KL Startup Summit 2021 goes virtual, aims to boost early-stage startups

  • 100% virtual event to feature talks, panels, masterclass workshops along themed tracks
  • To feature “Shark Tank” style pitching; digital exhibition; JomHack hackathon demo day

A panel at the Cyberjaya Startup Summit 2019. The KL Startup Summit 2021 will be entirely digital, with virtual talks, panels and masterclasses planned across multiple tracks The team behind the Cyberjaya Startup Summits in 2018 and 2019 have announced the rebranded KL Startup Summit 2021 (KLSS 2021), which is being held in a virtual format from 26 to 28 March 2021, with Microsoft Malaysia as the main sponsor this year.

“This summit is going to be action-oriented, with all stakeholders and partners committed to providing resources for the growth of our Malaysian startup ecosystem, said Inharaj Suppiah, the Summit director, in a statement. “We’re grateful that Microsoft Malaysia has shown its full commitment and support for our local ecosystem.”

Adding to this, K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia, said: “Startups play a vital role in our economy as innovators, disruptors and first-movers. We’re excited to be part of the KL Startup Summt, to help enable local startups make real impact in their markets and drive digital innovation in the region.

“We look forward to walking with more founders along their growth journey and supporting them to scale and achieve more.”

KLSS 2021’s central theme is ‘Talk Less, Do More’, and is set to be conducted 100% virtually given the current circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Inbaraj said the team is hoping that some key activities can still be physical in nature, albeit with full SOP adherence, assuming the government lifts the current movement control order (MCO) restrictions in the near future.

Aspirations and activities

KLSS 2021 will be focused on early stage startups and founders aimed at inspiring new startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as help connect them with investors, mentors, corporations, partners and talents.

The various sessions at the Summit will comprise talks, interactive discussion panels and a series of masterclass workshops by successful startup founders, ecosystem builders, investors, corporations and government partners.

The summit will be structured along several themed tracks, with confirmed tracks such as healthtech, lawtech, fintech, blockhain, mobilitytech, edtech and digital marketing. These sessions will be conducted by various partners such as DoctorOnCall, Fintech Association of Malaysia (FAOM), Blocklime, Access Blockchain Association, SOCAR Malaysia, Forward School and other ecosystem partners.

The KL Startup Summit will also feature a 'Shark Tank' style event for on-the-spot fundraising. Organised in partnership with STARTFUND, the session serves as a follow-up to Cyberjaya Startup Summit 2019’s private pitching session between selected startups and potential investors.

KLSS 2021 organisers are currently curating good-fit investors who are passionate about supporting early stage startups and are able and willing to sign term sheets on the spot.

“These types of pitch-style formats create a lot of excitement and energy in the ecosystem and can inspire a whole new generation of entrepreneurs and founders,” said Inbaraj. 

The Summit will feature an exhibition in digital format, where Malaysian startups can virtually showcase their products and services to potential customers, investors and partners.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the KLSS 2021 will be transitioning the exhibition into a virtual space “During the last two summits that we held, startups that showcased their products received amazing traction and several even garnered investor interest from their exhibits," claimed Inbaraj. “This year, we hope to replicate that success in a virtual format.”

The Summit will also host a 'JomHack' hackathon demo day and an 'Ideathon,' specially designed for tertiary students who are interested in entrepreneurship. Details on these events are still being firmed up.

Updates and registration for the event can be found at www.klstartupsummit.com. Early bird tickets for Startups are US$24.75 (RM100), while corporate and investor tickets are priced at US$74.25 (RM300) each.


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