Hong Leong Bank calls for startups in fintech space to join HLB Launchpad 2020

Hong Leong Bank is calling for startups in the FinTech and Technology space to take on the challenge of co-creating innovative solutions with the Bank to help Malaysians thrive in what is now the ‘new norm’, under its FinTech and Tech Startups mentorship platform HLB Launchpad.

Now in its third edition, HLB Launchpad 2020 is a collaborative partnership that brings together HLB in collaboration with MDEC, Cradle Fund, MaGIC, Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN) and pitchIN under a common vision to cultivate a vibrant and competitive startup community that will disrupt, innovate and bring fresh ideas and solutions to the market.

Open to any startup who has a presence in the Malaysian market, this year’s HLB Launchpad carries the theme of “Reboot: Thriving Together in the New Normal”.

HLB Launchpad 2020 will focus on three (3) themes: Being Digital, Adaptable and Sustainable. The Bank has identified over 15 problem statements, and will invite applicants to address them with solutions, from digitalising and simplify customer journeys, creating new experiences in financial services to helping business customers find new ways to grow digitally.

Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB said, “The crisis has brought about many opportunities for innovation, pushing us to reimagine the way we do banking, and more importantly, it validates the importance of our digital-at-the-core strategy and the need for us to continue to reimagine financial services. Many startups and businesses also pivoted towards a digital business model to remain in operations during this challenging period.”

“Collaborating with the FinTech and Startup ecosystem will strengthen our resolve to innovate in our quest to remain relevant to the evolving needs and demands of customers in this ‘new normal’. The HLB Launchpad platform enables us to identify and work with the best breed of FinTech startups in the country, proven through the track record established from our two previous editions  in which 80% of the firms we worked with received private and public funding and 20% of the finalists are working closely with or are in partnership with the Bank today where most of them are part of our SME Digital Business Solutions that we provide to our clients,” added Fuda.

Learning from the pandemic, sustainability and resiliency are two key ingredients to not only survive but navigate and thrive in this new normal. Hence, this year, the third pillar for the HLB Launchpad is Sustainability, squarely aligned with HLB’s emphasis on integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) elements and best practices into the Bank’s operations.

“Corporations like HLB possess market knowledge, resources, established networks and the validation that startups aspire to attain; startups possess the agility, grit and novel ideas that corporations value. Together, it creates a symbiotic force that propels MNCs and SMEs to take a digital leap and to sustainably resolve pressing business, environmental and social issues via inventive tech solutions,” said Gopi Ganesalingam, VP, Global Growth Acceleration, MDEC.

Startups keen to apply for the 2020 HLB Launchpad are required to have at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals (“SDG”) as an essence of their solution(s) as well as practices in place to manage and mitigate ESG risks identified in their operations.

40 participants will be shortlisted to join a pitching round and from there, 12 participants will be then shortlisted again after the pitching period to be part of a 1-month program where they are allowed to pilot and explore their solutions with the Bank. The outcome of the pilot program will be presented in the final pitching session. The winner of HLB Launchpad 2020 will win a cash prize of RM50,000, whereas the top two runner-ups will also earn a cash prize of RM25,000 each.

Additionally, Startups stand to gain immense benefits by being part of the HLB Launchpad 2020 program. They will have the opportunity to tap into:

  • – Hong Leong Group’s regional businesses across financial services, manufacturing, property development, hospitality & leisure and healthcare
  • – Jumpstart@65, a state-of-the-art community space with facilities such as event space, co-working space and usability labs etc. iStart, a program that provides the tools in banking facilities, such as a business current account and micro-financing, as well as digital solutions to enhance their business
  • – Networking opportunities between the Bank, its clients and partners to be able to build on their success to date

Previous winners were Dropee and SalesCandy, with former finalists including Kakitangan, and Biztory who are not only part of HLB’s SME Digital Business Solutions for customers, but additionally have also expanded their business to others within and outside the financial industry.

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