Nearly half the year is gone
New ScaleUp Malaysia Cohort | Building Clean Energy Solutions | What Would You Ask The Deputy Finance Minister?
I realise that I’ve probably made a rookie mistake when it comes to content creation.
The last newsletter I sent out was on the 31st of December - 128 days ago. My bad. I really do appreciate those of you who have pinged me to ask me to write more. The truth is there are quite a number of drafts on the cutting room floor but for a variety of reasons these never made it to publish. I’ll try to do better an keep up the frequency of these posts.
Suffice to say a bunch of things have happened in the last 5 months that have kept me on my toes. I’ve done a few interviews on BFM, co-wrote an Op-Ed for the 2023 National Budget, did a fun podcast about startup fund raising and a bunch of panels and talks.
If you’d like to check these out here’s where you’d find most of these links. And if you’re still inclined, please share this newsletter with someone. The pressure helps with output - promise!
ScaleUp Malaysia’s Latest Cohort
Back with a new formula, but same winning ingredients
After some time of not running a cohort, ScaleUp Malaysia announced investments in 7 great companies. This cohort is very different from previous cohorts for the following reasons:
We’re now investing up front in these companies. Where in the past we used to invite companies into the program and eliminate half, Shark-Tank-style, by the end - this time we’re running a full on investment process before a single class session starts.
Each of these companies have already gone through a rigorous process with us to get here. We’re ready to get down to business and help them get lift off, fast.
We’ve increased out cheque size to $100k which, at this time makes this investment the largest accelerator investment in Malaysia. This capital is to help the companies immediately make changes to scale their businesses.
Content is being delivered very differently this time with a mix of online materials, worksheets, classroom sessions and 1-1 coaching. That said, expect the same high quality, “16 week MBA” we’ve become known for.
Half our companies are already talking to investors and we are rolling up our sleeves to get the next round of cheques in to get them to the next stage of growth.
This is going to be fun. The first session starts this week. I’ll be running a talk on the importance of building a narrative.
PS: Applications are permanently open now so if you want to apply for an investment and participation in our accelerator, click the link below. We’re looking for world class founders like you.
PPS: Congratulations to Pennie, James and the team at Homa on their recent announcement of $875k investment from Quest Ventures Asia Fund II, Worldwide Management Solutions and Qhazanah Sabah Berhad. Its a pre-A funding for the team who has their eye on regional expansion.
Creating Clean Energy Solutions
Why I’m working to build Gentari’s Digital Ecosystem
A little over a year ago, I was on Ibrahim Sani’s Notepad and towards the end of the conversation Ibrahim asked me about industries I’m keeping an eye out for. I said, climate tech / clean tech. I also remarked about how I hardly see any startups in this space. Interestingly enough, the very next day we saw massive flooding in KL. I tweeted about how I’d like to work with startups in this space. Even Mranti CEO Dzuleira Abu Bakar joined in support. Shockingly no startup reached out at the time.
Fast forward a year later and I now have an opportunity to build the digital ecosystem in Gentari, Petronas’ clean energy solutions company. Gentari is led by some of the smartest and most passionate people I’ve met. I’m confident that this team will really build a transformative company. I hope to work with both individuals and companies to solve some pressing problems that the world is facing.
The digital aspect of clean energy is interesting.
We are in the early days of this space. There are no clear winners yet and everyone is building a play book.
Most climate tech solutions are very much solving issues at the infrastructure level. Value creation at the software layer is just getting started.
Importing skillsets from building ventures into this space will be truly impactful. Founders who get in at the right time will reap the benefits of this multi-billion industry.
I talk more about the solutions we’re looking at on LinkedIn. If you’re wanting to get in touch be it as an engineer, data scientist, product manager or if you’re with a great company who wants to connect, hit me up below.
Economic Reset - Insights into 2023 and beyond
A fireside chat with Steven Sim, Deputy Finance Minister II of Malaysia
Its not everyday we get to have a 1-1 chat with YB Tuan Steven Sim about startups and how the Ministry of Finance sees the impact of entrepreneurship and innovation in our economy. I’m really looking forward to this conversation. You can register here to attend.
If you have any questions you’d like me to ask YB Steven, please share your thoughts in the thread below:
Alright folks, thats it for this edition of my newsletter. If you liked it please share it. If you want to have a chat hop on to the thread below. See you again soon!
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