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Malaysian government investor steps up call for tech company applications

AvantiKumar | Sept. 19, 2010
Wants to approve 30 grant recipients this year: Cradle Fund

KUALA LUMPUR, SEPTEMBER 19 2010 -- Malaysian Ministry of Finance [MoF] agency Cradle Fund has called for more local startups to apply for funding under the country's first pure technology commercialisation fund--CIP 500, it said.

Cradle Fund chief executive officer Nazrin Hassan said that it wanted to approve about 30 grant recipients by the end of this year. "Following the announcement of 5 pioneering grant recipients in June this year, the conditional seed grant providers recently confirmed another 6 companies in their second tranche of approvals." 

We have received encouraging response since the CIP 500 grant was open to applicants in  November last year, and to date, we have received more than 110 applications," said Nazrin.

"However, we believe there are still many eligible companies out there that may not have received information about CIP 500, thus we are stepping up our efforts to put the word out there, and we look forward to hearing from many more companies, he said.

"Together with necessary commercialisation support, CIP 500 provides funds for product development, testing, design and packaging, marketing expenses, IP search and registration, employee remuneration, rental and utilities, hardware and software purchase, training, business plan refinement, and technology licensing and acquisition," said Nazrin.

Cradle Fund, an agency under the Ministry of Finance, Malaysia (M0F) is the organisation that manages the Cradle Investment Programme. A total sum of RM100 million [US$32,110 million] has been allocated to Cradle for this programme by MOF.

The CIP 500 conditional seed grant [www.cradle.com.my] provides funding of up to RM500, 000 [US$160,560] to help budding Malaysian companies with innovative technology ideas attain commercialisation.

 Six approved recipients so far

Nazrin said that the 6 approved recipients were Fexsoft, developer of a web-based quality control and statistical process control software system, Fonpackets, provider of automated voice messaging services, Southpaw, developer of customised interactive computer solutions and multitouch user interfaces, Serious Software, developer of a media and publishing industry mobile solution, Yellow Elevator, developer of an innovative online job referral portal and Auto Discounts, developer of Malaysia's largest car classifieds website.

Our team of analysts is constantly looking out for start-ups with product ideas that will generate the appropriate interest amongst the target market, and are strong and unique enough to withstand challenges from competitors, and which will attract future deals and venture capital funding, said Nazrin.

We have steps in place to constantly improve our mentoring and competency building efforts and provide timely business knowledge to our recipients" he said. "Malaysian technopreneurs are already technology-savvy, so we are focused on making them more business savvy, to help them succeed and survive in the critical first 3 years of their business.

We created CIP 500 as a trailblazing medium term measure to fill up the funding gap at the commercialisation stage in Malaysia," he said. "As with other pioneering measures, we are cognisant of the need to work extra hard to get the word out on our commercialisation fund, and in the long run, also help widen the commercialisation funding pipeline for more technopreneurs.