Hong Leong Bank’s (“HLB” or “the Bank”) Fintech and tech startups mentorship platform, HLB Launchpad is back in its fourth edition. The Bank is calling for Fintech and tech startups to take on the challenge of co-creating and developing breakthrough ‘out-of-the box’ solutions to reimagine a more sustainable banking and financial services industry.
Themed ‘Let’s Build a Sustainable Future Together’, it aligns with the Bank’s priorities in stepping up its sustainability best practices and integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) elements into every facet of its business. This year’s HLB Launchpad is open to ANY startup that has a presence in Malaysia, has a minimum viable product (“MVP”), has generated sales, has been in operation for over a year, and is interested in creating solutions that contribute to a long-term positive impact on our society and environment.
The Bank has identified over 15 problem statements this year extending over five Sustainability themes, namely Digital at the Core, Workforce Readiness, Socially Responsible Business, Environmental Management and Community Investment. The problem statements range from finding solutions to boost financial inclusivity for low-income earners, to tracking greenhouse gas emissions to create a long term positive environmental impact. Startups are welcome to address one or more of the problem statements.
“At Hong Leong Bank, as we continue on our journey to build a highly digital and innovative ASEAN financial services company, we are always on the lookout for innovative ideas that will help us bring this vision to life,” said Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB. “Aligned with our core value of being here for the long term, we are placing more emphasis on our sustainability efforts to ensure we are doing our part to empower the community with financial knowledge and resources to improve lives and livelihoods as well protect the environment within which we live.”
“HLB Launchpad is a very important collaborative platform to ensure our strategy and product development are refreshed and evolve to capture the ever-changing needs and contribute to ensure a sustainable future for our customers, communities and the environment,” added Fuda.
HLB Launchpad 2021 will be selecting three winners, in which the winner will be awarded with a cash prize of RM50,000 and the two runners-up will receive RM25,000 each. The winners will also be entitled to mentorship sessions with HLB’s C-suite, Business Heads and Partners, as well as a 6-month pilot project with the Bank.
The Bank is also currently collaborating and mentoring the HLB Launchpad 2020 winners – Food Market Hub, Pay:Watch, and ERTH. With Food Market Hub, a F&B ecosystem provider which has streamlined the entire value chain of farm-to-restaurant, HLB is working with them on a pilot project to help businesses best leverage the digital banking ecosystem to run their business on-the-go, while with Pay:Watch, the Bank is currently piloting an initiative to provide gig workers instant access to earned wages before their pay day. As for ERTH which is an e-waste recycling startup, they are helping the Bank manage and recycle its electronic waste (“e-waste”).
“Embracing our digital-at-the-core strategy over the past few years, has resulted in a significant pay off as it enabled us to quickly adapt to the new realities that came with the pandemic,” said Shailesh Grover, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer. “This strategy enabled us to continuously listen to the Voice of our Customers (VOC) and reimagine the way we design newer experiences to serve and interact with them. This has also enabled us to stay ahead where we leverage our innovation and community labs to create novel digital propositions that have a singular focus – delight customers at every touchpoint.”
“A big part of us being able to achieve that is the entrepreneurial heritage that is part of our DNA combined with a strong commitment to being a Community bank. We highly value collaboration as it allows us to leverage on each other’s strengths and the HLB Launchpad is a platform that enables us to do that with ecosystem partners, fintech and tech players, all who bring revolutionary ideas to challenge the conventional ways. We welcome all startups who want to be part of co-creating effective and sustainable digital banking and finance solutions that will help shape the future of our society,” concluded Grover.
HLB Launchpad 2021 is a collaborative setup that brings together our partners – 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 grow together.
Additionally, startups stand to gain immense benefits by being part of the HLB Launchpad 2021 as, among other things, they will have the opportunity to tap into:
- Hong Leong Group’s regional businesses across financial services, manufacturing, property development, hospitality & leisure and healthcare in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Cambodia.
- Jumpstart@65, a state-of-the-art community hub with facilities such as event space, co-working space and usability labs amongst others.
- A suite of banking facilities such as a business current account and micro-financing as well as digital business solutions offerings including an all-in-one POS terminal, cloud-based HR, Payroll, Accounting and digital advertising services.
HLB Launchpad 2021 applications are open until October 1st and interested startups can register on HLB’s website.
Source: Hong Leong Bank