This programme is designed to highlight Malaysian startups and introduce them to investors and startups around the world so they can find funding and scaling opportunities.

Nine Malaysian startups recently got back from a week-long pitching tour of the US. The Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec) hosted this event as part of the third installment of their Pitch Malaysia USA Series.

Between May 1 and 7, Sidec took them to Washington, D.C., and the Silicon Valley in San Francisco, where they met with foreign venture capitalists (VCs) to present their solutions.

This programme is designed to highlight Malaysian startups and introduce them to investors and startups around the world so they can find funding and scaling opportunities.

The nine Malaysian companies represent industries like artificial intelligence, healthcare, sustainability, and more. They were chosen from a large group of tech startups.

Two of the chosen startups are involved in the healthtech industry. They are Qmed Asia and Alps Global Holding (ALPS).

A life sciences and biotech company called ALPS wants to increase consumer access to and affordability of cutting-edge preventative healthcare. It is currently working to become listed publicly.

In the meantime, Qmed Asia uses online reservations, self-registration kiosks, and remote patient monitoring systems to digitalize queueing systems at healthcare facilities. The startup also offers AI tools to assist physicians in developing preliminary diagnoses and deciphering imaging scans of their patients.

Virtualtech Frontier (VTF), a Web3 startup, supports the creation of metaverses, while Accendo Technologies uses AI to assist businesses in determining talent fit. Both startups were chosen to present at the 2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C., where VTF finished third out of 300 international startups in the SelectUSA Tech Regional Pitching Session.

The International Trade Administration of the US Department of Commerce hand-selected the startups that would be a part of 2023 SelectUSA. VTF, Qmed Asia, and ALPS have proudly displayed the potential of Malaysian startups to the world by pitching to international investors.

The fintech sector’s Revenue Monster and Pod are also taking part in Sidec’s Pitch Malaysia USA Series.

The SEA Capital supports Revenue Monster, a platform that offers companies digital payment options and ecommerce management tools.

The answer from Pod is a platform for managing personal finances that enables B40 Malaysians to improve their access to financing by establishing their credit histories, setting aside money for particular objectives, and more.

Since joining the expedition, Pod has received funding from The Hive SEA, a Malaysian co-creation seed-stage venture fund with its headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

Entomal Biotech (Entomal), a company that specialises in sustainability, uses black soldier flies (BSF) as a sustainable waste management option.

BOXCUBE, a Traveloka-like company, offers international travel packages and updates, while iMotorbike matches buyers and sellers on used motorcycle parts and accessories, backed by 500 Global.

What were their biggest takeaways?

Vulcan Post went to Sidec’s Selangor Startup Day on June 8, 2023, where the startups that participated in the Pitch Malaysia USA Series were honoured.

Only a few of the nine participants took the stage to discuss their most important learnings from pitching their startups to US investors.

1. Start with why, and dare to be ambitious

The importance of an ambitious “why” was emphasised by Jason Low, the founder and CEO of VTF. He saw how mushroom farming businesses audaciously presented their goal of encouraging meat eaters to consume less meat, positioning themselves as global leaders and providing concrete examples of how their startup could address hunger and climate change.

2. Plan your exit from the get-go

International business owners have a distinct end in mind, as well as their exit strategy, whether going public, staying private, or joining bigger corporations. The creator of Pod, Nadia Ismadi, explains that due to the difficulty in acquiring users and pitching ideas due to limited resources, venture capitalists’ appetite has changed. VCs are less likely to be interested in hearing growth stories from a company if it cannot convert users into actual ROI.

3. Be open to active knowledge sharing

Nadia also emphasised that sharing knowledge is a key component of Silicon Valley’s startup culture. After taking part in countless tours of American research facilities and pitching competitions, she observed how each participant was eager to share ideas and have them considered and challenged by others.

The availability of government-funded research institutes, funding, and policy-related support that startups receive from both VCs and governmental entities in the US impressed ALPS’s Amanda as well.

The CEO of Sidec, Yong Kai Ping, revealed that although Malaysia is home to a number of fiercely competitive startups, foreign investors frequently pass them by.

The organisation is determined to host more international missions in the future, sending startups from the region to places like the US, China, Indonesia, Dubai, Vietnam, and Bangkok in order to pursue business opportunities.

For the time being, Sidec is urging Malaysian startups to enrol in their yearly Selangor Accelerator Programme (SAP). They are seeking businesses to join their sixth cohort, which works in the tech, AI, and sustainability-related industries.