd Nor Azman Hassan.

NXT Johor kicks off with a thought-provoking opening panel discussion entitled “Elevating  Innovation: Igniting Diversity in Johor’s Startup Culture”, featuring representatives from  Cradle, Holistics Lab and Start iiX, in addition to sharing sessions from local startups  namely Kestrl, Sayur Kita Asia, and Materials in Works. 

A spotlight session on “Tackling the Talent Challenge: From Skill Set to Mindset” also  took place, highlighting the demands of the future workforce by fostering the requisite  skills and cultivating a mindset conducive to innovation, adaptability, and continuous  learning, followed by a fireside chat titled “Ecosystem Resilience: Revolutionizing Johor  through Collaborative Initiatives”.  

For more information on MYStartup, please visit www.mystartup.gov.my.