It’s been known that Malaysia is equipped with the talents to build effective startups, but it’s often said that the support to scale their business is lacking. They’d rather move overseas to seek better funding, guidance, and more receptive customers.
Hence, to enable local startups in developing their skills while creating an unequalled network that supports economic growth, the Selangor Accelerator Programme (SAP) was created.
SAP is a talent-nurturing programme started by the Selangor Information Technology & Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec) in 2018.
The accelerator programme is now in its fifth cohort, and has announced its Top Five winners for 2022. These startups were also presented with a collective cash prize worth RM50,000 during its Demo Day held on September 17.
Themed “Net Zero, Sustainable & Circular Economy”, SAP 2022 received a total of 225 applications from sectors including agritech, greentech, smart city, fintech, and healthtech.
Out of those applications, these were the five startups that won the approval of the judges.
Entomal Biotech (Entomal) is a Malaysian biotech startup using black soldier flies (BSF) to create a circular economy. It also produces BSF-based food products to alleviate the rising global demand for animal feed.
On the circular economy front, Entomal uses the regenerative functions of BSF larvae as a sustainable treatment option for waste management.
Here, BSF larvae are fed biowaste, such as discarded food from kitchens, manufacturers, or crops, so that they can decompose in an environmentally safe and efficient way. The excretion from larvae also acts as a natural fertiliser for the soil due to its rich organic matter.
To add, Entomal is taking the initiative to reduce the consumption of ocean protein (like fish) in the pet industry, which contributes to overfishing. The team produces BSF larvae-based pet food, which is said to be rich in protein and nutrients needed for animals.
If Entomal’s plans work as intended, biowaste will leave a smaller carbon footprint on the planet via the work of BSF, while adding an alternative solution to the food supply chain.
Calling itself a ‘CFO in a box’, Swipey streamlines and simplifies an SME’s digital business on a single dashboard, while providing them with easy payment and expense management solutions.
Founded in 2021, the fintech SaaS also issues corporate Visa cards so that employees can keep business expenses separate from personal ones. These transactions will then be recorded on Swipey’s centralised dashboard for companies to manage their expenses transparently and track their budgets.
On a larger scale, Swipey wants to build customer-centric digital banking services for Southeast Asia’s underserved modern SMEs.
Diet Ideas is a healthtech nutrition startup helping its clients improve their quality of life via technology and consultation.
Utilising data attained from DNA and blood tests, Diet Ideas’ nutrition interventions can be more precise and personalised by detecting possible medical issues in their clients.
Diet Ideas also provides home visits or virtual consultations so clients can confide in the company’s nutritionists and dietitians without having to leave their homes.
In addition, the startup’s team of dietitians operate on a tight follow-up schedule to ensure clients are keeping up with the advice they’ve been given, or to help them switch their diet plans.
Founded in 2019, the healthtech startup has also built two in-house brands:
- KAKAN: Diabetic-friendly biscuits, and
- KIDS LITTLE TUMMY: A lifestyle brand for babies and toddlers.
To move closer toward its goal of revolutionalising dietetics and nutrition in Malaysia, the startup has made its branding more fun and lively in its third year.
The intention behind this shift is to make healthcare appear fun and lively, making it more approachable to the public.
Blue Duck Tech (BlueDuck) is a licensed insurance agency in Malaysia transacting on Zero Deposit Insurance to ease the rental woes of landlords, subletters, and tenants.
Its Zero Deposit solution is designed to replace traditional security deposits that come with renting out a property. BlueDuck provides landlords with a two-month coverage for rental losses, unpaid utilities, and malicious damages.
The startup is equipped with direct debit services allowing landlords to collect rental fees automatically every month. Reminders will also be sent to tenants when rentals are not received on time.
By offering sufficient protection for landlords and subletters, BlueDuck hopes this will motivate them to rent their properties out to a larger subsection of interested tenants.
Incorporated in 2016, Capsphere is a P2P asset-based financing platform in Malaysia matching SMEs that need financing with investors looking to diversify their portfolios.
Licensed by the Securities Commission Malaysia, Capsphere sets itself apart by ensuring that every loan is secured with an asset. These assets can range from property, medical equipment, digital servers, and more, and will be used as collateral as an added protection to investors.
SMEs who can provide these added measures are entitled to lower interest financing (6%-18% p.a.). It also gives investors the confidence to back businesses they believe in.
Capsphere announced in mid-2022 that it will be providing Shariah-compliant financing solutions to capture the Islamic market.
These efforts appear to match up with Capsphere’s bigger mission in making business financing more accessible and efficient.
The Top Five winners of SAP 2022 bagged a cash prize of RM10,000 each, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits worth US$5,000 (roughly RM22,747.50).
These winners also stand a chance to pitch for investment opportunities with some of SAP 2022’s strategic partners. Altogether, these can be channeled to further grow and enhance their businesses.
Congratulations to these five Malaysian startups!
Featured Image Credit: Selangor Accelerator Programme (SAP) 2022