The third stream of a series of financial support initiated by the Penang State Government since 2018 to empower high potential technology start-ups and enhance the growth of Penang’s tech ecosystem.
PENANG, Feb 26, 2021 – Holding on the objective of cultivating qualified high potential and early -stage technology start-ups and enhancing the growth of Penang’s tech ecosystem, the Penang State Government has decided to bring back its long-awaited initiative, Penang i4.0 Seed Fund, a State effort that recognizes the need to empower the tech start-up ecosystem. With a total fund allocation of RM1 million in Stream #3, the State Government intends to build, attract and retain talents in the data-driven digital era and stimulate the tech start-up ecosystem.
Penang i4.0 Seed Fund was initiated back in 2018. Following the first two streams of fund rewards (Stream #1 and Stream #2 in 2018 and 2019 respectively), the State has awarded a total fund of RM3 million, successfully propelling the growth of 27 start-ups.
Funding scope, focus sectors and eligibility criteria
The funding scope of i4.0 Seed Fund covers product enhancement, marketing and branding activities and technical, product or design hires with the focus on the Internet of Things (IoT), hardware and software integration, digital consumer, advanced manufacturing and other tech-based activities.
The eligibility criteria of this program include:-
- Early-stage tech start-ups that have a working minimum viable product with positive early traction
- Company incorporated in Malaysia having at least 51% ownership by Malaysian
- Operating for less than 5 years
- Accumulated revenues of not exceeding RM1 million.
Start-ups that meet the above criteria may apply for funding up to RM100,000. Non-financial support such as mentorship, capacity building programs and potential linkage opportunities will also be provided to fund recipients.
Steering & Evaluation Committee of i4.0 Seed Fund Stream #3
The evaluation committee, comprising industry captains and successful start-ups are in charge of evaluating the proposals and candidates while providing recommendations to the steering committee members for final approval.
Members of the evaluation committee include:
- Chairperson: Dato’ Loo Lee Lian (CEO of InvestPenang)
- Chan Kee Siak (Founder & CEO of Exabytes Network)
- Radin Ikram (Principal, BizCoach Solutions)
- Ober Choo (CTO of Cytron Technologies)
- Charles Tang (Founder & CEO of eSolved MSC)
- Howie Chang (Founder & CEO of Forward School)
- Ng Sang Beng (CEO of Aemulus)
- Lau Kean Cheong (CEO of Inari)
- Chuah Choon Bin (Executive Chairman of Pentamaster)
- Amar Chhajer (Country Head of UST Global)
Members of the steering committee are:
- Chairperson: Rt. Honorable Mr. Chow Kon Yeow (Chief Minister of Penang)
- Dato’ Dr Muhammad Farazi Johari (State Financial Officer)
- Dato’ Seri Lee Kah Choon (Special Investment Advisor to Chief Minister of Penang).
Speaking at the ceremony, The Rt. Honorable Mr. Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang said: “Today, the economic and business environment is undeniably fraught with uncertainties. However, among the many challenges lie opportunities for the development and advancement of homegrown technology companies that are agile and innovative. As such, in line with the Penang2030 vision to upgrade our economy and empower our people, the Penang State Government will remain committed and persistent in our efforts to nurture and promote local start-ups.”
Managed by InvestPenang, applications for i4.0 Seed Fund can be made through InvestPenang’s website at https://investpenang.gov.my/penang-i4-0-seed-fund/ and social media platforms starting today till 26 March, 2021.
InvestPenang is the Penang State Government’s principal agency for promotion of investment. Its objectives are to develop and sustain Penang’s economy by enhancing and continuously injecting business activities in the State through foreign and local investments, including the spawning of viable new growth centres. To support the realization of its objectives, InvestPenang also runs initiatives like SMART Centre (to assist SMEs), Penang CAT Centre (to assist talents) and Penang i4.0 Seed Fund (to elevate start-up ecosystem).
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Harris Quah/ Ooi Phei Wen