Describing it as one of the most ambitious US targeted pitching programs by a Malaysian ecosystem enabler, the Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (SIDEC), will be taking 10 Malaysian startups to the US at end April-early May.
This will be the third cohort going under the Pitch Malaysia USA Series that was launched in 2020 with the second cohort going in 2022. Applications opened on 20 Feb and close on 10 March. Apply here.
The selection committee is made up of:
- Taufiq Iskandar, CEO, Penjana Kapital
- Raja Ahmad Shahrir, CEO, Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd
- Syed Haizam, Managing Partner, The Hive SEA
- Allan Tan, General Partner, The SEA Capital
- Yong Kai Ping, CEO, Sidec
Sidec’s engagement with the startup ecosystem started in a meaningful manner from the 2018 launch of its Selangor Accelerator Program (SAP). Since then it has nurtured 150 startups from five consecutive cohorts, with submissions for the fifth cohort last June setting a record with 225 startups applying.
Sidec’s first visit to the US in 2020 saw the participation of Biji-biji Initiative, Langit Collective, Biztory, JomParking, Petotum and Dropee visiting Amazon, The Hive US and Stanford University. The five startups were the winners of Pitch@Selangor 2019.
In early 2022 Dropee raised a US$7 million Series A round and is on its way to building a regional business.
NexMind AI, Pod and GFI Fintech went for the 2022 trip (two other winners had visa issues and could not go) that saw them visiting UC Berkeley and its Skydeck Accelerator, Stanford, Draper University, venture firms Plug & Play and The Hive, attending a conference by The Hive and networking with the Malaysian diaspora in San Francisco.
“We believe that through these events, the startups are exposed to various experiences and windows of opportunity,” said Yong Kai Ping, CEO of Sidec.
True enough, leveraging from the networking during its trip, NexMind’s founder, Francis Lui was selected into Cornel University’s “Global Business Project” last year where a team of six EMBA students have been working with him for six months, helping NexMind scale globally and win clients from 68 countries.
They were specifically helpful with crafting strategies and building strategic partnerships in North America, the Middle East and Europe, said Francis.