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Government Startup Grants In Malaysia

Malaysia

Part of the challenge of starting a business comes in the form of securing capital. In other words, while having a solid financial foundation does not guarantee the success of a business venture, it plays an integral part in keeping a business up and afloat among many potential competitors in order to reach the next big breakthrough.

The Malaysian government launches new grant programs frequently as part of their agenda to aid startups grow through job creation, business digitization, wage subsidies, promotion of local products & services, and more. For the year 2023, MYR 6 billion Dana Impak is allocated by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, with the intention of spurring both innovation and economic growth in the country.

LIST OF GRANTS

TERAJU

Responsible of both coordinating and leading the effort to increase the economic dominance of Bumiputeras, the Bumiputera Agenda Leadership Unit (TERAJU) serves the role to coordinate the Bumiputera Socioeconomic Agenda; which focuses on strategic intervention and initiatives in priority areas outlined in the Bumiputera Development Action 2030.

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Grant Name 

Skim Usahawan Permulaan Bumiputera (SUPERB)

Amount

Idea/Prototype startups: MYR 100,000

Pre-Commercial/Commercial startups: MYR 500,000

Type

Government Grant + Accelerator Programme

Sector 

All Sectors

Requirement / Criteria 

  • Malaysian Bumiputera individuals and entrepreneurs aged between 21 and 40
  • Startup company that is in operation for less than 3 years, and offers innovative and creative solutions of great potential

MDEC

Established in 1996 as the lead government agency to implement the MSC Malaysia initiative, MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation) focuses on promoting the growth of the country’s digital economy, with a vision for Malaysia to become a hub for world-class digital businesses and talents.

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1. Grant Name

Digital Content Grant (DCG)

Amount

Subjected to categorised activity.

THE MINI PROJECT GRANT: MYR 150,000

THE DEVELOPMENT GRANT: MYR 500,000

THE PRODUCTION GRANT: MYR 2,000,000

THE MARKETING AND COMMERCIALISATION GRANT: MYR 300,000

Type

Government Grant

Sector 

Digital Entertainment; such as Animation; Digital Games, Digital Comic; and Creative Technology

Requirement / Criteria 

  • Each applicant must meet all the Eligibility Criteria for each type of grant
  • Applicants is allowed to apply only for 1 (one) project for all categories (Animation, Interactive Media and Innovation in Creative Technology)
  • For a Production Fund application, applicants must already have an animation teaser/trailer, animation episode, developed game/product prototype or game/product demo

Refer here for the full specification of the DCG grant.

2. Grant Name

Malaysia Digital X-Port Grant (MDXG)

Amount

MYR 1,000,000

Type

Government Grant 

Sector 

Export & Expansion ready companies that falls under the Promoted Sectors (9) under Malaysia Digital; namely:

  • Digital finance
  • Islamic digital finance
  • Digital trade
  • Digital agriculture
  • Digital tourism
  • Digital content
  • Digital services
  • Digital health
  • Digital cities

Requirement / Criteria 

Local Owned Company

  • Incorporated in Malaysia under Companies Act 1965 or the Companies Act 2016
  • Minimum paid up capital of at least MYR 50,000 for companies
  • Active and minimum of 51% equity held by Malaysian(s) as per shareholding structure in the SSM
  • In operation for at least one (1) year

Foreign Owned Company

  • Incorporated in Malaysia under Companies Act 1965 or the Companies Act 2016
  • Active and minimum issued and paid-up capital of MYR 500,000
  • Headquarters to be in Malaysia
  • In operation for at least one (1) year

Refer here for the full specification of the MDXG grant.

3. Grant Name

Malaysia Digital Catalyst Grant (MDCG)

Amount

MYR 1,000,000

Type

Government Grant 

Sector 

Promoted Sectors (9) under Malaysia Digital; namely

  • Digital finance
  • Islamic digital finance
  • Digital trade
  • Digital agriculture
  • Digital tourism
  • Digital content
  • Digital services
  • Digital health
  • Digital cities

Requirement / Criteria 

Local Owned Company

  • Incorporated in Malaysia under Companies Act 1965 or the Companies Act 2016
  • Minimum paid up capital of at least MYR 50,000 for companies
  • Active and minimum of 51% equity held by Malaysian(s) as per shareholding structure in the SSM
  • In operation for at least one (1) year

Foreign Owned Company

  • Incorporated in Malaysia under Companies Act 1965 or the Companies Act 2016
  • Active and minimum issued and paid-up capital of MYR 500,000
  • Headquarters to be in Malaysia
  • In operation for at least one (1) year

Refer here for the full specification of the MDCG grant.

CRADLE

Aiming the title of being the go-to source of early stage funding for aspirational and innovative entrepreneurs, while being recognized for the high quality of its services and products; CRADLE serves as a representative of the Malaysian government’s efforts to increase both the quantity and quality of innovations and technology companies.

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1. Grant Name

CIP SPARK

Amount

MYR 150,000

Type

Government Grant (Pre Seed)

Sector 

All Sectors

Requirement / Criteria 

  • Individual Applicants must be of Malaysian nationality or residing in Malaysia
  • Company must be less than 5 years of incorporation
  • Accumulated Company revenue must not exceed MYR 3,000,000
  • No other company holds 25% or more of shareholding in the company
  • Majority employees must be Malaysians (For < 51% Malaysian owned)
  • Must own IP rights (Including University & Research Institute Spin Offs)
  • At least 2 Directors (at least one must be Malaysian)

2. Grant Name

CIP SPRINT

Amount

MYR 600,000

Type

Government Grant 

Sector 

All Sectors

Requirement / Criteria 

  • Individual Applicants must be of Malaysian nationality or residing in Malaysia
  • Company must be a registered Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd) entity with less than 7 years of incorporation
  • Accumulated Company revenue must not exceed MYR 5,000,000
  • No other company holds 25% or more of shareholding in the company
  • Majority employees must be Malaysians (For < 51% Malaysian owned)
  • Must own IP rights (Including University & Research Institute Spin Offs)
  • At least 2 Directors (at least one must be Malaysian)
  • Paid-up capital of at least MYR 10,000

MOST 

A leading Malaysian ministry formed in 1973 that is focused on research and development, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) is committed to the development of a sustainable, robust and welcoming startup environment. MOSTI aims to fully support the progress and development of startups with potential at every stage, enabling startups to overcome the challenges and barriers in Malaysia’s quest to become a leading and successful global startup ecosystem.

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1. Grant Name

Applied Innovation Fund (AIF)

Amount

MYR 500,000

Type

Government Grant 

Sector 

  • Energy
  • Education
  • Water and Food
  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Environment and Biodiversity
  • Smart Cities and Transportation
  • Medical and Healthcare
  • Culture, Arts and Tourism
  • Business and Financial Services
  • Smart Technology and Systems (Next-Generation Engineering and Manufacturing)

Requirement / Criteria 

  • Project proposal must be implemented in Malaysia, and involve technological innovation with the goal of commercialising innovative products, processes, systems, or services
  • Project must focus on the development of new or existing products, processes, systems, or services that have the potential to be commercialised
  • Team members must provide evidence of their technical competence and submit their resumes and supporting documents
  • If a project team member is from a different institution, a letter of permission from their department head must be submitted
  • Only Malaysian citizens can apply to lead the project. Non-Malaysian citizens from international organisations or expatriates working in registered associations/ cooperatives/ NGOs can participate as members of the project team
  • The project leader can only lead one project under MOSTI approval at a time
  • The applicant must not have been convicted of fraudulent activity or declared bankruptcy
  • Registered individuals and associations/ cooperatives/ NGOs must provide proof of financial ability to support the portion of the project not funded by the grant (e.g. a bank statement). Individuals must also provide a letter of support from a referee
  • The project leader must inform MOSTI if they have received funds from other parties for the same project

2. Grant Name

Strategic Research Fund (SRF)

Type

Government Grant 

Sector 

  • Energy
  • Education
  • Water and Food
  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Environment and Biodiversity
  • Smart Cities and Transportation
  • Medical and Healthcare
  • Culture, Arts and Tourism
  • Business and Financial Services
  • Smart Technology and Systems (Next-Generation Engineering and Manufacturing)

Requirement/Criteria

  • The company must be registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) or in Sabah and Sarawak with the Authority Local
  • Start-up companies must meet additional eligibility criteria such as having majority Malaysian ownership, paid-up capital of at least MYR 10,000, having at least two directors, being a technology-based business, and operating for no more than 5 years
  • Companies with less than 50% Malaysian ownership must have a minimum proof of concept or working prototype, operate in Malaysia, and have at least 70% Malaysian employees
  • Funding for non-start-up companies is offered as a matching grant based on the company’s contribution in the form of in-kind returns or cash
  • Public and Private Institutions of Higher Learning must collaborate with industry companies, and Government Research Institutions/Government STI Agencies are encouraged to work with start-ups/SMEs/MNCs
  • The applicant and company must not have a history of fraudulent activity or bankruptcy
  • Project Leaders who are not Malaysian citizens must have a valid work permit and a Malaysian project member from the same institution
  • Project Leaders are only allowed to lead one approved project at a time
  • Researchers working under contract must have a valid employment contract throughout the project duration
  • The project team must be qualified and competent, and every member must provide a resume
  • Multiple project applications are allowed as long as the applicant has sufficient resources
  • The project must be implemented in Malaysia and, for priority areas, must be at a pre-commercialization stage with proof of concept or a working prototype
  • The Project Leader must inform MOSTI of any funding received from other parties for the same project
  • The project must align with the SRF Fund’s objectives and priorities, and the application must include a detailed project proposal and budget

3. Grant Name

Technology Development Fund 1 (TeD 1)

Amount

MYR 1,000,000

Type

Government Grant 

Sector

Technology & Innovation sector, with a Technology Readiness level of 2 to 4

Requirement/Criteria

  • The company must be registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM)
  • Majority ownership of the company must be held by Malaysians (over 50%)
  • The company must have a paid-up capital of at least MYR 10,000
  • The company must have at least two directors under Malaysian citizenship
  • The company must be technology-based, and must not lead additional approved projects more than one at a time
  • The company’s operations must not have exceeded 5 years
  • The company is not convicted of fraudulent activities or have had the company declared bankrupt, in dissolution, or under receivership

4. Grant Name

Technology Development Fund 2 (TeD 2)

Amount

MYR 3,000,000

Type

Government Grant 

Sector

Technology & Innovation sector, with a Technology Readiness level of 4 to 7

Requirement/Criteria

  • The company must be registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM)
  • Majority ownership of the company must be held by Malaysians (over 50%)
  • The company must have a paid-up capital of at least MYR 10,000
  • The company must have 2 or more project leaders under Malaysian citizenship, or possess valid work permits; and must not lead more than one approved project at a time
  • The company must be technology-based, and must not lead additional approved projects more than one at a time
  • The company’s operations must not have exceeded 5 years
  • The company is not convicted of fraudulent activities or have had the company declared bankrupt, in dissolution, or under receivership
  • SME companies with non-majority Malaysian ownership must also have a proof of concept or working prototype and have at least 70% Malaysian employees
  • Project team members must be qualified and competent and must provide resumes outlining their research experience and achievements. A letter of acceptance must be provided for any team members from a different institution
  • All projects must be technically feasible and must have the potential for commercialization

5. Grant Name

Bridging Fund

Amount

MYR 4,000,000

Type

Government Grant 

Sector

Technology & Innovation Sector, with a Technology Readiness level of 7 to 9

Requirement/Criteria

  • The company must be registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM)
  • Majority ownership of the company must be held by Malaysians (over 50%)
  • The company must have a paid-up capital of at least MYR 10,000
  • The company must have at least two directors under Malaysian citizenship
  • The company must be technology-based, and must not lead additional approved projects more than one at a time
  • The company’s operations must not have exceeded 5 years
  • The company is not convicted of fraudulent activities or have had the company declared bankrupt, in dissolution, or under receivership
  • The company must submit a market study project, defined by research to review market conditions in a specified area, as well as a study on economic forces of supply and demand, and their impact on real estate returns, risks, and values
  • The company must not lead more than one approved project at a time

MTDC

With a vision to be Malaysia’s leading provider of commercialization solutions for technology companies, MTDC possesses a mission to create, nurture, and promote technology companies in strategic areas, with a focus on employee capacity building and maximising stakeholder returns.

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Grant Name

Business Start-Up Fund (BSF)

Amount

MYR 5,000,000

Type

Government Grant

Sector 

Technology Sector

Requirement / Criteria 

  • The company is incorporated under the Companies Act 2016
  • Technology based start-up businesses with a minimum of 51% Malaysian ownership
  • Flexible funding via interest free Convertible Promissory Notes (CPN) or Preference Shares; with CPN being convertable to Redeemable Convertible Preference Shares (RCPS)
  • Processing fee of MYR 3,500 is chargeable
  • Monitoring fee of 6.5% of the funding amount is chargeable (the amount will form part of the total funding amount)

MDV

Founded by the government in the year 2002, Malaysia Debt Ventures (MDV) aims to be financially sustainable while providing financing to support the growth of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector; identified as a key driver of economic growth by the government.

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Grant Name

MDV LIFTS

Amount

MYR 2,500,000

Type

Government Grant

Sector 

Technology Sector

Requirement / Criteria 

  • The company must be Malaysian technology startups backed by venture capital companies and government agencies, of which is majorly owned by Malaysians; or majority of the staff are Malaysians; or majority of revenue generated in Malaysia
  • Technology Start-ups within the portfolio of government agencies will be given funding priority

MATRADE

Committed to helping local companies showcase their capabilities and build a reputation for excellence, reliability, and trustworthiness; MATRADE has a goal to both support and promote Malaysia’s exports to aid them succeed in global markets.

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Grant Name

Service Export Fund

Type

Government Grant

Sector 

All Sectors Involving Export Business Activities

Requirement / Criteria 

The company must operate on one out of the twelve activity models defined by MATRADE, which subsequently defines the maximum amount of grant eligible for the company to receive. 

  • Participant/Promoter of Malaysian Expertise in events of International Level: MYR 50,000
  • International travel expenses for tender bidding/Purchase of tender document for projects overseas: MYR 50,000
  • International project/business assessment presentation for potential clients: MYR 100,000
  • Rendering for international projects: MYR 100,000
  • [Activity 5 is suspended until further notice at the article’s time of writing]
  • Initial overseas office set up cost for the first 12 months: MYR 200,000
  • Procurement of business/intelligent reports for assessing international projects and business opportunities: MYR 200,000
  • Prototype/System customisation or localisation for requirements overseas: MYR 50,000
  • Participation fees for overseas exporting services training: MYR 50,000
  • Registration fees for overseas exporting industry certification: MYR 100,000
  • Overseas purchasing/ hire purchase/ renting of software, machinery and equipment for exporting services: MYR 200,000
  • Logistic costs involved in sending Malaysian products and/or equipment abroad (port to port) for overseas projects awarded to and implemented by Malaysian service companies: MYR 350,000

Refer here for the full specification of the Service Export Fund grant.

Source: Growth Charger https://www.growthcharger.com/

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