Khazanah boost for entrepreneurial talent in Malaysia

  • KNEO aims to catalyse pipeline of well trained, equipped entrepreneurs
  • Partners with accelerators 1337 Ventures, Code, Watch Tower & Friends


Khazanah boost for entrepreneurial talent in Malaysia



IN THE latest boost to national efforts to inculcate a strong sense risk taking, of self-confidence and self-reliance, second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani launched the Khazanah Nasional Entrepreneurship Outreach (KNEO) programme at the closing of the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2017 yesterday.

KNEO is an initiative by Khazanah Nasional Bhd (Khazanah), the national sovereign fund, to help unearth entrepreneurial talent among Malaysians, while equipping them with vital training and industry information via a series of bootcamp and accelerator programmes.

In launching the programme, Khazanah managing director Azman Mokhtar, said: “A major component of Khazanah’s mandate is to help build capacity and develop human capital for the nation. Entrepreneurship and innovation are key drivers of the economy, and through this programme, we hope to unearth talent with innovative and scalable ideas, and help them realise those ideas. In line with the Bumiputera Empowerment Agenda where Khazanah is the ongoing secretariat for Government-Linked Companies, the programme will ensure significant and meaningful participation by Bumiputera entrepreneurs.”

In delivering the programme, Khazanah has partnered with three leading Malaysian accelerators namely 1337 Ventures, Code and Watch Tower & Friends (WTF).

Sam Shafie, co-founder of WTF tells DNA "Watch Tower & Friends are proud to be one of the partners of the KNEO programme. Over the years, we have built our reputation of being Malaysia’s leading private accelerator with over 30 companies in our portfolio, among which are well known startups such as TheLorry, MoneyMatch, Cardio, Postco, Runningman and MyCash.”

Sam, a DNA Digerati50, expressed confidence that the nationwide initiative will benefit the Malaysian entrepreneurial ecosystem. “It is targeted at all types of entrepreneurs and I am confident it will offer real value to participants.”

KNEO is an expansion of Project Brainchild, an initiative that Khazanah kick-started in 2015 to unearth and develop entrepreneurial talents within Khazanah and Khazanah-linked companies.

KNEO comprises multiple phases – application, selection, incubation, acceleration, and demo day – over 28 weeks, with submissions open from 3 October 2017 to 27 November 2017.

Selected teams will have the opportunity to learn from renowned industry experts ranging from traditional businesses to highly scalable tech solutions to social enterprises; be mentored by corporate leaders from major companies, successful startup founders and other business leaders; strengthen their business fundamentals, go-to-market and monetisation plans; as well as obtain lessons, new ideas and insights.

Describing it as a great initiative, Bikesh Lakhmichand of 1337 Ventures like its broad reach. “KNEO allows us to bring to the table our tested and proven Alpha Startups content and best practices to a wider audience in Malaysia versus our typical focus on Klang Valley in the past,” he says. “Upcoming startups can also leverage our Southeast Asia based experiences all under one programme with the other amazing local accelerators. What more can you ask for?” adds Bikesh, a DNA Digerati50 as well, encouraging participants to think big and solve real problems.

Upon selection to the acceleration phase, each team will receive mobilisation funding of US$4,700 (RM20,000), in exchange for a 2% stake in their startup to be undertaken by Khazanah’s accelerator partners. The top three finalists on demo day will be awarded US$ 7,000 (RM30,000) each.

Those interested can visit KNEO for more information.


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New US$238mil fund for tech companies in Malaysia, strengthens ecosystem
GECommunity 2017 aims to drive growth of entrepreneurship


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