[Written in partnership with Supernewsroom, but the editorial team had full control over the content.]
Globally, the startup industry has pioneered some innovative technologies, along with generating far more jobs than traditional businesses, stated a report from Startup Genome.
Between 2008 and 2016, the startup ecosystem contributed RM3.4 billion to Malaysia’s GDP, created 80,600 jobs, and attracted RM1.3 billion in private and foreign equity. This was reported by Cradle Fund (Cradle) in a study along with Help University published in 2018.
In Malaysia, we still have some distance to go in creating a robust startup ecosystem, said Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham bin Baba, the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI).
With that, MOSTI partnered with Cradle to launch the MYStartup Accelerator programme (MYStartup) earlier in June 2022. It will offer local tech startups mentorships from industry leaders and potential funding opportunities.
Narrowing down candidates
Running from June 2022 to December 2022, the first cohort of startups from the MYStartup Accelerator programme stands to benefit from business scaling and market access opportunities.
These startups will be guided through lessons including recruiting the right talent, access to government procurement channels, regulatory advice, and be introduced to experienced VCs and angel investors, to name a few.
Participating startups will also gain access to other benefits and resources worth up to RM2 million. Furthermore, they will get the chance to partner with any of the 80 corporate bodies from the programme’s database.
Applications were opened to all startups to apply online. However, the programme’s spokesperson told Vulcan Post that they were mostly encouraging technology startups in the sectors of edutech, agritech, and 4IR to apply.
The top 33 startups that met the set criteria for MYStartup were selected from more than 500 online applications received for the programme.
Some names of these startups include VStream Revolution (dronetech), Cult Creative (HR tech), Aimsity (edutech) and GOOBAT (online pharmacy), some of which Vulcan Post has previously featured.
These candidates will receive assistance and guidance through workshops by experts providing startups with an opportunity to scale their business on a regional scale.
The accelerator will also aid in validating the startups’ business models, while increasing customer experiences and acquisition, amongst other things.
Eyes on the prize, and overseas opportunities
In terms of the funding opportunities provided through MYStartup, startups will have access to 18 angel investors.
These potential funders are proven startup founders themselves, and will further guide the participants throughout their market expansion and scaling-up journey.
Some notable mentors involved in the accelerator programme include Peter Wee and Alan Lim from NEXEA, as well as Eddy Wong, a co-founder and CEO of VSure Life.
MYStartup candidates can also look forward to the perks that await them after the Demo Day.
They include potential funding opportunities from either Cradle’s CIP Sprint grant programme, which provides funding up to RM600,000, or follow-on funding from potential partners valued up to RM1 million.
Cradle told Vulcan Post that there will be no set amount of winners who are entitled to the funding.
Other post-programme benefits include the potential to participate in local and overseas immersion programmes, and access to various tools and resources.
This is where selected finalists will gain real-life experiences on processes and regulations in expanding their business into certain countries in the region.
“In fact, the aim of the immersion programme is to ensure the finalists are well prepared before entering any market for their business expansion,” shared Cradle’s spokesperson.
MYStartup is said to play a significant role in driving economic growth through science, technology, and innovation.
The accelerator programme is listed as one of the 16 interventions identified under the five Ecosystem Drivers in the Malaysian Startup Ecosystem Roadmap (SUPER) 2021-2030.
SUPER is aligned with other initiatives such as the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTIN), National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030, and others.
MYStartup is intended to further enrich the startup network by encouraging high-impact collaborations in the startup ecosystem.
The sectors that were chosen to be a part of MYStartup also appear to be a part of one of MOSTI’s frameworks to identify five unicorn startups in Malaysia by 2025. When probed, Cradle’s spokesperson replied affirmatively.
“Yes. The MYStartup programme and all its initiatives indirectly aim to impact 2,500 startups and create more job opportunities in the ecosystem,” he said.
“In addition, it will also increase the opportunity for startups to obtain alternative or private funding which we hope will help them in their journey to be the next Malaysia unicorn.”
Featured Image Credit: Norman Matthieu Vanhaecke, Acting Group CEO of Cradle Fund