KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 ― The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) through its funding agency, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, is offering grants under the CIP Spark and CIP Sprint programmes amounting to RM14 million this year to support the creation of local start-ups.

Its minister Chang Lih Kang said these two conditional grants have been allocated under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) with the mission of supporting the holistic development and commercialisation of startups through various value-added services to prepare and provide them with business model development, market acceptance and access.

He said this when answering an additional question from JImmy Puah Wee Tse (PH-Tebrau) regarding the allocation of grants offered by the ministry this year to help local startups.

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Chang also informed that a total of RM947 million by venture capital fund Malaysia Venture Capital Managemenet Bhd (Mavcap), a capital agency under Mosti, has been invested into 265 local start-up companies from 2016 to date.

He said Mavcap provides financing in the form of equity to start-up companies from the initial stage up to the development stage in various fields including ICT technology, green technology, new technology, fintech and artificial intelligence.

Earlier, Chang said Mosti had identified six local start-up companies covering fields such as e-commerce, bio-medicine, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and banking, which have the potential to become 'Unicorns'.

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“The six companies have successfully overcome challenges in the early stages of development and have good potential to become 'Unicorn' status startups, otherwise known as 'Soonicorn'.

“Currently there is only one Malaysian company with Unicorn status (start-ups with a value exceeding US$1 billion), which is Carsome,” he said.

Answering a question about the ministry's efforts to help more startups so that they can succeed and create 'unicorns' that we can be proud of in Malaysia, Chang said Mosti has developed and launched the Malaysian Startup Ecosystem Roadmap (SUPER) 2021-2030 on November 18, 2021.

“This is in line with the government's current policies and initiatives aimed at generating high-tech innovation, equitable development for the community and building an entrepreneurial nation by 2030,” he added.

He said through SUPER's implementing agency, Cradle Fund, a total of 5,750 startups and individuals have received benefits from the programmes.

“MYStartup portal, a one-stop portal for the national startup ecosystem, has been developed in line with the aspirations of SUPER 2021-2030 to become a database and connect players in the Malaysian startup ecosystem.

“Up till now the portal has 4,300 registered users, listing almost 3,000 startups, 500 local and foreign investors and 140 organisations providing services, incentives and programmes,” he said.

Chang said in an effort to help local startups grow, Mosti through financing agencies such as Cradle Fund, Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), Mavcap, Kumpulan Modal Perdana (KMP) and Malaysia Debt Ventures (MDV) also provides financing and funding incentives for startups from initial funding to the next stages.

“A total of 144 startups have been successfully assisted through the funding initiative in 2022,” he added. ― Bernama