MDEC’s Founders Grindstone Provides Startups With Tools For Pitching

[This is a sponsored article with MDEC.]

Fundraising is a key aspect for many startups to accelerate their growth efforts.

However, asking for funding is not a walk in the park. Despite good fundamentals or even if they are profitable, getting the boost their business needs sometimes seems to elude them.

It’s also up to entrepreneurs not to understand what the venture capital (VC) or funding platform wants to hear during the pitch.

The Grindstone program of the founders of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) aims to solve this problem.

By providing first-hand mentoring through intensive workshops led by professional partners, investors, venture capitalists, crowdfunding platforms and law firms, MDEC intends to equip Malaysian startups with the knowledge and expertise- do that will help them navigate their fundraising success. journey.

“Through our engagement with participating companies, we believe Malaysia has the potential to produce impactful global startups that will shape the future of ASEAN. As a company that seeks to empower one million entrepreneurs by 2030, at Draper Startup House, we are proud to partner with MDEC on this imperative initiative and to help elevate the Malaysian tech scene, to the levels local and global.

Nick Martin from Draper Startup House

Robin Lee, founder of HelloGold said, “The workshop (Founders Grindstone) was good no matter what stage your startup is at. For those who were at the same stage as us it was a great way to re-test / kick the tires on what we have done so far. The practical advice offered was useful affirmation of what we have done so far.

We had the opportunity to speak with Robin and other participants who attended the first group of workshops.

1. Expand your investor network beyond what you could achieve organically

Out of a group of 20, the top 10 winning locations from the first batch were given the opportunity to be connected to Draper Startup House Ventures (DSH), part of VC’s largest global network under Draper Venture Network, with connections to 24 in the world. funds.

Of course, a lot of founders are excited about this.

The founders and the MDEC team during a workshop / Image credit: MDEC

Senang Insurance provides on-demand and one-time insurance at an affordable rate to cover businesses when they need it. Throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) and beyond, they’ve been pretty active.

They have launched new products such as insurance for travel agencies, to prevent heavy business losses due to COVID-19.

Sharian Raj, co-founder of Senang, told us, “The venture capital network in Malaysia is limited for start-ups looking to raise post-seed funds. With DSH, we are delighted to expand our reach. “

Dave Chew of HomeCrowd, an equity loan platform that connects homebuyers with potential investors, made a similar observation and shared, “It’s good that we can have more access to global VCs through the Draper network. ”

“I look forward to building bold relationships with potential network investors and eventually (participating in) closing funding rounds,” said Wai Yan Htun, co-founder of Vechnology.

As part of their future growth, Vechnology is keen to bring its improved vending machine technology to the wider market of APAC region.

The Vechnology team / Image credit: Vechnology

2. Learn or perfect your basics for pitching

The basics matter, and Di-Yan Ho, the founder of HAUZ, a remote management portal that aims to simplify a company’s timesheet and planning for increased productivity, dived into the lessons of building a business. ‘An effective pitch deck and why compelling storytelling, backed up with facts and statistics is needed.

“First; it has to get right to the point and second; you have to know your financial data and your projected growth. Third; the importance of showing business traction and validation. And finally, create clear problem statements and solutions for investors and readers to understand your business, ”said Di-Yan.

Sharon Vaswani, CEO of PanOphthalmics Enterprise also shared what she learned from the Grindstone founders.

PanOphthalmics Enterprise provides affordable surgical instruments and consumables that ophthalmologists (a doctor who diagnoses and treats eye disease) need.

In the past, she didn’t really see her business as a startup and wondered how much the Grindstone founders could even be of use to her.

“Having taken the pulse of the market and the mood for investing, I think the Grindstone founders have helped improve my startup’s skills to meet and speak with investors,” she said. “It also forced me to become a more competent businesswoman, confident enough to share my ideas with potential investors and seek help.”

3. Get the legal side before it becomes a problem

One component of the workshops actually dealt with the legal aspects of the funding process. This was conducted by Izwan & Partners, a local law firm specializing in startups.

During this session, the founders got an overview of the statutory requirements of fundraising, venture capital financing, knowing how much to raise and the rate equity that can be donated.

Most of the founders appreciated this, especially if they did not come from legal backgrounds.

“Now I have a clearer vision of a good legal structure within the company as well as a lot of tips and tricks when dealing with external parties,” said Wai Yan, co-founder of Vechnology.

4. Focus on the finer details that can make or break your pitch.

There are times when you can make a good impression in your pitch and presentation, but a closer look at your outdated facts and figures might deter potential investors.

This is something Manu Menon has to heart after participating in Founders Grindstone. He stressed the need to keep his stock cap chart up to date as this is one of the key points to remember.

Its startup Youthtopia, a platform that focuses on improving a child’s foundational skills to prepare them for the 21st century, launched a successful closed beta.

He therefore seeks to raise funds and take the next step as quickly as possible.

The Youthopia team at one of their education roundtables / Image credit: Youthopia

Besides the names we have mentioned so far, there have been many more who have participated. Joining the founders of Grindstone is seamless, and in doing so, you will be among the ranks of successful companies, such as:

  •, one of the largest online marketplaces for new and used trucks, with a database of over 7,200 trucks and over 250 truck dealers and commercial vehicle offering,
  • Avana, an end-to-end commerce platform that helps businesses automate their online sales processes,
  • mobi, a cashless payment processing platform serving thousands of businesses.

Why did we list the rest of the top 10 winners from the first batch? Just to show you that no matter what field or industry you are in, you can always find value at Founders Grindstone.

“The founders of Grindstone will raise the stakes in our post-seed startup landscape. As we focus on scaling the digitally powered business, we are excited to leverage the collective experience of Draper Startup House and leading partners to provide stewardship advice and tactics. to our tech entrepreneurs. Such a rich knowledge exchange will push Malaysian tech entrepreneurs beyond current pastures, poised to gain global recognition.

Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC, at launch in July

If you want to learn more about the Malaysian startup scene or just find out why Malaysia is a hotbed of activity for digital sector investments, you can check out the upcoming Malaysia Tech Month 2020.

The event will start from November 10 to November 30. This month-long event will seek to bring together the best in the tech and digital sectors with seminars and discussions.

  • Register to join Malaysia Tech Month 2020 here.
  • Register for the next batch of workshops here.
  • Learn more about MDEC here.

Featured Image Credit: HelloGold, HAUZ, Vechnology, HomeCrowd

Our sincere thanks to
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Jothi Venkat

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