Incubating a start-up mindset at Malta’s Microsoft Innovation Center

The centre opened its doors in February 2013 and has since established itself as a vital resource in the community

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 16 April 2020
Incubating a start-up mindset at Malta’s Microsoft Innovation Center

The Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) in Malta works with a large number of partners to assist start-ups with information and guidance on funding, technical experience, mentoring and a whole range of support services to help them start their business and tap into potential investment opportunities.

“Our mission is to land the latest global technology trends in the country,” explained Vangelis Morfis, Microsoft’s marketing and operations director for Greece, Cyprus and Malta. “It is so encouraging and see the great evolution of many of the start-ups that we have incubated over these years, using the depth of Microsoft expertise and the commitment of our partners. We are proud to celebrate our seventh year and we are committed for many more to come.”

The MIC in Malta is acknowledged for its constant growth and increased role in supporting Malta’s IT ecosystem – acting as a bridge with investors, educators, students and policy makers. “We have been growing from strength to strength and this helped us remain true to our corporate mission ‘to empower people and organisations to achieve more,” said Mary Downing, manager of MIC Malta.

The MIC has inspired thousands of young people to start looking at technology as a gateway to their future. “We have hosted many students who, alongside their teachers, have had the opportunity to come here, interact with Microsoft’s people, try our technology and understood that IT can be a tangible opportunity for their future employment and their place in society,” said Downing. “For example, the MIC turned out to be an amazing platform for our DigiGirlz programme. Through this we have had the opportunity to expose thousands of female students to IT, encouraging them to pursue a career in this field.”

Start-ups are the main stakeholders of MIC Malta. To date, it has hosted over 200 technology start-ups for outreach activities relating to technologies such as cloud computing, big data, blockchain, gaming, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

“The start-up ecosystem in Malta has a lot of potential,” said Downing. “However, it is also a fragmented ecosystem. Start-ups in the area are seeking information on how best to set up their business, what technology to use and how to build a compelling business proposal. However, they tend to get disjointed advice. This is where we can help. We are encouraging incubators to collaborate. We all have our different strengths and we believe that it is only through the combined strengths and networking opportunities of the various incubators around Malta that start-ups can be served better.” 

By fostering communication and collaboration in this way, Downing is confident that there is a bright future ahead for everybody. “We’re on to something really good here at the MIC,” she said. “I just know it.” 

This article was originally published in the Spring 2020 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issues delivered directly to your inbox.

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