SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT PENANG I4.0 SEED FUND RECOGNITION DAY
16 August 2018
@CAT Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, George Town, Penang
Dato’ Rosli Jaafar
General Manager of Penang Development Corporation (PDC)
Dato’ Loo Lee Lian
Chief Executive Officer of InvestPenang (IP)
Members of the Penang i4.0 Seed Fund Steering & Evaluation Committee
Members of the startup community
Members of the press
Ladies & Gentlemen
I am pleased to be present at the Penang i4.0 Seed Fund Recognition Day this afternoon. Our session today serves to celebrate another milestone in the achievements of the recipient companies while at the same time also signifies another chapter in the journey of these companies in maximising their full potential using the seed fund that is awarded to them.
On 10 March 2018, the Penang State Government established the Penang i4.0 Seed Fund with an allocation of USD 1 million. We want to create awareness and increase participation in the Industry 4.0 revolution and digital economy that is shaping our world today. The i4.0 Seed Fund provides funding for qualified high potential early stage technology start-ups and we hope that this fund can enhance the growth of Penang’s tech ecosystem.
I am pleased to note that in the first round, a total of 16 companies have been successfully awarded with the funding from the Penang i4.0 Seed Fund. The total amount awarded to these 16 recipient companies today involves an allocation of RM1.67 million. These companies are involved in a wide range of business activities that includes health assistance software, e-commerce and inventory systems, membership platform, tech design, job matching, backend support services, drive-thru services, monetisation assistance for gamers and combinations of IoT, sensors and tracking systems.
The quantum breakdown provided is as follows: a total of 9 companies were awarded RM50,000 while another 7 companies are awarded with a quantum of more than RM50,000.
I wish to congratulate these 16 recipient companies, and hope that this funding will catalyse their growth, providing greater dynamics to scalability of business and they will be able to reach their target customers better.
It is also important to keep in mind that this funding is a mean to an end and is not the end itself. It marks another milestone in the journey of each of your company and the Evaluation Committee and secretariat will work closely with you to achieve the defined milestones. Relevant mentorship and linkages will also be facilitated from time to time.
I was also informed that the Stream #2 application was closed two weeks ago, and a total 114 applications were received. Their applications will be evaluated and shortlisting for pitching will be made soon. The recipients for the Stream #2 and future streams will serve as friendly competitors to each of you in your respective fields, and we hope that this friendly competition will energise more innovation to take place.
Penang has come a long way in facilitating and developing the start-up ecosystem. This October will mark the third anniversary of the launch of this RM23 million @CAT Penang Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, which we launched on 10 October 2015. Since its inception, @CAT Penang has served as Penang’s catalyst in accelerating emerging tech start-ups & entrepreneurs to gain access to our co-working space & shared facilities, tech community events and entrepreneurship development programs. An accumulative total of 1,700 co-working space applications were approved from Oct 2015 – July 2018 and over 250 tech community events & entrepreneurship development programs combined were held at @CAT Penang. As for the talent supply for start-up companies are concerned, long term e-commerce and coding workshops will continue to be conducted, aimed at providing job opportunities to the local tech and non-tech community in learning programming and improving career marketability.
Moving forward, we will also launch the ‘Penang Innovation Platform’ by end of this year. This platform is a crowd-sourcing platform that will connect problem owners and problem solvers, enabling enterprises, government agencies and multinational corporations with business challenges to develop innovative solutions by collaborating with start-up companies with technology expertise in different fields.
Today, we mark another milestone by awarding the first batch of Penang i4.0 Seed Fund recipients and I wish to once again congratulate all the 16 recipient companies. We look forward to your success and long-term growth.