Hong Leong picks five startups for mentorship programme

KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB) has selected five promising Malaysian start-ups for its inaugural HLB LaunchPad mentorship programme. 

The programme specifically focuses on three areas to transform the way we bank tomorrow: Simplifying Banking Today, Digitising Customer Journeys & Experience; and Re-Imagining Banking For Tomorrow. 

HLB LaunchPad is Malaysia’s first public-private partnership between Hong Leong Bank, Cradle and Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN), Malaysia’s official trade association and governing body for angel investors and clubs. 

Throughout the three-month programme, the five start-ups will be mentored by HLB’s Senior Management. This allows them first-hand exposure to the knowledge, experience, and expertise of key people driving product, business, and infrastructure development. 

“We are truly excited at the prospect of working with start-ups. Indeed, financial services trends support the notion that working with start-ups is the way forward,” said Domenic Fuda, group managing director and CEO of HLB.

Fostering partnerships with start-ups demonstrates the emphasis HLB is placing on  participating in the eight megatrends, namely artificial intelligence & cognitive technology, robotics, augmented & virtual reality, big data analytics, application program interfaces (APIs), ecosystem plays, cloud computing, and block chain technology. 

On top of mentorship from industry leaders, the start-ups will also receive training by design thinking experts and have the opportunity to validate their products in the market. An allowance of up to RM25,000 per start-up would also be provided to them to further enhance their product or service offerings. 

Throughout the programme, the start-ups will be working on building their services to provide solutions to specific problems or opportunities within the HLB businesses. The experience and skills adopted by the start-ups will also be transferrable to other industries and businesses outside HLB. The programme will conclude with a Demo Day in early-December, where one of the five start-ups may be considered for an equity investment of up to RM1mil by Cradle.

The five start-ups are:
Blinkware Technology: A revolutionary pioneer in motion and gesture platforms with key strengths in media, education, data analytics, and medical technology. 

CapitalBay: A multi-bank supply chain finance platform that helps corporations optimise working capital and provide businesses with real-time technology to collaborate with a wider network of financial institutions to access financing opportunities.

Kakitangan.com: A HR platform for SMEs to increase employee satisfaction and productivity through its SaaS HR System capable of conducting online payroll and mobile expense claims, among other functions.

Propsocial: A community-based social property website in Malaysia that gives consumers real insights and unbiased user reviews.

Sales Candy International: An action-based CRM which automatically updates lead status with the actions taken by the salespeople. It is also capable of instantly routing leads from lead ads and web forms directly to the sales team’s mobile phones for them to follow up on.

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