MyStartup Nxt Penang returns, elevates startup scene in North for the second year 

  • The micro-conference has visited five states nationwide since 2022
  • Aims to address challenges faced by Malaysian startups on their path to market

Eliza Elias, Cradle’s VP of  Strategic Communications (moderator), Ng Kwang Ming, CEO of Digital  Peang (panellist), Norman Matthieu  Vanhaecke, Group CEO of Cradle  (panellist)

MyStartup, in collaboration with Digital Penang, continues its second NXT journey for the year in Penang. Aimed at accelerating startup growth in the northern region, the MyStartup NXT Penang delved into multiple strategies for startups to fast-track their ventures' successes and elevate to new heights.

An initiative by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and spearheaded by Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd through MyStartup, the one-day micro-conference highlighted untapped opportunities in Southeast Asia’s emerging markets for startups in Penang to explore. During the fireside chat session, Norman Matthieu Vanhaecke, Group CEO of Cradle, asserted his confidence in Malaysian startups, noting that they are not only catalysts for growth but also the very engine of progress, addressing unique problems with disruptive solutions, creating jobs, stimulating the economy, and attracting foreign investment.

“Penang, a state otherwise known as the ‘Silicon Valley of the East,’ has huge potential with its strong foothold in semiconductor manufacturing, hosting some of the global chip giants like Intel and Nvidia. Currently, the state ranks third in the number of registered startups and applicants, after Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. By working together with Digital Penang through MYStartup, we hope to see more local tech ventures leverage this Single Window platform to connect with the ecosystem, ultimately pushing Malaysia up the value chain,” he added.

Ng Kwang Ming, CEO of Digital Penang, stated that Penang’s startups are at a pivotal juncture, benefiting significantly from state-driven initiatives that have cultivated a dynamic environment for innovation and growth. “Our concerted efforts with MyStartup are not only nurturing a sustainable technology startup ecosystem but are also pivotal in leading Penang’s digital transformation towards realising our vision of a Smart State by 2030.”

Aside from the fireside chat, MyStartup NXT Penang also featured spotlight sessions, bringing in both local and regional industry leaders to share their insights on crucial topics related to startup growth, such as seed funding, business development, strategic partnerships, and government and corporate resources. The lineup of speakers and panelists included experts from Cradle, Digital Penang, Nexea, ADA Biotech, Niagawan Plus, Cyberview, Petronas Ventures, and Allianz.

Furthermore, attendees had the opportunity to learn more about startup funding during the ‘What’s Up Grant’ and ‘Deal Hustlers’ sessions. The former highlighted Cradle’s funding program, CIP Spark and CIP Sprint, while the latter curated and matched connections between founders and investors like Artem Ventures, Farquhar Venture Capital, First Move, and Nexea.

Held for the second time in Penang, this year’s MyStartup NXT Penang garnered more than 160 attendees, including startup founders, investors, corporate and ecosystem partners, and university students. Since first launched in 2022, the micro-conference has traveled to five states nationwide, including Selangor, Johor, Sabah, Sarawak, and Penang. To date, it has attracted over 2,600 attendees and featured more than 100 seasoned figures spanning diverse industries.

Curated for the local startup ecosystem, NXT is one of MyStartup’s various capacity-building programs aimed at addressing challenges faced by Malaysian startups on their path to market, bridging the gap between innovative ideas and sustainable success. Following the conclusion of this year’s NXT in Johor and Penang, MyStartup will continue its mission as Malaysia’s Single Window to bring ecosystem players together towards building a high-performing, globalised, inclusive, and sustainable startup ecosystem. Additionally, MyStartup NXT seeks to broaden its reach, exploring potential states in the East Coast region.

To learn more about Malaysia's Single Window for the Startup Ecosystem, visit


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