Blog Post

Why Kuala Lumpur Might be Your Next Option To Establish Your Startup!

December 16, 2015

By Ahmad Sufian Bayram

3 min

Kuala Lumpur becomes one of the top cities to launch your startups in, and here are six Insights on Malaysia startup ecosystem.

1 ) The cheap cost of living in Kuala Lumpur makes the city an attractive destination for startups that move here even though they are still incorporated and mainly operated elsewhere in Southeast Asia like Singapore, where there are a lot of investing money for a startup. Also, the diverse demographic of the Kuala Lumpur population (Chinese, Malay, and Indian) made the city a significant market test for earlier stage startups in different potential Asian markets.

2) Starting in 2013, the Malaysian government formed a $100 million fund to invest in startups as part of a broader 10-year plan to develop high-tech industries.

3) 2014 marked the launch of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), an innovation and creativity center that works to support the local, and to some extent regional, entrepreneurial community and enhance the startup ecosystem with many initiatives, most importantly:

  • Co-working space designed to be a collaborative workspace for the startup community for RM150 ($37.5) per month.
  • MaGIC Accelerator Program: The largest program in South East Asia to grow a community of regionally focused startups. It is a four-month equity free accelerator program that accepts applications for all over the world.
  • e@Stanford Program: As part of a 3-year partnership with Stanford, MaGIC selects batches of 40 entrepreneurs (up to 2 co-founders per startup) to participate a 2-week immersive innovation and entrepreneurship program at Stanford University and Silicon Valley.
  • Stanford Go2Market Program: A one week program run by the Stanford Graduate School of Business at MaGIC. The program exposes participants to leading-edge knowledge and frameworks in the areas such as business model strategy, pricing, accounting, marketing, go-to-market strategy, and pitching to investors. The end goal is to help startups fully develop their go-to-market plan, as well as refine their pitching skills.

4) The majority of Local venture companies tend to invest in businesses that have high potential and made some profits, instead of investing in earlier-stage ideas that make on Ave investing in seed stage by RM50K – RM100K ( $13K – $25K ) while series A/B might reach by RM5M ($1,250K).

5) To attract entrepreneurs to move to Malaysia, the government allowed foreigners to set up a business in the country and obtain residency. However, the process would still take several months due to bureaucracy. Having a local co-found would make the process much easier.

6) With the big raising of the startups in Kuala Lumpur the city become in deep need for more good developers, even a big international VC starts to look for ICT startups to acquire for its IT team or support tech community!


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