MBAN Summit 2022 highlights need to close early stage funding gap in Malaysia

  • Corporations, institutional investors more involved in early stage ecosystem
  • Premiere of ASEAN pitching competition, with Malaysia’s GK Aqua the winner

A panel session at the MBAN Summit 2022. Matt van Leeuwen, MBAN Council Member and CIO of Sunway Group moderating a panel with Taufiq Iskandar Chief Investment Officer of Penjana Kapital, Jamaludin Bujang, Managing Director of Gobi Partners and Thinesh Kumar, founder.CEO of Lapasar.

One of the most anticipated events in the Malaysian investment community, the MBAN Angel & Corporate Investment Summit was presented by the Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN) on the 23rd and 24th of June at Mranti Park, Kuala Lumpur.

Speakers and panelists brought to light opportunities and trends for early stage investing while introducing philosophies and instruments headlining the news globally and locally in investment circles.

Taking on the theme - “The Future of Innovation, Investment and Entrepreneurship” the Summit was officiated by Dr Adham Baba, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and featured the movers and shakers of the early stage investment community, which included government agencies and national regulatory representatives, corporate players, investors, angel investors and practitioners.

The variety of representation from the different stakeholders of the ecosystem provided depth to the discussions and gave the audiences a glimpse of the dynamics that make a startup ecosystem successful.

One key message that kept resonating throughout the Summit was the need to close the early stage funding gap and how corporations and institutional investors are getting more involved in the early stage startup ecosystem either through investment or adoption. Featured speakers representing large corporate organisations shared candidly their challenges and provided insights on how to navigate corporate startup collaborations and investments.

“The MBAN Summit is one of the many initiatives that are conducted by MBAN to increase and encourage investing into early stage startups. We have created a platform for individuals and corporate investors to gain knowledge, insights and best practices to help navigate the ecosystem and build their confidence to make early stage investments” said Alan Lim, President of MBAN

“We definitely feel that corporate involvement in the startup ecosystem will fuel further growth and investment. In fact, it is much more than that, it will bridge a gap that no others can. Corporations bring to the startup ecosystem great value, such as market access, capital, mentorship, market testing, and many others,” he added.

The Summit featured keynotes by investors and speakers such as Jamaludin Bujang, Managing Director of Gobi Partners, which has invested in over 320 startups and nurtured 9 unicorns in its track record, Henry Chong of Fusang; Asia's 1st fully-regulated Digital Securities Exchange, and other personalities such as Dzuleira Abu Bakar, Chief Executive Officer of Mranti, Fadzli Shah, Chief Executive Officer of MX Global, Taufiq Iskandar Chief Investment Officer of Penjana Kapital and recently appointed Director of Digital banking, KAF Investment Bank, Rafiza Ghazali,  to name a few.

Dan Toma, co-founder of Outcome, provided investors with a practical guide for companies to measure and track innovation.

Also highlighted during the Summit, a Masterclass that tackled one of the toughest challenges and decisions faced by corporate investors that are embracing innovation, where standard accounting documents are often insufficient and sometimes irrelevant; the Innovation Accounting Masterclass by Dan Toma, co-founder of Outcome and two-time award winning author, provided investors with a practical guide for companies to measure and track innovation. The session provided an overview into the why and how companies can jump on the bandwagon and embrace innovation at a deeper level by adopting this simple tool.

Another key highlight of The Summit was the premiere of the ASEAN-wide pitching competition, Enter the Tiger’s Lair”, where 6 elite ASEAN startups selected via a regional competition were given a unique opportunity to pitch their business plans to the “Tigers", a panel of successful entrepreneurs and investors. Homegrown GK Aqua represented by its founder and CEO Giva Kuppusamy made Malaysia proud by being voted as Champion.

Sudarnoto Osman, CEO of Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) and Peter Wee, Honorary Secretary MBAN signing an MOU and announcing the launch of the Sarawak Chapter of the Malaysian Business Angel Network.

Other summit highlights include the memorandum of understanding exchange between MBAN, represented by Peter Wee, Honorary Secretary MBAN and the Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) represented by Sudarnoto Osman, CEO SDEC. This exchange was followed by the announcement and launch of the Sarawak Chapter of the Malaysian Business Angel Network and the introduction to its Protem Committee, spearheaded by Patrick Liew, Chairman and Ir.Janang Anak Bungsu, Managing Director of Konsortium Bumi Consultant and Services, as the Vice Chairman.

“This chapter would serve as a platform for individuals and investment-oriented entities to participate in the startup investment opportunities, and also as a chance to connect with existing members of MBAN across the country and explore investments beyond Sarawak” said Sudarnoto.

As a summary the two-day Summit ended on a high note, it is clear that the Government has done a lot but there are still gaps that need to be filled and fueling the ecosystem with private capital may be key to the success of the startup ecosystem.

Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd and Hong Leong Bank were the main sponsors, with SDEC, Mranti and Sea Capital Management as Unicorn sponsors.

For more information on the MBAN Summit 2022, please visit 


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