Boost for Malaysian startup ecosystem as 100Soonicorns program selects its first 24 founders

  • Aspires to create a founder driven leadership and coaching program
  • Identify startups with potential to grow into Malaysia’s next Unicorns

Dr Sivapalan, Chief Evangelist of Proficeo (5th from left) with some of the identified first 24 Soonicorns.

ScaleUp Accelerator Sdn Bhd (ScaleUp Malaysia) and Proficeo Consultants Sdn Bhd in partnership with Penjana Kapital Sdn Bhd and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), has announced the selection of the first two cohorts of 24 founders for the 100Soonicorns program designed to groom the next Unicorns of Malaysia.

Coined from the phrase “soon-to-be unicorns”, Soonicorns are startups with the growth potential to become Unicorns. The selected founders are all C-Level founders. To participate, invited startups need to have raised at least US$1 million (RM4.44 million) from a Venture Capital firm or institutional investor; or have generated US$2 million (RM8.88 million) in revenue over the last 12 months.

Boost for Malaysian startup ecosystem as 100Soonicorns program selects its first 24 foundersAaron Sarma (pic), Co-Founder & General Partner at ScaleUp Malaysia said, “As a former startup founder and now partner at ScaleUp Malaysia, I understand the immense value of a strong support network and camaraderie in building a hyper growth company. The 100Soonicorns program not only offers invaluable coaching and mentorship, but also creates a unique space for the selected founders to connect and build relationships with each other.”

This sense of community and shared experience will be a crucial factor in the success of the program and its participants, he added. “I'm thrilled to be a part of a program that will help create the next generation of unicorns and further strengthen the bonds among the country's thriving startup community.”

“The 24 founders have had some really engaging discussions where they shared their own experience and challenges regarding the myriad of issues that they face as they grow their companies from the early stage to Series A stage and beyond. The program also enables them to engage with other successful Unicorn founders like Moses Lo the CEO of Xendit who had a session with them to share how he built Xendit into a unicorn, how he raised all his funding from the United States and why he believes Southeast Asia is the next great destination for investors,” shared Dr Sivapalan Vivekarajah, Chief Evangelist of Proficeo.

The participants will be engaging with global unicorn founders, venture capitalists, experts from areas that are particularly challenging for founders like talent acquisition and management and will also explore new areas like Artificial Intelligence. All these conversations and discussions offer a unique learning platform between successful founders and experts.

Boost for Malaysian startup ecosystem as 100Soonicorns program selects its first 24 foundersRamachandran Muniandy (pic), CEO of Asia Mobiliti, a mobility as a service company (MaaS) shared: "Being earmarked as among the 100 startups in Malaysia with the potential to secure a billion dollar valuation in the next three years comes with a great responsibility and a great privilege for nation-building. The timing of this is also immaculate as Asia Mobiliti prepares for our Series A funding later this year. The peer-coaching nature of the program combined with a structured and curated learning over a 12-month duration is ideal as this allows iron to sharpen iron and presents a more realistic commitment from the busy lives of startup CEOs. I firmly believe that the best days for Malaysia are ahead of us and we as entrepreneurs have a major role to play."

Boost for Malaysian startup ecosystem as 100Soonicorns program selects its first 24 foundersAmanda Chin (pic), the CEO of Ablr said, “I am excited to be handpicked as part of the 100 Soonicorns. This 12-months structured programme allows for a fast-paced learning to escalate the learning curve as we grow and scale Ablr within Malaysia and regionally; enabling ethical financing to thrive for the underserved through more affordable and accessible purchases which are meaningful such as healthcare, education, home and travel. Learning and sharing amongst other CEO-peers not only allows for a psychological safe space, but provides an opportunity to network, motivate and hold accountable as a group as we navigate through this year’s complex startup economy. Truly, an exciting time to be part of the Malaysian startup ecosystem!”

Dr Sivapalan (7th from left) with some of the first 24 Soonicorn founders selected.

Cohort 3 is now open for applications. Those interested can find more information here.

The participating founders of the first two cohorts are:

  1. Amanda Chin, CEO, Ablr Malaysia
  2. Sharma Lachu , CEO & Founder, Accendo Technologies Sdn Bhd
  3. Ramachandran Muniandy, CEO & Co-Founder, Asia Mobiliti Technologies Sdn Bhd
  4. Giden Lim, CEO & Co-Founder, BLOOMTHIS Flora Sdn Bhd
  5. Benjamin Croc, CEO, Briohr Sdn Bhd
  6. Ang Xing Xian, CEO, CapBay
  7. Sharala Devi Balakrishnan, CEO, Center of Applied Data Science (CADS)
  8. Kuna Kathigesan, Group CEO, Commerce DotAsia Ventures Sdn Bhd
  9. Lee William, MD, Easybook (M) Sdn Bhd
  10. Clarence Leong, CEO & Founder, EasyParcel Sdn Bhd
  1. Suthan Mookaiah, CEO, GASSTN Sdn Bhd
  2. Muhamad Nasir Habizar, CEO & Founder, Govicle Sdn Bhd
  3. Effon Khoo, CEO & Founder,
  4. Nadira Yusof, CEO & Founder, Kiddocare Sdn Bhd
  5. Tunku Danny Nasaifuddin Mudzaffar, CEO & Founder, Microleap PLT
  6. Azran Osman Rani, CEO, Naluri Hidup Sdn BHd
  7. Swee Wai Hoow, CEO, Newswav Sdn Bhd
  8. Keong Chun Chieh, CEO, Ominent Sdn Bhd
  9. Dr. Kev Lim, CEO, Qmed Asia (QueueMed Healthtech Sdn Bhd)
  10. Melvin Chee, CEO, RPG Commerce Sdn Bhd
  11. Parthiven Shanmugan, CEO, TixCarte Sdn Bhd
  12. Kendrick Tan, COO & Co-Founder, Virtualtech Frontier Sdn Bhd
  13. Ooi Boon Sheng, CEO, Web Bytes Sdn Bhd
  14. Low Ziwei, Director & Co-Founder, Zcova Sdn Bhd

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