PETALING JAYA: Clean energy specialist Solarvest Holdings Bhd has allocated RM1 million for its Solarvest Innovation Lab 2021 (SIL 2021) startup programme to spur innovation and entrepreneurship developments in Malaysia.

The SIL 2021 launched today focuses on startup companies specialising in renewable energy (RE), green technology, and financial technology (fintech). The company will consider investing in the businesses of potential graduates of the programme.

Solarvest group CEO Davis Chong Chun Shiong said the SIL 2021 is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme and strategy to diversify its business.

“We are not looking into acquiring big players in these industries. We do see young entrepreneurs and startup communities in Malaysia have great ideas in fintech, innovative technology that we could commercialise and make it our core business.

“(Providing) seed fund and accelerator fund will be a good start for us to identify them rather than when they have grown as a commercial players. Solarvest is not going to transform into a fintech or full technology company. Instead, we would like to adopt or use technology such as blockchain to grow our core business, the energy business, further.

“For example, peer-to-peer energy energy trading, it rides on blockchain technology to run the energy trade so this is one of the technolgies Solarvest is looking at to add value to the company,“ he told reporters during the virtual press conference today.

He said the company would increased its capital expensiture to diversify the business and possibly small mergers and acquisitions.

Solarvest is partnering with the likes of Malaysian Technology Development Corp, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Malaysia Global Innovation and Creativity Centre, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd, Inti International University and Colleges, Junior Chamber International Malaysia, JCI Creative Young Entrepreneurs Award, and others to accelerate the nation’s green agenda and digital revolution through the search for bright and innovative ideas from budding startups.

“The SIL 2021 funds will increase as partners grow. Some government agencies and ministries show interest to participate in this programme and we are working on possible matching grants to add into it.

“We believe start-ups can play an important role in the advancement of, not just the RE and fintech industries but the economy as a whole. They are usually the ones that come up with game-changing ideas, however, the lack of financial resources and business knowledge typically are barriers to them from making the next leap.

“Through SIL 2021, we are confident in our ability as a mentor as well as an investor to bridge the gap between great ideas and marketable executions,“ he said.

Successful new ventures will receive a seed fund amounting to RM10,000 to prove a concept within six months. SIL 2021 will also be providing, among others, special business workshops, business coaching, and physical workplaces. Once an idea has been proven viable, the candidate is eligible to participate in a subsequent pitch to potentially receive an accelerator fund of RM100,000 in exchange for a certain percentage of ownership in the company.

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