[This is a sponsored article with TERAJU.]
Organised by Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera (TERAJU), the 16th Skim Usahawan Permulaan Bumiputera (SUPERB 2021) program was held earlier this year to offer up-and-coming startups a chance to have their ideas recognised, funded, and fleshed out.
The scheme is in line with the Tindakan Pembangunan Bumiputera 2030 (TPB2030) policy that aims to narrow the economic gap in the country by enabling greater Bumiputera participation in the entrepreneurial space.
There were a total of 800 applicants that signed up for the programme, 60 of which went through to the finale after being evaluated by a panel of expert judges.
These finalists underwent a two-day Finale Pitching Session earlier this month, and are now closer to walking home with up to RM500K grants.
Who were the participants in the running
The businesses who joined needed to be operational for less than three years, and had to have a creative solution in mind that fits in any category identified by SUPERB as Key Economic Growth Areas (KEGA).
The categories include digital economy, space and aerospace, defence and security, agriculture and commodities, and more.
These areas represent the economy of the future that can potentially lead to rapid growth, so developing a robust local ecosystem in these arenas would greatly benefit the country by creating more business opportunities and jobs.
Equipping the future generations with business acumen
“Fostering the identity and integrity of Bumiputera entrepreneurs is important to ensure that the quality of the nation’s startup ecosystem is at an optimal level and able to compete at the global level,” said Md Silmi Abd Rahman, CEO of TERAJU.
To reflect this sentiment, the participants who were shortlisted prior to the finale underwent a 6-week accelerator that guided them through the fundamentals to becoming entrepreneurs.
The accelerator programme would guide the startups through the process of managing a business, and even let them leverage TERAJU’s wide network of programs and business ecosystems.
As a result, several entrepreneurs were essentially upskilled.
“The business ideas that made it to the SUPERB superb finale are from various high-impact strategic industries listed in KEGA. The finalists are also now more open to adapting digitalisation, with over 50% of them using online platforms and applications,” said Md Silmi.
This growing adoption for technology in business echoes the national Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) policy and its agenda to use digital technologies as a means to achieving a high-income nation status.
With newfound knowledge and skills, the finalists pitched their solutions again at the semifinals, and then one last time at the event’s finale which took place on 11th and 12th December.
It takes more than just money to succeed
Now that the finale has concluded, the jurors are in the process of selecting the winners who will go home with up to RM500K grants.
Besides that, each startup will continue to undergo an intensive traction programme for six months. Awaiting participants there are courses on marketing, database building, product launching, and sales to strengthen the feasibility and bankability of the businesses.
The winners will continue to receive support down the line by way of coaching, sharing, and networking sessions.
Finding new carriers of Malaysia’s startup economy
Since its inception in 2014, the SUPERB alumni is now 208 members strong, and over 62% of the products and services put out by these members are currently being commercialised in local and international markets.
These companies and their solutions contribute to a global startup economy that’s worth US$3.8 trillion in Ecosystem Value, which is more than the individual GDP of most G7 economies.
Through SUPERB, the winners stand a greater chance at being part of a new generation that continues to push not just the value of the global startup economy, but also uplift Malaysia’s own GDP and market reach.
TERAJU will announce the names of the winners in early January 2022, and you can visit their website to get updates.
Featured Image Credit: TERAJU