Entrepreneur & startup programmes in Malaysia by Digital Penang

[Written in partnership with Digital Penang but the editorial team had full control over the content.]

The place do you construct your community, when do you pitch your concepts, and the way do you increase funds?

These are all nagging questions that each budding entrepreneur would have had earlier than. There’s no one-size-fits-all reply to them although, as options can range relying on what you and your startup want.

That’s an entire different factor to navigate. Understanding this, Digital Penang, a government-linked firm (GLC) owned by the state of Penang for digitalisation efforts, desires to assist bridge that information hole with these 5 upcoming occasions.

1. To construct up budding entrepreneurs – IdeaPesta 2023

Picture Credit score: Digital Penang

Open to universities and schools within the northern area, this programme permits contributors to collaborate with company entities and Digital Penang. 

The aim is to encourage technological ideation and innovation on the college stage and construct up budding entrepreneurs with the help of personal corporations. 

There are a number of cohorts inside a yr, the place contributors will bear two levels—ideation improvement, and pitch day.

Every problem winner is then shortlisted for the Founders’ Grit Seed Programme and has the prospect to intern with company companions. This helps with expertise and community constructing that may be helpful in future endeavours. 

Universities and schools that accomplice with Digital Penang for this programme can even obtain RM10,000 sponsorship funds. 

Participation standards:

  • Scholar or lecturer
  • Be at the moment within the discipline of engineering, IT, pc science, or enterprise administration

Registration particulars: This programme is freed from cost for contributors. 

Registration timeline: The deadline for the programme shall be organized by the collaborating universities. It is going to be primarily based on the chosen semester that the programme is launched internally on campus. 

Picture Credit score: Digital Penang

2. To assist entrepreneurs construct an MVP – TechStarsStartup Weekend Penang

Picture Credit score: Digital Penang

Digital Penang can also be collaborating with Techstars, one of many largest worldwide pre-seed traders, to deliver the primary ever TechStarsStartup Weekend in Penang. 

This bootcamp programme will enable contributors to match with potential technical or enterprise co-founders to construct a enterprise collectively in 54 hours. 

Contributors will get the prospect to be nearer with skilled mentors from the tech business and obtain teaching. 

You possibly can anticipate to see well-known names within the tech scene like Daniel Cerventus Lim on the occasion, who additionally just lately hosted on the BIZ Gear UP! enterprise convention final month. 

Then again, Techstars has produced resilient startups like DigitalOcean, Zipline, and SendGrid. 

This programme’s aim is to assist entrepreneurs in making a minimal viable product (MVP). They’re additionally planning to achieve out to different organisations related to youth entrepreneurship.

Participation standards:

  • Younger adults (ideally college students from universities, schools, and vocational establishments) who aspire to be the subsequent era tech entrepreneurs
  • Be devoted, passionate, and smitten by constructing a startup within the tech business

Registration particulars: N/A 

Registration timeline: In the intervening time, this programme continues to be a piece in progress. There shall be extra info shared nearer to its launch date on the finish of Could 2023.

3. To assist founders discover mentors – Founder Institute FI Core

Picture Credit score: Digital Penang

That is one other programme that helps Penang-based tech startups and entrepreneurs develop their ventures whereas receiving skilled mentoring. 

In collaboration with Founder Institute, this programme goals to assist Malaysian tech startups develop on a world scale. It may be fairly difficult as contributors shall be working with native and worldwide mentors, in addition to Silicon Valley consultants. 

The partnering firm has a confirmed monitor file of build up aspiring entrepreneurs by way of expertise and funding. This consists of startups like Udemy, Contain.AI, and Malaysia’s personal Aonic (previously referred to as Poladrone), which raised USD4.29 million in October 2021.

This isn’t to say that the programme comes with assured funding. Moderately, it assists startups in making ready to get funding. 

Nevertheless, in contrast to TechStarsStartup Weekend Penang, the dedication interval is for much longer. The Founder Institute FI Core is a digital programme that lasts for 14 weeks and could have two levels—launch and development. 

Participation standards:

  • Tech startups primarily based in Penang
  • Contributors should undergo two assessments to qualify. First a psychometric check, then an evaluation by the programme’s administrators. Solely those that cross each shall be enrolled into the programme. 

Registration particulars: 

  • Early chicken registration ends on March 19, 2023 is mounted at US$399
  • Regular registration previous March 19, 2023 is mounted at US$499  

Registration timeline: The programme is already open for registrations and can formally shut on April 16, 2023

Picture Credit score: Digital Penang

4. To match younger startups with angel traders – Pitch Island

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On this programme, younger startups within the early levels of elevating funds (between RM50,000 to RM350,000) could have the chance to match up with angel traders from Penang. 

The pitch session shall be primarily based on tech verticals on the next dates:

Dates Tech verticals
April 29, 2023 Artistic Content material, Web3, and Blockchain
June 17, 2023 EduTech Startups
August 26, 2023 IoT, HardTech and DeepTech
October 28, 2023 Cloud, SAAS and E-Commerce Startups
December 16, 2023 SMEs and Micro SMEs

This pilot programme goals to deal with the early-stage funding hole for startups in Penang, in addition to to construct the angel funding panorama within the state.

Contributors can anticipate to realize high quality suggestions from established angel traders to additional develop their startups, enhance pitching expertise, and hopefully safe an funding curiosity.

Participation standards:

  • Tech startups primarily based in Penang
  • Have a minimal of two founders within the enterprise
  • Income is under RM150,000 as of FYE2022
  • Enterprise should be on the precise know-how vertical primarily based on the occasion session vertical being held (e.g., If that exact session is about EdTech, then solely EdTech corporations can pitch)

Registration particulars: This programme is freed from cost for contributors. Nevertheless, do notice that there shall be a deadline for startups to submit their pitch deck.

Registration timeline: In the intervening time, this programme continues to be a piece in progress. There shall be extra info shared nearer to its launch date which is but to be decided.

Picture Credit score: Digital Penang

5. To get stakeholders to mingle – Founders’ Meetup

Picture Credit score: Digital Penang

Beforehand referred to as the Espresso and Curry Puff occasion, this month-to-month assembly has been gathering  skilled founders, traders, mentors, and different stakeholders to share their experiences. 

This yr, Digital Penang shall be operating a Ramadhan Particular with two occasions. 

The primary is titled “Know-how Empowerment” and can occur on March 30, 2023, starring CC Leong from My.minda and William from Twilight Foundry. The second on April 27, 2023, is titled “From Dropout to Startup Founder” and stars Thiruvengadam from Buidl Studio.

The programme is open to startup founders and the general public alike, with only one catch: you ought to be eager about tech entrepreneurship. 

It’s primarily one other networking/sharing session that touches on greatest practices, fundamental expertise, elevating funds, and overcoming challenges. This helps form the correct perspective of budding entrepreneurs concerning the actuality of tech entrepreneurism in Malaysia.

Participation standards:

  • Anybody considering tech startups and entrepreneurship

Registration particulars: This programme is freed from cost for contributors. 

Registration timeline: This programme occurs on a month-to-month foundation. contributors can discover extra details about upcoming occasions right here.

Picture Credit score: Digital Penang


When you’re a newcomer to the scene, becoming a member of such programmes might seem intimidating, but when it’s of any consolation to you, most of the different contributors may additionally be in the identical boat.

Plus, with so lots of them being free to affix, there’s no hurt to find the programme that most accurately fits you and going for it. In spite of everything, the place alternative presents itself, will you remorse taking it up, or will you remorse not taking it up? 

  • Be taught extra about Digital Penang right here.
  • Learn articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups right here.

Featured Picture Credit score: Digital Penang