Blueduck, Kapitani emerge Cohort 1 winners of FWD Start-up Studio Alpha Startups Pre-Accelerator Programme.

  • Selected from 10 startups, each to receive US$38,850 to develop their solutions
  • Unique opportunity to observe co-founders, with intimate view of how they operate

Iskandar Mohd Lot, COO of Kapitani with Nazrul Hazeri Nazirmuddin, CEO. Earnest Wong (right), BlueDuck founder.

FWD Insurance, together with 1337 Ventures, recently selected 2 Malaysian startups to receive US$35,850 (RM150,000) seed funding each for their innovative solutions.

BlueDuck and Kapitani emerged as Cohort 1 winners at the first-ever FWD Start-up Studio Alpha Startups™ Pre-Accelerator Programme.

Blueduck is a fintech startup bringing innovative financial services products and solutions to the property sector. Their goal is to simplify the rental and tenancy process with zero deposit packages, and aims to continue to help reduce the friction between home owners and potential tenants.

With the funds received through this programme, the founder of BlueDuck, Earnest Wong shared plans to focus on their marketing initiatives, notably in the first quarter of 2022.

“It was a steep learning curve throughout the pre-accelerator programme. Especially when our performances were reviewed on a weekly basis during the top 10 mentoring sessions.”

“It was rewarding to see how well and consistent our execution was and to maintain such a good progress report along the journey. If a business is like a tree, then ideas and visions are just the seed where they need to be nurtured and cultivated with care until they become deeply rooted and serve as a strong foundation for the tree to last,” added Earnest.

Kapitani is another example from the programme that is a fintech startup bringing financial services products and solutions to the agriculture sector. Kapitani, short for “kapital untuk petani” strives to facilitate financial services for the smallholder farmers through empowering them with tools to improve the farmers access to knowledge, capital and other resources.

Nazrul Hazeri Nazirmuddin, the CEO shared that joining the programme provided them with a golden opportunity to not only improve their product and business offerings but also enhance the skills and mindsets of their core team.

In addition, it provided them access to a wide network of startup communities, mentors, and investors.

“For an early startup like us, networking and relationship building are very important because we need all the exposure we can get for potential partnership, collaboration, or funding in the future.”

BlueDuck and Kapitani together with CHUMUP, CyberZure, Finory, Genie Finance, Med.AI, MYSARA, Supagenous and TrinityEco were the ten Malaysian startups selected to attend Cohort 1 for Insurtech Pre-Accelerator Programme.

In the 12-week programme, they were coached on topics from fintech regulations, product development to even building a customer profile. The startups also gained networking opportunities through office hours with business experts, regulators and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Amitabh Verma, Head of FWD Technology and Innovation Malaysia said “the pre-accelerator programme provides us with a unique opportunity to observe and work with startup co-founders, giving us an intimate view of how they operate. We’re excited to partner with these two high potential fintech startups to promote innovation for the greater good.”

Bikesh Lakhmichand, CEO of 1337 Ventures, said, “We’re thrilled by the opportunity to team up with FWD. The Start-up Studio combines long-term strategic goals with a very pragmatic approach and nimble timeline so we can incept tangible change and short-term success stories like BlueDuck and Kapitani very quickly. Our 1337 Ventures expertise combined with FWD’s reach and access means that local startups can be supported throughout their journey – meaning better outcomes for customers.”

FWD and 1337 Ventures are now gearing up for the third cohort for Insurtech pre-accelerator programme. Applications are now open, cohort 3 will begin in April 2022. To find out more about programmes and events for founders, please visit


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