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While it is not an easy task, startups are needed to disrupt the market by introducing new or simpler solutions to current problems, which gave birth to big names such as Grab and Airbnb.

But, not every entrepreneur is as business-minded when they start off. Even if the startup does have an innovative product, without proper guidance the product might never make it to market.

And one of the ways to get proper guidance and skills to be a successful entrepreneur is to approach a startup accelerator.

A startup accelerator can equip entrepreneurs with resources and connections to grow their business.

The Selangor Information Technology & Ecommerce Council (SITEC) has just launched its Selangor Accelerator Program (SAP) 2020 for Malaysian tech startups. This will be their third cohort since SAP started in 2018.

SAP is a 4-month programme where startups receive training to be investor-ready, taking them all the way from idea validation to growth stage.

Yong Kai Ping, the Chief Executive of SITEC said: “SAP is built on a ‘Moon Shot’ mentality—dare to dream big and achieve something extraordinary.”

Thus far, SAP alumni have created a Gross Market Value of RM26 million as well as 55 minimum viable products (MVP). If you’re wondering what you can get from the programme, here are some key benefits.

1. Get Exclusive Access To Industry Leaders And Mentorship

Back in 2019, e27 interviewed three NEXT50 mentors on the importance of mentorship for startups. 

One of the interviewees, Carmen Yuen, a partner at Vertex Ventures said: “We have our ‘if only’ moments and wished someone could have pointed us on some aspects so as to save us from making a mistake or taking a longer path/time to solve an issue.”

For SAP 2020, SITEC has enlisted the assistance of mentors such as Navin Danapal (SEA Director of SOSV-MOX), Xelia Tong (Managing Partner of ScaleUp), Ng Sai Kit (Chief Executive of Captii Ventures), and Derek Toh (CEO and Founder of WOBB) to name a few.

Afifah Basir, the CEO and co-founder of Petotum, one of the alumni of SAP 2019, said that the mentors helped them to open some doors that were previously inaccessible for them. They credited their mentors’ help to reach where they are today.

2. Join Hands-On Workshops And Pitching Clinics

If you’ve seen Shark Tank before, the judges are very critical of the founders’ pitches.

Without proper pitching skills, you will not be able to sell your idea and vision to the panel of judges and investors.

Daymond John, one of the investors on Shark Tank said: “An entrepreneur must pitch a potential investor for what the company is worth as well as sell the dream on how much profit can be made.”

Muhamad Nassir Bin Habizar, the CEO and founder of JOMPARKIR, also from SAP 2019, said that thanks to his time in SAP, he learnt to build a good business deck to pitch to clients and investors.

The JOMPARKIR team reached the top 10 for SAP 2019/ Image Credit: JOMPARKIR

3. Enjoy Fully-Funded Overseas Trips

If your startup is shortlisted into the top 5 of SAP 2020, you can then get the chance to enjoy a fully-funded overseas study trip.

Yong Kai Ping added, “SAP itself has come a long way from startup weekend model to a 4-month accelerator programme that includes local and international industry visits such as Beijing, Hangzhou and Jakarta for the past 2 years.”

He then continued and said that from the industry visits, Malaysian startups are comparable to startups from Silicon Valley and China.

The SAP 2018 group at JD’s HQ in Beijing/ Image Credit: SITEC

4. Additional Rewards For Shortlisted Startups

If you’re among the 30 shortlisted startups, you get access to benefits such as USD5,000 worth of AWS (Amazon Web Services) credits, 6-months worth of free Selangor Digital Creative Centre (SDCC) coworking space, piloting opportunities with industry players, and more.

For the top 5 startups, there are additional perks such as USD10,000 worth of AWS credits, RM6,000 in cash and RM3,299 worth of Vspire’s professional training programs.

You also have free access to a coworking space at SDCC for 12 months as well as other rewards.

According to SITEC, they do not take any equity or fees from your startup so you can participate without any worries.

How Do You Participate?

To join the programme, your startup has to fit these criteria:

  1. Be a local startup that has not gone through Series A Funding,
  2. Established less than 3 years ago,
  3. Able to field an MVP or a beta version of the product/service and can provide quantitative evidence of market traction,
  4. Be in the field of new or emerging technology across verticals such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Big Data & Machine Learning, and Internet of Things (IoT), Smart City, and e-commerce,
  5. Able to commit at least 2 core members into the programmes (for example, two co-founders),
  6. Capable of committing for the entire 4 months.

If you fit those criteria, you will then have to do the following:

  1. Send SITEC a 90-second video pitch (talk about your startup and why SITEC should choose you for the programme),
  2. Include a 5-slide pitch deck (traction, unique proposition, business model, etc.) in PDF,
  3. Include a copy of your Form 9 Certificate in PDF,
  4. If selected, you will be notified by June 15, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a non-contact economy that relies heavily on the digitalisation of our daily life. We hope that prospective SAP participants would be able to take this opportunity to offer new ideas that could observe social distancing as well as to conduct the essential needs and business as efficiently as possible.

Yong Kai Ping, Chief Executive of SITEC
Yong Kai Ping, the Chief Executive of SITEC / Image Credit: SITEC

If you still need convincing, Aizat Rahim, the COO and co-founder of Dropee, one of the Alumni of SAP 2018 said that they are now in the midst of international expansion.

He added: “I would like to recommend any startups out there to join SAP, you will be surprised with all the partnership and networking opportunities.”

  • Apply for SAP 2020 here. (Reminder: Registration ends on June 10, 2020.)
  • For more information on SAP 2020, click here
  • Shortlisted startups will be contacted on June 15, 2020.

Featured Image Credit: SITEC

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)