Malaysian early-stage VC firm 1337 Ventures and pan-Asian insurance firm FWD Insurance have joined hands to launch a bi-annual pre-accelerator programme.
Called Alpha Startups, the 4-week programme is specifically targeted at early-stage startups in the fintech and insurance industry based in Malaysia.
The programme will offer services such as entrepreneurship modules and access to mentors, tools and technology for founders to be able to bring their ideas to reality.
After the first round, the top 10 startups will undergo a further mentorship programme, where they will be able to further refine their business models in anticipation of the demo day.
During the demo day, the top two startups will receive an investment of US$36,443 from 1337 Ventures and FWD, in addition to US$29,513 worth of infrastructure credits for their cloud infrastructure, recruitment, marketing and payment gateway needs.
Investees also stand a chance to receive further funding for their seed to pre-series A round.
Bikesh Lakhmichand, CEO of 1337 Ventures, said, “We always wanted to see the private sector step up and play a more long term role in building the fintech and insurtech scene in Malaysia compared to the touch-and-go approach we have seen other players take.”
“FWD Start-up Studio’s approach is a game-changer with not just its long-term commitment to early-stage funding across multiple intakes but also through Alpha Startup’s programmatic approach to provide start-ups with insights, paid POCs (proof of concept) and access to markets,” he added.
Applications for the programme are open and set to run until 25 startups are selected.
Founded in 2012, Kuala Lumpur-based 1337 Ventures also runs accelerator programmes for MNCs and GLCs, such as Bank Negara Malaysia, Khazanah Nasional, Telekom, Digi, MDEC, CIMB and Maybank, amongst others. Notable graduates include Funding Societies, Parkeasy, Senang and Coins.ph.
Image Credit: 1337 Startups