June 29, 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way people all over the world live and work. Offline businesses hard hit by the pandemic shutter, or rush to digitise their businesses.

For millennials specifically, COVID-19 has pushed us into new territories – our first brush with a real financial crisis. Some lost their jobs, others their businesses. Only the lucky ones get out of this without being affected in one way or another.

For some others, the ravages of the pandemic is a wake up call to take their ideas and businesses to the next level.

If you’ve been thinking about bringing your idea to life, or if you’ve hit a plateau in your business, and are looking for help from mentors with real world experience to help you grow, you might want to check out Founder Institute’s Virtual Program.

First, What is Founder Institute?

Founder Institute is a pre-seed accelerator launched in 2009 by Adeo Ressi Jonathan Greechan. Since its inception, Founder Institute has helped launch over 4,300 companies across 185+ cities. Over the years, Founder Institute alumni have raised over US$950m.

In Malaysia, Founder Institute’s chapter was launched in April 2013 and is led by Heislyc Loh of Devs Asia. Heislyc is also founder of the startup and business community, StartupMamak.

Joining Heislyc are the 3 other co-leaders: SaiKit, the founding Chief Executive of Captii Ventures, a multi-stage technology companies investment and also a mentor of Founder Institute in Malaysia, Vietnam and Bangkok since 2015; Navin, the SEA Director of SOSV & MOX, one of the world’s most active startup investor; and Hajime Hotta, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor with several successful exits in Japan, who is currently working as Chief AI Officer at Cinnamon, an AI-driven RPA company. 

Founder Institute Malaysia Virtual 2020

Founder Institute’s Core Program is a 14-week program includes a series of growth sprints and Weekly Feedback Sessions designed to help you build your business alongside experienced mentors.

In light of COVID-19, Founder Institute’s flagship program has gone online for the first time in 2020. This means you can join in the program no matter where you are based in Malaysia.

Program Curriculum

Learn more about the program here.

Program Benefits

Mentors with real world experience

Founder Institute’s mentors are made up of founders with valuable, real world experience that they are ready to share with you. Some of Founder Institute’s mentors include:

  • Azran Osman Rani, Co-Founder and CEO of Naluri
  • Edwin Wang, Co-Founder and CEO of Signature Market
  • Chen Chow Yeoh, Co-Founder of Fave
  • James Tan, Managing Partner of Quest Ventures
  • Jeffrey Paine, Founding Partner of Golden Gate Ventures
  • Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups
  • Nadhir Ashafiq, Co-founder & Executive Director at TheLorry.com
  • Peter Yoong, Founder of Pulsifi
  • Sam Shafie, Co-founder and CEO of pitchIN
  • Wai Hong Fong, Co-Founder and CEO of StoreHub

Structured program

Founder Institute’s program is structured to guide you through the entire process, leaving no stone unturned.

Networking

Meet with like-minded people during the course of the program.

Global community

As an alumni of Founder Institute, you join a growing community of entrepreneurs all around the world.

Who Should Apply?

Here are the types of people Founder Institute think can be a good fit for the program:

  • Aspiring founders who are still employed full-time
  • Solo-founders, or teams
  • Founders of established companies (generally less than a few years old, and before significant funding, revenue, or traction)
  • Founders open to building an enduring business in a number of different ways, whether through bootstrapping, funding (not a requirement), or otherwise.

Investment

Your investment for this program will be:

  • Early admission – US$549 (Closes on 19th July, 2020)
  • Final admission – US$649 (Closes on 16th August, 2020)

How to Join

Ready to take the leap? Apply for Founder Institute’s 2020 cohort here.

A Warm Welcome from Malaysia’s Co-leader SaiKit

“I devote a good portion of my time and energy to run the Founder Institute chapter in Kuala Lumpur with a mission to do my part to build sustained growth of our technology startup ecosystem.  To me, it is sustainable because it does not depend on investors (into accelerator fund/programme) or large corporate sponsorships. Instead of relying on someone else to fund the programme, FI is built on stakeholders in the ecosystem community doing their part to give back through their time and part with their knowledge and experiences.” – SaiKit

Testimonials from Past Students

Cheong Jin Xi, Poladrone, Founder Institute Penang, 2016

“As someone completely unfamiliar with the startup ecosystem in Malaysia, FI was a crash course compacting years of learning into months. The program was well structured, covering many important aspects of running a business. The network gained through FI is also an invaluable aspect of the program, where there were mentors and peers available to help with problems or issues faced. 

Everyone was supportive yet critical and straightforward to each other which is extremely helpful during the ideation stage where some of my ideas frankly suck. Having a support network to bounce ideas or ask for help gave me the confidence as a founder to fully believe in my ideas and pursue it to the ends of the world. After all, if you don’t believe in your own ideas, no one will.”

Chan Kin Meng, Gameconomy, Founder Institute Kuala Lumpur, 2019

“You probably hear this many times – ‘Ideas are cheap, execution is everything.’ If you have an idea and not sure how to get started on the execution, Founder Institute should be one of your top choices.”

Manu Menon, Youthopia, Founder Institute Kuala Lumpur, 2019

“The journey of an entrepreneur is not easy. This is one of the key things I learned while undergoing the pre-accelerator programme, Founder Institute. It was a precursor of what I would have to deal with once I actually launched my startup.

Youthopia was only an idea on a piece of paper when I started the FI programme. With the encouragement of the FI Directors and Mentors, I managed to build an actual business that is primed for the big time.

One of the best things I did at FI was to validate the business idea. I was pushed to interview dozens of parents and students. This helped me uncover a latent need for an EdTech solution like the one we ended up building at Youthopia.”

Upcoming Event: Wai Hun, JurisTech

Founder Institute welcomes you to join their event with Wai Hun, co-founder of the fintech company JurisTech.

About the Guest

See Wai Hun is the co-founder and CEO of JurisTech, a leading Malaysian-based fintech company, specialising in enterprise-class software solutions for banks, financial institutions, and telecommunications companies in Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and beyond. Holding a degree in Business Computing from the University of Winnipeg with Gold Medal honours, Wai Hun started her career with Ernst & Young (EY), consulting and implementing enterprise systems.

Seeing a gap in the market, Wai Hun seizes the opportunity during the Asian financial crisis and co-founded JurisTech. As a visionary and a risk-taker, Wai Hun saw the future of fintech through the lens of artificial intelligence (AI) and took the bold move to build the capabilities ahead of time. As a result, JurisTech deployed their own proprietary AI in Financial Services as early as 2004 and also implemented multiple digital financial platforms to enable financial inclusion.

Wai Hun has recently been named EY Woman Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 in Malaysia. She was also awarded an Outstanding Achievement award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category at the annual Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA).

Conclusion

Founder Institute Malaysia Virtual opens doors of opportunity for those looking to finally grow their business.

For a one time investment of US$549 / US$649, you’ll not only get a 14-week long program and mentorship, you’ll also get a lifetime of access and network through Founder Institute.

About the author 

Lu Wee Tang

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