Wednesday, 20 May 2020

  • Features day-long monthly meetings at RM100 per month, sponsorship from MDEC & NEXEA
  • Programme includes sharing sessions, problem-solving, regional leaders serving as mentors
The Entrepreneurs Initiative, allows startups to explore business, learning and collaboration opportunities that are lurking amid the chaos.

Startup investment NEXEA Angels Sdn Bhd announced a collaboration with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to launch the Entrepreneurs Programme, described as an exclusive private forum for CEOs of local startup companies to learn and grow together.

The new programme offers peer-to-peer learning in a bid to help startup CEOs find a solution to their business issues. In addition, it provides experienced mentors as part of its monthly full-day meetings.

20 startup CEOs are currently enrolled in the programme, which started this month. The programme is currently seeking more applicants to fill out new groups. MDEC is part of this initiative as the sponsor of the programme.

“The concept of peer-to-peer CEO groups that we’ve introduced in our Entrepreneurs Programme is beneficial to participants. We are gathering CEOs in an exclusive forum so they can directly gain the perspectives of their peers who may already have experience in solving similar issues,” says NEXEA managing partner Ben Lim (pic, right) during the programme’s launch – virtually.NEXEA partners MDEC to launch an Entrepreneurs Programme for local tech entrepreneurs “This is important because making an executive decision can be tough for new entrepreneurs, especially when faced by unprecedented situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic.”

It is no secret that most entrepreneurs are now struggling to keep businesses afloat due to the pandemic. . At the same time, they also need to prepare for long-term effects the pandemic will trigger.

“So, in the Entrepreneurs Programme, we have seasoned entrepreneurs with successful track records, as mentors, to provide guidance and other support to programme participants,” he elaborates.

NEXEA’s Entrepreneurs Programme was officially launched by MDEC’s Vice President of Global Growth Acceleration Division, Gopi Ganesalingam, who notes that it complements MDEC’s #DIGITALvsCOVID movement that aims to support businesses and individuals through digital technologies.

“We laud this initiative, which allows startups to explore business, learning and collaboration opportunities that are lurking amid the chaos. Over and above the sharing of best entrepreneurial practices, this platform even has the potential to generate novel tech solutions to meet the unprecedented demands of the new norm,” Gopi says.

Tackling issues together

NEXEA’s Entrepreneurs Programme is listed as an inititiave of NEXEA Academy, the education arm of NEXEA. It is open to startups from idea to growth stages, though the startup will have to be digital or technology-related. Subscription and platform revenue of all industries are welcome.

The participants will have to be startup founders or cofounders in Malaysia. Additionally, the startup must have US$23 million (RM100 million) market potential to be eligible.

[RM1 = US$0.23]

According to Lim, one of the main reasons behind the Entrepreneurs Programme is that most traditional peer forums, or peer groups, do not really have the technology startup focus.

“What it means is that they discuss a lot less issues, because CEOs of very stable companies have a lot less issues. Secondly, they do not discuss technology as much. They do not discuss how companies can leverage technology to build disruptive businesses,” he elaborates.

The focus on tech startups is also because of NEXEA’s ecosystem, which allows them to leverage the startups under their portfolio – 35 – with a few growing from 40% to 400% internal rate of return on a yearly basis – to help with startups under the programme.

NEXEA also has investors who are also business people that have conducted MNEs and IPOs, as well as nine official corporates in their own accelerator programme, which can connect with the startups in the Entrepreneur Programme.

NEXEA’s programme will also feature mentors during each monthly session who will be able to help address startup issues. These mentors are regional company leaders in C-levels, and have done mergers and acquisitions on top of having listed companies.

Each monthly meetings are full-day sessions, which include expert sharing sessions, member deep-dives (which promotes knowledge sharing among the members) and the formation of strategic problem-solving teams to help solve significant issues among peers faster.

Lim adds that peer CEO groups typically charge from RM15,000 to RM45,000 per year. For NEXEA’s Entrepreneur Programme, however, the normal price is RM500 per month for each startup. However, as part of the collaboration with MDEC, pioneer groups would only need to pay RM100 per month, with NEXEA and MDEC sponsoring the RM400.

The first group would commence on 22 May 2020, and consists of startups in analytics, proptech, e-commerce, delivery, marketplaces, lifestyle apps, SME digitalisation, adtech, drone technology and car rental platforms.

According to Lim, the second group will be formed once they receive enough new members. The first group consists of 20 members. Lim says that they are ready to ramp it up to 80 members within the next several months, over four groups.

“By the end of the year, we have the capacity for 200 members or 10 groups,” Lim says.

Startups can visit for more information.

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