Aphelia wins Malaysia regional finals of Startup World Cup, will pitch at finale in San Francisco
By Digital News Asia November 6, 2023
- Deep tech startup makes wireless charging stations for space
- Compete with over 70 startups worldwide to win US$1m investment
Deep tech startup, Aphelia Sdn Bhd, was selected as the regional champion for Malaysia and will be representing the country at the Grand Finale of the Startup World Cup that will be held in San Francisco on Dec 1.
Aphelia makes wireless charging stations in space with the innovative solution having the potential to bring about a game-changing shift in the way space missions are approached. By using these wireless charging stations, the high costs associated with launching satellites into space can be slashed by up to 90%. The lifespan of satellites is also extended, thereby contributing to a reduction in the growing issue of space debris, which poses a significant environmental concern.
Organized worldwide by Pegasus Tech Ventures, a Silicon Valley VC firm, the Malaysia Regional Finals held in Oct was hosted by Sunway Innovation Labs (iLabs), the innovation arm of Sunway Group and Sunway University, Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI), Cradle Fund, Hong Leong Bank and Maxis. Aphelia will be competing with over 70 startups worldwide to potentially win US$1 million (RM4.64 million) investment and enjoy the opportunity to network with top global entrepreneurs and investors.
"Our collaboration with Sunway iLabs demonstrates our dedication to placing Malaysia's startup ecosystem on the world map. Through this competition, we have seen the potential and innovation within our local startups, emphasising the need for more events like this to support our growing entrepreneurial community," said Mohd Safuan Zairi (pic), MRANTI Chief Ecosystem Development Officer.
"Cradle continues to support the growth of Malaysia's startup ecosystem, and Aphelia representing the country on an international platform is a testament to the immense potential local startups possess. We look forward to the outcome of the Grand Finale," said Ahmad Kashfi Abdullah, senior vice president of ecosystem development of Cradle.
"One of the key goals of Sunway iLabs is to connect Malaysian startups to the vast resources of global markets and innovation hotbeds, such as Silicon Valley, believing it will bring substantial value and be a stepping stone for them. The success of the Malaysia Regional Finals of the Startup World Cup is a testament to the talent and potential that Malaysia has to offer, and we are excited to see Aphelia represent the nation on the global stage," said Matt van Leeuwen (pic), chief innovation officer of Sunway Group and director of Sunway iLabs.
The judges on the panel were Mohd Safuan, Matt, Ahmad Kashfi, Hong Leong Bank’s chief digital & innovation officer, Shailesh Grover, Maxi's chief marketing officer, Loh Keh Jiat, and Cradle senior vice president, Grant, Juliana Jan.
The top ten startups who presented during the event were selected by corporate partners such as Hong Leong Bank, Maxis, and Sunway iLabs through preliminary and semi-final rounds. Startups were judged based on the solution, market and traction, competitive advantage, business case, founding team, and overall pitch and presentation.
“At Maxis, our passion lies in fostering innovation within the tech ecosystem. Being a partner in the Startup World Cup enables us to cultivate meaningful relationships with entrepreneurs and businesses alike. We extend our full support to the team heading to the Grand Finale,” said Loh.
"We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Aphelia on their remarkable achievement in emerging as the victor of the Startup World Cup Malaysia, prevailing amidst a competitive field of startups distinguished by their highly innovative solutions. The quality of innovation, and creativity displayed at this elevated level by the finalists is truly exhilarating,” said Shailesh, expressing confidence that Aphelia will have a significant impact in the aerospace industry and contribute positively to Malaysia and the ASEAN region alike.
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