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Exabytes to fund ‘cockroach’ startups

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The Exabytes Group has launched its Cockroach Startup Program to help develop and grow a strong start-up community in Malaysia.

“A cockroach startup is one which keeps struggling and moving forward in spite of changing environments, market conditions and investment scenarios, just like a cockroach,” said Chan Kee Siak, founder and executive director, Exabytes.

The program is part of Exabytes’ commitment to nurture startups by providing a sustainable platform for high potential aspiring Malaysian startups, he said. Chan noted that Malaysia is the third largest market for startups, naming Grab, iflix and HappyFresh as examples of Malaysian-founded startups with great innovations and technologies that have established themselves in Southeast Asia.

“The Malaysian government is always supportive of startups and tech innovation. There is also a passionate group of startup advocates comprising business owners or successful entrepreneurs who are willing to help other entrepreneurs through investment funding, mentorship and access to global networks,” he said.

Over the years, Malaysia’s startup ecosystem saw increasing numbers of entrepreneurs with innovative products, Chan said. However, many startup founders lack insight on how to go beyond their borders and scale up to bring their products to the global market. “We see a need to provide a platform to accelerate local startups which have a scalable business model but lack insight on using strategic technology to achieve maximum success,” he explained.

“With our initiative, aspiring startups can focus on validating their venture while we work with them through mentorship and coaching in other areas or even bringing their ventures to the global startup ecosystem,” he said.

The Cockroach Startup Program is designed to support pre-seed to seed high potential startups from all industry categories via technology funding. Exabytes’ support comes in two stages. At the first stage, it will offer RM3,000 worth of credit to 1,000 qualified startups who have joined an incubator or accelerator program. This entitles them to use Exabytes’ services such as domain hosting, servers and online marketing for one year.

For stage two, twenty shortlisted startups which have successfully developed their products will continue to receive Exabytes services worth RM30,000 for their production use and Exabytes will also offer RM20,000 cash for a 5% equity shareholding in their business.

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