Dream chance to start tech business

Chang (right)and business development executive Zoey Teoh promoting the pilot programme at CAT in Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, Penang.

IF you have a cool tech idea, Penang may fund you up to RM250,000 as long as you have proof of early traction.

The Penang i4.0 Seed Fund, a pilot programme initiated by the state government through investPenang and @CAT Penang, offers funding to startups incorporated in Malaysia that have a working minimum viable product with positive early traction, company ownership of at least 51% by Malaysians, have been operating for less than five years and an accumulated revenue not exceeding RM1mil.

@CAT Penang programme director Howie Chang said shortlisted applicants who meet the criteria will be invited to pitch their ideas to an evaluation committee comprising people from various tech-based industries.

“The committee will score the candidates based on the technical merits and business model of each proposal.

“Those chosen will then go though a session of due diligence where we will check their documentation to ensure the legitimacy of their business.

“Those who are selected can receive funding from RM50,000 to RM250,000, with the RM50,000 given as a grant while anything above RM100,000 will be given with 4% of the company’s shares taken as a form of warrant by the state government via Penang Development Corporation,” he said when met at @CAT in Wisma Yeap Chor Ee recently.

Chang said the state government provided US$1,000,000 (RM4mil) to fund the pilot programme which is divided into three batches this year.

“The first batch of 50 candidates pitched their products on June 9 and those chosen will be announced soon.

“It was a mixed bag of products that were pitched, with the most being online marketplace and market network platforms,” he said.

He added the programme was open to people from all over Malaysia, as long as they are committed to operate their headquarters or branch in Penang for at least eight years and become a mentor for any future Penang entrepreneurship development programmes for startups.

Chang said although this was a pilot programme for three batches this year, they would continue till the funds from the state government finishes and hoped the programme would be carried out yearly.

Applications for the second batch is open till July 25.

Visit http://acatpenang.com/i4seedfund/ to apply and for further details.

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