Acceleration program by MOSTI and Cradle Fund
Globally, the startup industry has pioneered some innovative technologies, while generating far more jobs than traditional businesses, according to a report by 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 capital. This was reported by Cradle Fund (Cradle) in a study with Help University published in 2018.
In Malaysia, we still have some way to go to create a robust startup ecosystem, said Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham bin Baba, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).
With that, MOSTI has partnered with Cradle to launch the MYStartup Accelerator (MYStartup) program earlier in June 2022. It will offer local tech startups mentorships from industry leaders and potential funding opportunities.
From June 2022 to December 2022, the first cohort of startups in the MYStartup Accelerator program is expected to benefit from opportunities for commercial evolution and market access.
These startups will be guided through lessons including recruiting the right talent, accessing government procurement channels, regulatory guidance, and being introduced to experienced VCs and angel investors, to name a few. some.
Participating startups will also have access to other benefits and resources worth up to RM2 million. In addition, they will have the opportunity to associate with one of the 80 legal entities in the program’s database.
Applications have been opened to all startups to apply online. However, the program spokesperson told Vulcan Post that they primarily encourage tech startups from the edutech, agritech and 4IR sectors to apply.
The top 33 startups meeting the criteria defined for MYStartup were selected from over 500 online applications received for the program.
Some names of these startups include VStream Revolution (dronetech), Cult Creative (HR tech), Aimsity (edutech) and GOOBAT (online pharmacy), some of which Vulcan Post have already featured.
These applicants will receive support and guidance through expert-led workshops offering startups the opportunity to grow their business regionally.
The accelerator will also help validate startup business models, while increasing customer experience and acquisition, among other things.
Eyes on the prize and overseas opportunities
In terms of funding opportunities provided by MYStartup, startups will have access to 18 angel investors.
These potential backers are proven startup founders themselves and will further guide participants through their market expansion and scaling journey.
Notable mentors involved in the accelerator program include NEXEA’s Peter Wee and Alan Lim, as well as Eddy Wong, co-founder and CEO of VSure Life.
MYStartup candidates can also take advantage of the benefits that await them after Demo Day.
They include potential funding opportunities from Cradle’s CIP Sprint grant program, which provides funding of up to RM600,000, or follow-on funding from potential partners worth up to RM1 million.
Cradle told Vulcan Post that there will be no set number of winners eligible for funding.
Other post-program benefits include the opportunity to participate in local and overseas immersion programs and access to various tools and resources.
This is where selected finalists will gain real-world experiences on processes and regulations as they expand their business to select countries in the region.
“In fact, the purpose of the immersion program is to ensure that finalists are well prepared before entering any market for the expansion of their business,” the Cradle spokesperson said.
MYStartup is said to play an important role in driving economic growth through science, technology and innovation.
The acceleration program is listed as one of 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 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (DSTIN), National Entrepreneurship 2030 Policy, etc.
MYStartup aims to further enrich the startup network by encouraging high-impact collaborations in the startup ecosystem.
The sectors that have been chosen to be part of MYStartup also appear to be part of one of MOSTI’s frameworks to identify five unicorn startups in Malaysia by 2025. When asked, the Cradle spokesperson replied in the affirmative.
“Yes. The MYStartup program and all its initiatives indirectly aim to impact 2,500 startups and create more job opportunities in the ecosystem,” he said.
“Furthermore, it will also increase the opportunity for startups to secure alternative or private funding which we hope will help them on their journey to becoming Malaysia’s next unicorn.”
- Learn more about MYStartup Accelerator here.
- Learn more about Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Norman Matthieu Vanhaecke, Interim CEO of Cradle Fund Group