by TMR / pic credit: innovationlabs.sunway.edu.my
SUNWAY Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs) yesterday completed the Sunway iLabs’ Super Accelerator Virtual Demo Day event where five start-ups pitched to more than 100 venture capitalists and partners.
These included Gobi Partners, Kejora Capital, Sun SEA Capital, Leonie Hill Capital Pte Ltd, Malaysian Business Angel Network, SOSV and Silicon Valley-based US Market Access Centre for follow-up funding and strategic partnerships.
Sunway iLabs will be making another RM200,000 worth of investments in the start-ups, which is unique as other locally-based accelerator programmes are known to only make one-off seed investments.
The five start-ups are CozyHomes, Quadby, Ento, Juzdrive.com and Fitscovery — selected from more than 120 applicants of Sunway iLabs’ Super Accelerator programme focusing on five key verticals — Smart Cities, Edutech, Digital Health, Food and Agritech, and e-Commerce.
Over the last four months, the five start-ups received funding, mentorship and access to resources across Sunway’s 13 business divisions, as well as Sunway City Kuala Lumpur’s (KL) thriving ecosystem to carry out pilot projects.
This is in line with Sunway’s vision for Sunway City KL to be the test bed for Sunway Living Laboratory, bringing in experts to generate sustainable real-world solutions for urban spaces in future, for the betterment of the environment and mankind.
Sunway Group chief innovation officer and Sunway iLabs director Matt van Leeuwen said the start-ups had shown remarkable commitment and resilience in growing their businesses in potential high-growth industries.
“Despite the current challenges due to Covid-19, the start-ups, in collaboration with Sunway’s different business divisions, have planned and executed pilot projects with real commercial value in our ecosystem.
“Our unique investment approach is uncommon for start-up accelerators, but we believe it allows for increase investor confidence and more space for companies to focus on business growth rather than needing to raise funds shortly after they graduate from an accelerator programme,” he added.
He also explained the additional investment will give the start-ups an extra runway during this challenging period amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Launched last year, the programme is supported by Sunway Group, Sun SEA Capital and regional venture capital firm Gobi Partners.
Selected start-ups were provided seed funding of up to RM100,000 and assistance in follow-up funding after graduation.
The next enrolment for Sunway iLabs’ Super Accelerator Programme will be in the second quarter of 2021.
The pre-accelerator programme will begin in July 2021 and applications will open in April 2021.