By Chong Jinn Xiung February 26, 2018
TECHNOLOGY accelerator 1337 Ventures has selected 10 startups to undergo an intense 12-week acceleration process to bring their products ready-to-market as part of the Khazanah Nasional Entrepreneurship Outreach (KNEO) programme.
KNEO is the national sovereign fund’s initiative to unearth entrepreneurial talent among Malaysians and aims to equip them with vital training and industry knowledge through a series of boot camps and accelerator programmes.
The programme received 800 submissions from startups all around the country and after much consideration, the final 30 startups have been divided among three accelerators, of which 1337 Ventures is one.
The accelerators will prepare their 10 chosen startups for the KNEO demo day set for May 9.
Each startup has received mobilisation funding of US$5,135 (RM20,000) in exchange for a 2% stake by the accelerator partners. The top three finalists on demo day will be awarded US$7,703 (RM30,000) each.
The 10 startups selected by 1337 Ventures are BESC, PayRecon.co (formerly known as CTHhelp), Grub Cycle, Foodbike, Malaysian Aquaponics Research Centre, Resermy, Save4Dream, Sync, Unwrappd and Kravve.co.
1337 Ventures chief executive officer Bikesh Lakhmichand said he has been impressed with the quality of the startups selected for the KNEO programming.
“There is a good mix of not just tech startups but also social enterprises and non-tech startups included with many of them identifying unique pain points and absolutely committed to solving them,” he said.
Bikesh added that it is 1337 Ventures’ intent to ensure that every startup has their product released and gains their first set of customers before the end of the programme as well as helping them connect with organisations and experts in the field.
Apart from the funding provided by Khazanah, three selected startups under 1337 Ventures will receive an additional US$12,838 (RM50,000).
Bikesh added that the startups will also get access to Amazon Web Services credits worth US$15,000, Google Cloud and Firebase credits worth US$20,000 and Microsoft Azure credits worth US$120,000 to help them accelerate their growth.
Nadia Ismadi of Save4Dream said she felt confident that the acceleration process provided by 1337 Ventures would add value to her social savings app that aims to encourage youths to save for their financial goals.
“We are happy that 1337 Ventures sees value in our platform and hope that the accelerator programme can help us map out into something bigger because we are attempting to address a problem that is not unique to Malaysia but the whole of Southeast Asia,” said the chief executive officer.
Similarly, Michael Christian Simon founder of Malaysian Aquaponics Research Centre opes to take his non-tech startup, that focuses on sustainable farming and promoting urban farming further, by meeting and connecting with Internet of Things (IoT) experts on ways to use technology to help monitor crops grown in urban environments.
Unwrappd managing director and co-founder Tay Yuan Khoon felt that being among the top 30 startups selected validated his team’s idea and let them know that they were on the right path.
“We feel that the guidance and directions provided during the accelerator stage will help us move forward quicker,” he said.
1337 Ventures Khazanah Nasional KNEO Khazanah Nasional Entrepreneurship Outreach BESC CTHhelp Grub Cycle Foodbike Malaysian Aquaponics Research Centre Resermy Save4Dream Sync Unwrappd Kravve.co Tay Yuan Khoon Michael Christian Simon Nadia Ismadi Bikesh Lakhmichand