By Selangor Journal Team
PETALING JAYA, June 8 — Executive councillor Dato’ Teng Chang Khim has commended Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec) for its efforts in nurturing 150 startups within the state, preparing them for the global market.
Teng, who is in charge of trade, industry, and investment, acknowledged the crucial role Sidec has played in equipping these startups with essential skills, resources, networks, and access to funding, all of which are vital for their success and ability to thrive internationally.
This is evident in Sidec’s recent expedition to the United States, where it facilitated the participation of nine startups in pitching sessions held in both the Silicon Valley and Washington D.C.
The event, known as the Pitch Malaysia USA Series 2023, took place from May 1 to 6.
Teng stated that this move aligns with Selangor’s ambition to produce five unicorn companies by 2025. Unicorns are startup companies valued at over USD 1 billion.
However, the state executive councillor acknowledged that Malaysia’s domestic market alone would not be able to produce these unicorn companies, and as such, local startups must adopt a global strategy.
“It is evident that the ability to scale rapidly is a defining characteristic of startups. Our domestic market alone is not sufficient for startups to achieve true scale or attain unicorn status,” he said in his speech at the inaugural Selangor Startup Day held at the Sheraton Hotel earlier today.
“Therefore, it is imperative for our local startups to adopt a global mindset and expand into foreign markets right from the start.
“I am pleased to highlight that Sidec’s initiative is firmly aligned with the Selangor state, as well as national goals. It aims to establish a connected local ecosystem, supported by private-led corporations, accelerators, and incubators.
“This strategic approach centres around creating opportunities that foster greater forms of connectedness. By developing an international network of innovation alliances, we can provide startups with the necessary support to grow and scale into foreign markets.”
The Selangor Startup Day serves as a platform for the nine startups to share and demonstrate the progress they have made since their US trip.
The nine companies in question are Alps Global Holdings, VirtualTech Frontier, Boxcube, iMotorbike, Entomal, Revenue Monster Group, Qmed Asia, Accendo Technologies, and Pod.
Teng also highlighted Sidec’s efforts in expanding horizons and networks for local startups, including organising industrial visits to destinations such as Beijing, Hangzhou, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, and Bangkok.
In addition to nurturing a strong startup ecosystem, Teng emphasised that the present administration’s dedication to prioritising development initiatives centres around environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns.
“We firmly believe that technology, especially startups, will play a pivotal role in addressing ESG challenges.
“By reducing carbon emissions, measuring ESG impact, and promoting sustainable practices, startups like Entomal, with its innovative bio-waste treatment and organic by-product upcycling, are leading the way towards a greener future,” he said.
Teng also noted Malaysia’s significant advantages for startups, including being strategically located within the rapidly expanding Southeast Asian region and the strong cultural ties it shares with neighbouring countries.
Other positive factors include the country’s well-established physical and digital infrastructure, and high internet penetration rates, reaching over 90 per cent in populated areas.
“However, we cannot ignore the challenges that lie ahead.
“The Malaysia Startup Ecosystem Roadmap 2021-2030 (Super) highlights several obstacles, including the lack of private sector-driven funding, scarcity of local and foreign talent with the necessary technical and digital skills, and the absence of robust policies and regulations for a sustainable startup environment.
“Furthermore, startups face difficulties in accessing cross-border market penetration and receiving validation and support,” he said.
To address these challenges, Super has identified five fundamental ecosystem drivers, namely funding, talent, innovation, policies and regulations, and market environment.
By effectively addressing these crucial areas, Teng believes the country can pave a clear and well-defined path from initial idea to commercialisation, providing startups with a sustainable environment in which they can thrive.