MDEC launches funding facilitation initiatives for 2021

  • Founders Grindstone: capacity building programme focused on fundraising
  • Investor Matching: helps Msian startups be matched with MDEC’s VC pool

MDEC launches funding facilitation initiatives for 2021THE Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has launched its two latest funding facilitation initiatives for 2021: Founders Grindstone, which is for startup capacity building; and Investor Matching, to match startups with venture capitals (VCs).

These two initiatives are from MDEC’s Digitally Powered Businesses division and are geared towards opening up opportunities for Malaysian-based startups and tech companies, MDEC said in a statement.

It has also been designed to elevate the proficiency of start-up founders to successfully navigate the complexities of raising funds and fulfilling the gruelling demands of potential investors. 

Founders Grindstone was introduced in 2020 as a capacity building programme focused on helping local tech entrepreneurs in their fundraising journey, MDEC said.

It features a series of intensive workshops with professional partners from venture capitals (VCs), venture builders and legal firms as speakers and mentors, followed by a pitching session at the of the workshops for 20 shortlisted startups.

Founders Grindstone also offers participants the opportunity for startups to leverage on funding partners featured in the programme, granting Malaysian entrepreneurs’ access to funding opportunities from global investors, it added.

Similar to the initiative’s pilot, there will be four batches of workshops, including a brand-new Founders Grindstone+ Tech Bootcamp – an enhanced intensive bootcamp focusing on high-potential technology verticals.  

The programme registered participation from more than 70 start-ups in 2020, with seven of these participants now raising funds via crowdfunding platforms, while 13 others are in the midst of preparing for their crowdfunding campaigns, MDEC noted.

This year, the Founders Grindstone initiative will extend its partnership to more legal firms and VCs, and will also be working with the recipients of Penjana Kapital. Their role would vary as mentors, judges and speakers, MDEC said.

Investor Matching

Meanwhile, the Investor Matching initiative, will provide an avenue for Malaysian startups to be matched with MDEC’s pool of more than 50 VCs, MDEC said.

It is a continuation of an initiative in 2020, which saw 176 start-ups applying and had 104 VCs and investors participating with a total funding request of US$212 million. MDEC said the goal this year is to increase the success rate of matching startups and investors to 50%, compared to last year’s 37.5%.

MDEC launches funding facilitation initiatives for 2021“Both Founders Grindstone and the Investor Matching initiatives will provide a much needed avenue for many Malaysian-based startups to connect with global and local investors, and potentially raise funds during these tough times,” said Gopi Ganesalingam, vice president of Digitally Powered Businesses Division, MDEC (pic, left).

Gopi said apart from potential investments, some of the VCs are opened to support in other ways such as mentoring, providing access to their ongoing programmes and strategic partnerships.

“As we focus on scaling digitally powered businesses, we are thrilled to draw on the collective experience of our top-echelon partners to provide stewardship and advice to our tech entrepreneurs,” said Gopi

Gopi said MDEC is excited to see the Malaysian government placing critical importance on nurturing homegrown startups and providing them the opportunity to become regional players, as per the recently-announced Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital).


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