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Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad has once again launched its Alliance BizSmart Challenge Accelerator (BizSmart Challenge), marking its tenth anniversary. 

This seventh iteration of the challenge, which aims to empower and accelerate the growth of aspiring entrepreneurs, has significantly expanded its eligibility criteria, making it accessible to a broader range of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Expanding horizons for more SMEs 

Whether you’re a tech startup, a traditional business undergoing digital transformation, or an innovative company with a unique business model, this challenge seeks dynamic and innovative SMEs ready to pitch their business ideas and plans.

Here are the criteria for SMEs applying to the accelerator:

  • Business in operation for 12 months to 10 years
  • Business annual sales turnover of RM500,000 to RM40 million
  • Businesses must be registered with Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) 
  • At least one of the company owners needs to be a Malaysian
  • The company owner or director must not be related to the panel judges

Applicants can visit the official BizSmart Challenge website to apply by July 15.

Key benefits and incentives

Participation in the BizSmart Challenge offers an array of benefits designed to foster business growth and innovation.

“For the first time in the BizSmart Challenge history, this year will also feature an opportunity for the top 30 finalists to pitch their business plans and ideas to venture capital investors from 1337 Ventures and 5X Capital,” it said in a press release. 

This platform allows entrepreneurs to secure investment funds and establish long-term partnerships essential for business expansion.

Besides, the top 10 finalists will compete for a share of cash prizes, mentorship, brand exposure, and business training collectively valued at up to RM2 million. They will also have access to preferential financing of up to RM20 million from Alliance Bank.

Additionally, participants will benefit from tailored business coaching sessions focusing on crucial areas such as SME challenges, the halal industry, and sustainability. 

A highlight of the challenge is a three-day accelerator programme conducted by 1337 Ventures. This programme helps the top 30 finalists refine their business plans and pitching strategies, preparing them for high-stakes presentations.

Finalists can also leverage the resources, experience, and expertise of programme partners including 1337 Ventures, 5X Capital, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad (CGC), and Cradle. 

“We recognise that business owners face various challenges, especially during the start-up phase, from securing funding to accessing relevant business coaching. Hence, we are partnering with experts in different fields who can address the diverse needs that they have.” 

“As a bank that aspires to become The Bank For Life for our customers, we want to help businesses succeed at every stage of their life cycle, offering them differentiated solutions to meet their unique needs as they grow,” said Mr Kellee Kam, Group Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Bank.

Join the ranks of distinguished alumni

Since its inception in 2013, the BizSmart Challenge has received over 2,200 submissions and supported more than 155 finalists through training and mentorship. The programme has a track record of nurturing successful businesses, with notable alumni including:

Learn from the best at BizSmart business conference 2024

In addition to the challenge, Alliance Bank will host the BizSmart Business Conference 2024 on July 16, with the theme “Business Beyond Tomorrow”. 

This one-day ticketed event at W Hotel Kuala Lumpur aims to inspire and educate entrepreneurs through panel sessions, fireside chats, and breakout sessions.

Speakers from HEXA Food, Montigo Malaysia by RPG Commerce, Mamee, Venture Capitalists, and past BizSmart Challenge alumni will share their experiences and insights.

The conference features two sessions: the morning session tailors to SMEs with less than five years of operations, while the afternoon session focuses on established SMEs undergoing generational leadership transition.

With a host of benefits, expert mentorship, and extensive networking opportunities, this Alliance Bank BizSmart Challenge aims to offer everything you need to propel your business forward. 

We look forward to seeing SMEs that have the potential to take the first step towards accelerating their business turn their dreams into reality. 

  • Learn more about Alliance Bank Accelerator here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

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

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