SIDEC to bring 10 startups to US under Pitch Malaysia USA

  • US Ambassador gave briefing on 2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit
  • Startups exposed to various experiences and windows of opportunity in US

SIDEC to bring 10 startups to US under Pitch Malaysia USA

[Ed: Headline and opening para edited for accuracy. An earlier version incorrectly stated that Selangor startups will be selected. The program is open for all Malaysian startups.] 

Describing it as one of the most ambitious US targeted pitching programs by a Malaysian ecosystem enabler, the Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (SIDEC), will be taking 10 Malaysian startups to the US at end April-early May.

This will be the third cohort going under the Pitch Malaysia USA Series that was launched in 2020 with the second cohort going in 2022. Applications opened on 20 Feb and close on 10 March. Apply here.

The selection committee is made up of:

  • Taufiq Iskandar, CEO, Penjana Kapital
  • Raja Ahmad Shahrir, CEO, Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd
  • Syed Haizam, Managing Partner, The Hive SEA
  • Allan Tan, General Partner, The SEA Capital
  • Yong Kai Ping, CEO, Sidec

Sidec’s engagement with the startup ecosystem started in a meaningful manner from the 2018 launch of its Selangor Accelerator Program (SAP). Since then it has nurtured 150 startups from five consecutive cohorts, with submissions for the fifth cohort last June setting a record with 225 startups applying.

Sidec’s first visit to the US in 2020 saw the participation of Biji-biji Initiative, Langit Collective, Biztory, JomParking, Petotum and Dropee visiting Amazon, The Hive US and Stanford University. The five startups were the winners of Pitch@Selangor 2019.

In early 2022 Dropee raised a US$7 million Series A round and is on its way to building a regional business.

NexMind AI, Pod and GFI Fintech went for the 2022 trip (two other winners had visa issues and could not go) that saw them visiting UC Berkeley and its Skydeck Accelerator, Stanford, Draper University, venture firms Plug & Play and The Hive, attending a conference by The Hive and networking with the Malaysian diaspora in San Francisco.

“We believe that through these events, the startups are exposed to various experiences and windows of opportunity,” said Yong Kai Ping, CEO of Sidec.

True enough, leveraging from the networking during its trip, NexMind’s founder, Francis Lui was selected into Cornel University’s “Global Business Project” last year where a team of six EMBA students have been working with him for six months, helping NexMind scale globally and win clients from 68 countries.

They were specifically helpful with crafting strategies and building strategic partnerships in North America, the Middle East and Europe, said Francis.

(L2R): The EMBA students from Cornel University as part of its Global Business Project. Anirudh Aggarwal, Emile Maamary, Francis Lui, NexMind founder, Bernie Law NextMind co-founder, Julie Lin, Alisha Tawer and Monz Uddin. Not in pic is Temi Balogun.

2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit

As the state agency tasked with driving the digital transformation of Selangor through promoting e-Commerce, startups and SME digitalization, Sidec describes its Pitch Malaysia USA Series as a four-in-one programme. The trips include industrial visits, networking sessions with the Malaysian Diaspora in the US, pitching sessions with investors, as well as participation in the annual SelectUSA Investment Summit that will be held from May 1st to 4th.

The 10 startups that will be picked for the trip will be pitching in the Silicon Valley (San Francisco) and Washington DC to global investors from April 26 to April 30 with the dates picked to ensure the trip culminates with participation at the 2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit held in Maryland.

The SelectUSA Investment Summit is an FDI promotion event, connecting investors, companies, economic development organisations and industry experts to seize opportunities available to make investment deals in the US.

With NexMind AI, the only Malaysian startup to participate in the 2022 SelectUSA Investment Summit, and selected as the winner of SelectUSA ASEAN, US Ambassador to Malaysia Brian D McFeeters visited Sidec last week to promote the SelectUSA Investment Summit.

There were also briefings by the US Embassy about the SelectUSA Investment Summit and SelectUSA Tech APAC Summit.

“SelectUSA is an ideal platform for connecting early stage and startup technology companies from various countries to prospects in the United States. International tech companies that invest in the United States can benefit in many ways, from our strong protection of intellectual property rights laws to access to our large consumer market," McFeeters said.

Malaysian companies can learn more at and submit their application which will be vetted by the US Department of Commerce.

(From Left): Yong Kai Ping, CEO, Sidec, Brian D McFeeters, US Ambassador to Malaysia, Teng Chang Khim, Selangor State Executive Councillor for Industry and Trade with Hasan Azhari Idris, CEO of Invest Selangor Bhd at the official Launching of Selangor Sandbox Coworking Space.

Prior to his sharing session, McFeeters and Teng Chang Khim, Selangor State Executive Councillor for Industry and Trade launched the Selangor Sandbox Coworking Space with Hasan Azhari Idris, CEO of Invest Selangor Bhd and invited guests in attendance.

Selangor Sandbox Coworking Space was rebranded from Selangor Digital Creative Centre which started operations in 2015. Located in i-City, Shah Alam, Selangor, the 14,000 sq ft space is purpose-built for networking, mentoring, brainstorming, spurring creativity and resource sharing. The space includes a seminar room, multiple meeting rooms, a library, a gym and rest area.

Timeline for the Pitch Malaysia USA:

Sign-up period

February 20 to March 10, 2023

Announcement of shortlisted startups

March 16, 2023

San Francisco (Silicon Valley) showcase

April 26 to 28, 2023

Washington D.C. showcase

April 29 to 30, 2023

2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit

May 1 to 4, 2023


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