In the past three years, we have definitely seen a sharp increase in interest by corporates in the Malaysian startup space. Besides investing, some of these companies have gone on to start their own incubators such as AirAsia’s Tune Labs, Digi’s Incub8 and Media Prima’s Media Prima Labs. Startups can be attractive to corporates as a source of innovation that can potentially help the corporation, and also as new avenues for corporates looking for fresh business opportunities. It is definitely beneficial to the ecosystem when active exchange between startups and corporates happen.

This is the only question where the predictions of all three groups we asked– was a unanimous yes. We are definitely looking forward to see if more corporate investment in Malaysian startups will indeed happen.

Some highlights from the discussion of this question:

Anand Krishnan
Managing Director at Endeavor Malaysia

Answered: Yes

“Last year was mostly about trial and experimentation for corporates venturing into the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Hopefully those that found real value and are focused on the long-term will find even more meaningful ways of working with startups in 2017.”

Kai Kux
Managing Director at AVG & Investor in IPrice

Answered: Yes

“Given the huge interest of corporates in getting into the VC game that we have observed throughout 2015/16, it seems a foregone conclusion that we will see more money being invested.”

Victor Chua
Investment Director at Gobi Partners

Answered: Yes

“More corporations will and should invest in Malaysian startups, be it the form of cash investments or resource investments. Also, corporations will and should invest more in Malaysian startups as startups are agile enough to move into areas where corporations are traditionally unable to do so. Here, the key word is “tradition” – I see more corporations who are willing to break the tradition by recognizing the value of startups.”

This report was published in Business Insider Malaysia.

You can join the discussion on this subject in IKnewIt platform or directly on this blog post and make your own predictions too, we will track the results and let you know the results by the end of the year.