Serial entrepreneurs Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and Lim Kian Onn (collectively “the Founders”) have announced the launch of their latest venture, Tune Labs, a Kuala Lumpur-based start-up incubator and accelerator program that seeks to identify, mentor and fund entrepreneurs across the Asean region.
Tune Labs will formalize a partnership between the Founders which has nurtured and brought to market disruptive businesses such as AirAsia, Tune Hotels, Tune Insurance and Tune Money. Going forward, the Founders – through Tune Labs – will support aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their visions of creating market-leading, innovative businesses with a particular focus on the travel, payments and retail verticals.
Tune Labs offers two distinct paths for applicants to develop and cultivate their ideas:
- An incubator program that will be conducted thrice yearly, a 12-week long start-up boot camp for applicants with unvalidated, early-stage ideas. Successful applicants will be offered the opportunity to work closely with the Founders and their partners to develop and validate their ideas and establish viable, commercial propositions with a view to showcasing their products at a demonstration day at the end of the program.
- An accelerator program which takes validated ideas and business plans – which may also include graduates from the incubator program – and expedites entry into the market through access to capital and partnerships sourced and introduced by the Founders.
All participants will have access to partnerships developed over the years by the Founders, the established infrastructure and support system of Tune Group and the ability to leverage in-house technical and software development capabilities for both the incubator and accelerator programs.
The investment team at Tune Labs will be helmed by Arun Verma and Gareth Lim, experienced members of the Tune Group and AirAsia, with a significant track record in developing and delivering innovative new ventures.
Tan Sri Tony Fernandes commented, “It has always been a personal goal of mine to promote and grow the start-up scene in Asean. There is a lot of talent in the region which, to date, has lacked the access and opportunities that are readily available to budding entrepreneurs in the West. Through Tune Labs, my partners and I seek to provide the guidance and mentorship that we found hard to come by in the early days of building AirAsia and envisage a structured environment to encourage, validate and ultimately implement exciting, new ideas that will hopefully revolutionize and change the way we go about our everyday lives.”
Datuk Kamarudin Meranun added, “A key obstacle to many new businesses is the difficulty or inability to raise capital in order to access markets and achieve growth. As such, my partners and I are committed to seed, nurture and develop the initial opportunities that will be housed under the venture. Our comprehensive network of partners and investors cultivated over the years and supported by our track record will also allow Tune Labs’ participants easier access to further funds to catalyze growth.”
Lim Kian Onn commented further, “Tune Labs allows aspiring entrepreneurs to concentrate solely on developing and growing their ideas. The ability to utilize the wider Group’s assets coupled with essentials like office space, finance and legal – will significantly reduce costs and improve management focus. Furthermore, Tune Labs’ advisory panel will consist of experts from various backgrounds to provide guidance across diverse fields. It is a fundamental objective of Tune Labs to aid entrepreneurs to reduce the time and costs needed in bringing to market an innovative new product.”
Further information on Tune Labs and how to apply for entry into the incubator and accelerator programs are available atwww.thetunelabs.com. Applications from committed and passionate entrepreneurs are welcome from across the growth spectrum – be it early stage seed or growth capital. The initial cohort is expected to commence in the second half of this year.