Malaysia is Building a Sustainable Startup Ecosystem


Over the past few years, Malaysia has been successful in creating an enhanced startup ecosystem. The Malaysian government aims to make Malaysia a regional center for startups by 2025. The numbers tell the same story as the number of startups in Malaysia is projected to exceed 10,000 by 2025.

However, creating an anecdote of startup success and prolonging that success for the future are not the same things. Hence, the government is planning several initiatives to build a sustainable startup ecosystem in the country. The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) in Malaysia recently launched a series of micro-conferences, MYStartup NXT, as part of the efforts to create an inclusive, impactful, and sustainable startup ecosystem in the country. Another initiative that will give an instant boost to the country’s startup ecosystem is the new startup fund launched by Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), Malaysia's public service retirement fund. KWAP has launched a 500 million ringgit ($106.68 million) vehicle to invest in startups and venture capital funds over the next 18 to 24 months.

The early-stage Dana Perintis fund is an endeavor to spur the nation's venture capital (VC) and startup ecosystem. The fund will invest half of its corpus, or 250 million ringgit, directly into startups. The other half will go into a fund-of-funds to support venture capital funds. KWAP plans to choose 10 VCs from the 38 proposals it received earlier this year. How do you avail this fund for your startup? Well, the selection of the VC funds is based on more than 30 criteria that can be summarized into six categories: the firm's profile, their past performance, their [investment] terms, their fundraising ability, and their network and market access. However, while Malaysia's startup ecosystem is brewing, we have curated some interesting stories from there in this special issue. Do let us know your thoughts.

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