Five sectors essential to economic growth

THE Selangor Accelerator Programme (SAP) 2021 will focus on five pillars — agritech, fintech, greentech, e-commerce and smart city solutions (proptech, mobility and logistics).

Selangor investment, industry and trade, small and medium industries committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim (right) and Sidec CEO Yong Kai Ping at the virtual opening ceremony for Selangor Accelerator Programme 2021.

Teng (right) and Yong at the programme’s virtual opening. This is the fourth edition of SAP.

These were the five sectors that were deemed essential and booming during the Covid-19 pandemic, said Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec) chief executive officer Yong Kai Ping.

He said the five sectors were in line with the Dana Penjana Nasional (DPN) programme by the Federal Government and that one of SAP’s partners was part of the DPN matching programme.

Selangor investment, industry and trade, small and medium industries committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim said e-commerce, fintech and smart city solutions were especially relevant in the current pandemic to ensure that businesses continued to run while following standard operating procedures.“It is Selangor’s focus to help the economy recover through digitalisation, adoption of technology in business operations and ensuring food security.”

Teng and Yong spoke during a virtual opening ceremony for SAP, which marks its fourth edition this year.

The SAP is a structured three-month programme that aims to prepare 30 early-stage startups in becoming investment-ready businesses.

Teng said only the top 10 would be rewarded with additional perks, while the top five would win from a cash prize pool worth RM50,000 as well as additional benefits.

“Participants will receive guidance from mentors in the community, learn from comprehensive workshops and gain the necessary industry-related exposure,” said Yong.

“Sidec’s focus is to address Selangor’s very own problem statements and the need for solutions to provide the best facilities and assistance for residents in the state.

“Hence, we are providing launchpads or beta testing facilities through a number of state subsidiaries.

“These high-potential startups will get their solutions tested by real users in real environments, which is essential to prove their concept.”

For example, he said, agritech startups would be channelled to relevant agricultural agencies to help them with testing in a real environment. Their solutions may be picked up and adopted by the agencies in their operations.

On the scoring system, Yong said 70% would come from a panel of judges while 30% would be from the participants’ performance and programme attendance.

“This programme aims to help participants in polishing not only their products and businesses, but also their core team, through classes and mentors who will share knowledge, experience and advice that will help the teams with their soft skills and pitching styles,” he said.

“Mentors selected to be part of this programme are experts in their own fields. They are there to help and guide the participants in every way they need, from the beginning to the end of the programme.”

Yong said SAP would also act as a gateway for startups to prepare themselves for the final demonstration day on Sept 11, where they would get the chance to pitch their ideas to renowned venture capitalists, corporations and government agencies.

Teng said the 30 startups this year were selected out of 165 submissions, the highest number of entries SAP had received so far.

Of the 90 startups from previous SAP cohorts, Yong shared that 43% of them received funding, which is considered a high success rate.

Also present at the launch were Invest Selangor Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Hasan Azhari Idris and Affin Bank Bhd enterprise banking executive director Lim Kee Yeong.

SAP 2021 will be conducted online. Participants will get their own dashboard for all the courses, webinars and mentoring sessions.

Nine of the startups this year are focused on the e-commerce sector; six each in agritech and fintech; five in greentech; three in edutech; and one in proptech.


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