TechMatch ASEAN 2017 Brings Silicon Valley Investors to Southeast Asian Start-Ups & Scale-Ups

Kuala Lumpur - 14th December 2017 - TechMatch ASEAN 2017’s two-day pitch marathon has started today, bringing together 40 top ASEAN-based start-up and scale-up teams to connect with a group of 20 corporate investors, Venture Capitalists and business angels from Silicon Valley and other parts of the world that collecJvely represent a fund size of over US$3 billion.


(From left) President of MDEC Americas - Dato' Dan Ee Khoo, Co-CEO of USMAC - Chris Burry, CEO of MDEC - Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, Founder & Chairman of Sunway Group - Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr. Jeffery Cheah, Co-CEO of USMAC - Alfredo Coppola and Director of Sunway iLabs - Matt Van Leeuwen.

Organised by Malaysia Digital Economy CorporaJon (MDEC), Sunway InnovaJon Labs (iLabs) and US Market Access Center Inc. (USMAC) from Silicon Valley, TechMatch ASEAN will see the most promising ASEAN start-ups and scale-ups vie for partnership and investment capital from some of Silicon Valley’s giant corporaJons, Venture Capitalists and business angels, as well as gain entry to overseas markets.

The two-day event was preceded by an ecosystem visit that introduced the foreign investors to the Malaysian tech scene and helped posiJon Malaysia as the gateway to the thriving ASEAN tech environment.

TechMatch ASEAN is part of the global TechMatch Series which is renowned for producing more than a 60% success-rate in building partnerships with corporate executives and investors in the USA and other parts of the world, as a result of past programmes over the years.

Delegates from today includes Silicon Valley-based USMAC Co-CEOs Alfredo Coppola and Chris Burry; Garage Technology Ventures Managing Partner Bill Reichert; Pay-Pal Startup Advisor and Solutions Architect John Frost; Alchemist Managing Partner Ravi Belani; Entrepreneur-in- Residence at the Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford University Jessie Mooberry and Head of Startup Investments at Orange Silicon Valley Jay Onda, Wharton Angels investor Steve Adelman and UC Berkeley Managing Director of Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology Ken Singer.

ASEAN start-ups who have been invited to pitch include those from enterprise software, Fintech, IoT, e-commerce, healthcare, big data and analytics and consumer mobile applications.

Founder and Chairman of Sunway Group, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Jeffrey Cheah who was at the opening ceremony, welcomed the investors and ASEAN start-ups and scale-ups to Sunway City and shared his hopes for Sunway iLabs to become a center of innovation in Malaysia.

“Malaysia has the potential to become an innovation centre for Southeast Asia – a region which has an expected digital adoption rate of 60% in a population of 670 million by 2020. We are one of the best countries to invest in the world, we are ranked third for investor protection by the World Bank, we have a multilingual skilled talent pool, and we have a pro-business government who is all for a digital economy. Sunway City has a lot to offer towards this goal. We have all the facilities here, a talent pool of more than 40,000 students, and we are ready to put our resources behind a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

“Malaysia’s digital economy continues to be a key driver of growth; contributing over 18.2% to Malaysia’s GDP this year, and is expected to exceed our milestone of 20% before 2020,” said Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MDEC. “At TechMatch ASEAN, we are excited to connect the Malaysian startup ecosystem with investors across the world and further establish Malaysia’s position as the prominent digital and tech hub in the ASEAN region.”

"We are truly excited about what Malaysia has in store for start-ups and scale-ups from ASEAN," said Alfredo Coppola, Co-CEO of USMAC. “From all accounts, this is truly a thriving tech ecosystem that has the key components in place to help accelerate the growth of promising tech companies that have the ambition of global domination. We look forward to continuing our efforts in supporting other ecosystem players so that Malaysia becomes the preferred destination for tech ventures in Southeast Asia.”

USMAC, Nexea Angels and Sunway iLabs Cement Partnership for iLabs Accelerator

Sunway iLabs exchanged Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) at the event cementing two partnerships – the first with USMAC and the second with Nexea Angels for the iLabs Accelerator Programme which is accepting applications from now unJl 31 December 2017 and will commence next year.

USMAC will provide the participants of iLabs Accelerator Programme a launch pad into Silicon Valley, and connect them to the right investors as well as mentors from the epicenter of the start-up universe.

Nexea Angels will co-invest in start-ups that are part of the programme, as well as mentor the start-ups.

For start-ups, the iLabs Accelerator programme will offer a link to the Sunway Group as a test bed on top of the RM 2 million in seed funding, technology and legal resources for up to 10 start-ups.

Developed by a team with a collective 100 years in building and exiting companies, the programme will look forward to bringing industry-driven start-ups to be investor-ready by June 2018.

Mat Van Leeuwen, Director of Sunway iLabs said, “We have had many global start-up players remark that Malaysian start-ups have ideas and solutions that have not been seen in Silicon Valley. Sunway iLabs’ partnership with USMAC will help the start-ups we nurture scale rapidly by connecting them to funds and investors in Silicon Valley who can bring them the distance.”

“What also differentiates us from the other accelerator programmes is that our start-ups will have access to Sunway Group’s immense resources across 12 business lines. This means that they will have a wide market as a potential test bed, as well as access to Sunway University’s labs, researchers, and potential interns. We believe that we have a good shot at building successful start-ups by giving them access to three pivotal M’s: Money, Market and Mentors,” he added.

Unlike other accelerator programmes, the iLabs Accelerator is built around a personalised experience to deliver a successful start-up at the end of six months. Instead of sitting in classrooms, entrepreneurs will receive customised one-on-one sessions and exclusive networking dinners with experienced entrepreneurs and advisors to share insights and personal experiences.

The focused sessions are designed to get founding teams to rapidly produce a minimum viable product, receive market validation, and be investor ready at the end of the programme.

The Sunway iLabs Accelerator Programme is organised by Sunway University and Nexea Angels, and is supported by the combined resources of Sunway Group, Sunway Ventures, Google, Chooi & Company, and US Market Access Center (USMAC).

Sunway iLabs is currently accepting submissions until 31 December 2017 on

About Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs)

Sunway iLabs is a unique, not-for-profit concept where Sunway University, Sunway Group, and Sunway Ventures (Sunway’s corporate venture capital arm) work closely together in a collaborative space to foster entrepreneurship and stimulate market-driven innovations. Sunway iLabs are in sync with the wider start-up ecosystem in Malaysia and abroad through collaborations and strategic partnerships, to enable entrepreneurs to scale their business faster. For more information on Sunway iLabs, log on to or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

About Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation or MDEC (formerly known as Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd.) is the lead agency in driving the digital economy in Malaysia under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia. Since its inception 21 years ago, MDEC’s mission is to develop the nation’s digital economy. MDEC’s implementation efforts are centred on driving investments, building local tech champions, catalysing digital innovation ecosystems and propagating digital inclusivity.

MDEC is also responsible to ensure that Malaysia plays an integral part in developing and nurturing talent to drive digital innovation around the world, while attracting participation from global ICT companies to invest and develop cutting edge digital and creative solutions in the country.

About US Market Access Center Inc. (USMAC)

US Market Access Center Inc. (USMAC), has been providing international tech companies with fast and successful access to the US and global markets, via Silicon Valley. With offices in San Francisco and Menlo Park, California, USMAC has helped more 1,800 tech startups since 2011, among them more than 160 have experienced more $1B in exit value.

To know more about MDEC’s efforts and initiatives in driving Digital economy, please visit or follow us on Facebook @My MDEC and Twitter @mymdec