Penang new fourth seed fund of RM1 million for tech startups

The state government launched its fourth seed fund of RM1 million for tech startups in Malaysia today.

Penang Chief Minister announced the launch of Penang i4.0 Seed Fund Stream #4 today which is aimed at supporting early-stage start-ups.

“The Penang i4.0 Seed Fund initiative started in 2018 and having launched three funding streams previously, the fund had benefited a total of 37 start-ups,” he said in a virtual press conference today.

He said the state government has allocated RM1 million for Stream #4, bringing the total funds allocated to date to RM5 million.

The funding scope for the seed fund covers product enhancement, marketing and branding activities and technical, product, design and intellectual property-related costs.

The seed fund is open to start-ups in sectors related to the Internet of Things, advanced manufacturing, consumer digital, EdTech, health tech, clean tech and other tech-based activities.

Priorities will be given to start-ups that support Penang's electrical and electronics (E&E) ecosystem.

Early-stage start-ups that have a working minimum viable product with positive early traction will be eligible to apply for funding under this programme.

The companies will also have to be incorporated in Malaysia with at least 51 per cent ownership by Malaysians, have been operating for less than five years and have an accumulated revenue of not more than RM1 million.

Chow said companies that fulfil the criteria mentioned can apply for funding of up to RM100,000 each.

He said applications will be evaluated by the evaluation and steering committees.

“The evaluation committee is made up of industry captains and founders of successful start-ups,” he said.

He said the evaluation committee will evaluate the submitted proposals and candidates before providing recommendations to the steering committee members for final approval.

Chow will chair the steering committee with state financial officer Muhammad Farazi Johari and special investment advisor to the Penang chief minister Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon in the committee.

The evaluation committee is chaired by InvestPenang chief executive officer Datuk Loo Lee Lian with members from UST Global, Exabytes Network, eSolved MSC, Pentamaster, Forward School, Intari, Aemulus, Cytron Technologies and BizCoach Solutions.

The application period for Penangi4.0 Seed Fund Stream #4 starts today until March 2022.

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