KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Sept. 13, 2000 — Microsoft Corporation Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Bill Gates, hosted the first regional Internet Venture Capital Forum, bringing some 40 of the region’s top venture capital companies (VCs) to Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor.
Leading the forum, Gates stated that Microsoft’s vision and strategies include assisting dotcoms and start-ups to succeed in the new economy, which was also a common objective of the Multimedia Super Corridor vision.
The group included such premier VCs as Softbank; Draper, Fisher and Jurvetson; Citicorp Capital; Hambrecht & Quist Asia; and Barings. Speaking to some 30 top-tier new economy companies, Gates said that Microsoft will establish Microsoft Investor Connections, a programme with VCs around the region to provide technology infrastructure, consulting services and funding to build local dotcoms and start-ups into profitable enterprises.
The Microsoft Investor Connections programme combines the best of information technology with other value-added services to venture capitalists and their portfolio companies.
“Together, we’ll bring a powerful set of offerings in the form of resources, expertise, tools and financial backing to develop dotcoms and start-ups into enduring, sustainable and profitable businesses,”
Gates added that Microsoft Investor Connections programme was in line with Microsoft’s .NET vision and Microsoft’s commitment to the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) and Malaysia’s net-preneurs.
Start-ups and dotcom companies will be an engine for growth in the future. In line with our .NET vision of realising the Internet to its fullest potential, a vision we believe we share with the MSC, Microsoft is committed to helping local start-ups to achieve their potential in the digital economy.
“We aim to provide venture capitalists who participate in Microsoft Investor Connections with the IT tools and resources needed to invest, develop and launch new start-ups and help them achieve their full potential in the .NET economy,”
At a later meeting hosted by Multimedia Development Corporation, five local Internet companies were invited to present their business strategies to senior MDC executives and the VCs.
Jason Lim, Director, Internet Business Group, Microsoft (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, said that the innovation and potential of Malaysian Internet companies showed great promise, which was one reason that Microsoft was establishing the Microsoft Investor Connections programme.
Since the explosion of Internet commerce and the dotcom phenomenon, we have been watching local developments very closely.
“Over the past 12 months, we have seen tremendous growth in Malaysian start-ups adopting the Internet business model, but they still need assistance in terms of resources, expertise and funds. This is where the Microsoft Investor Connections programme can add value,”
“It is one of our overarching objectives to work with local industry, in different ways, to build the nation, whether it’s through business, community or skills development. With Microsoft Investor Connections, we want to ensure that these companies who have great ideas are seeded with the intellectual and financial capital to come to fruition,”
Once implemented, the programme will be based upon a customised agreement among all parties. Tailored according to the needs of each venture capital partner, the programme provides two sets of deliverables for the venture capitalist and its portfolio of companies.
The venture capitalist can expect, among other benefits, one-on-one contact with a designated Microsoft dotcom team, in addition to expert consultation through the Technology Strategy Consultation group. An online community will be set up to provide a venture hub where venture capitalists and start-up potentials can converge and discuss implementation methods and other business strategies.
Among some of the benefits of the programme are: automatic invitations to Microsoft sponsored technical events; Microsoft consulting services in evaluating technology and product feasibility, in addition to lab time with the Microsoft dotcom team to define technical architecture, applications development and deployment; and referrals to existing Microsoft distributors, including telecommunication partners, to re-sell solutions and services.
The offerings to the portfolio and start-up companies will be deployed in five steps that cover the company’s initial stage of growth to the point where the business plan is achieved.
Gates was in Malaysia for one-day visit that consisted of a packed programme of activities in addition to the VC summit, including a keynote address at Microsoft Executive Summit, the company’s annual business conference for senior corporate executives. Gates also officially opened the new Cyberjaya office of Microsoft Knowledge Capital Centre Sdn Bhd, the MSC-status company of Microsoft Corporation, and signed an MoU with Multimedia University to explore joint programmes for skills transfer and training for students specialising information technology.
Microsoft (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation and was incorporated on July 8, 1992.
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