Malaysian conglomerate Hong Leong Group launched a new innovation center, HLX in Malaysia last week to boost the local tech startup ecosystem, reports Borneo Post.
The objective of HLX is to create a space where corporates and the startup community can meet to exchange ideas and accelerate innovation, around technologies like artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and fintech.
The 250,000 sq ft facility features co-working spaces, various event facilities, talent development programs, an auditorium, restaurants, and a gym.
HLX is launched at a time when the country’s tech ecosystem could use an extra push. A similar center, the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) — a Malaysian government agency that serves the startup community as an accelerator program — came under the spotlight last year as it was reportedly one of the agencies the government planned to shut down. The CEO at that time, Ashran Ghazi, dismissed the speculation. Today, MaGIC is still operating and is accepting applications for its Global Accelerator Program.
The HLX project has some government backing too. It’s designed as a private-public partnership (PPP) between Hong Leong Group and the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). It will be located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
PPPs are common in Southeast Asia as a means to provide a boost to the startup industry. For instance the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Cambodia partners Shenzhen-based logistics, software, and consulting firm 4PX Express to nurture the country’s e-commerce sector.