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Sunway University Announces the Commencement of its LaunchX 2024 Cohort From March to August 2024

May 02, 2024

Anis

LaunchX, the first university startup accelerator programme in Malaysia, announces the commencement of its 2024 cohort from March to August 2024. LaunchX is a 3+2-month programme open to all University student entrepreneurs in Malaysia. 

The launch of LaunchX 2024 took place in March 2024, officiated by Puan Fazidah Binti Mustafa, Secretary of the Strategic Planning Division of the Ministry of Higher Education, signifying the start of the journey towards entrepreneurial success.

 Launch X

Puan Fazidah Binti Mustafa, Secretary of the Strategic Planning Division of the Ministry of Higher Education officiating LaunchX

"LaunchX 2024 is a programme under the Ministry of Higher Education through a collaborative effort between Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Sunway Innovation Labs at Sunway University (iLabs Foundry), aiming at assisting student entrepreneurs with new ideas by providing funding through the establishment of startups. The LaunchX program represents a significant milestone in the collaboration between private and public universities to support the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said Puan Fazidah. 
 
The LaunchX partnership between UTM and Sunway University provides a platform for student entrepreneurs to thrive and transform their validated ideas into viable startups. By working together, both institutions contribute to the realisation of the Entrepreneurship Action Plan-Higher Education Institutions (EAP-HEIs) 2021-2025, highlighting the synergies between both universities in contributing expertise, networks, and resources to enhance the early-stage start-up ecosystem.  

Sunway Launch X

Prof Sibrandes Poppema, the President of Sunway University delivering the Welcoming Remarks
 

“At Sunway University, we are pleased with the expansion of this public-private collaboration that will provide opportunities to even more young entrepreneurs and is the way forward for Malaysia,” said Prof Sibrandes Poppema, the President of Sunway University. 
 
LaunchX involves stakeholders from corporations, venture partners (Antler, Artem Venture, Bawatana, Ficus Capital, Gobi Partners, The Hive SEA, Ignite Asia, Impact Circle, Kejora Capital, Malaysia Venture Capital Berhad (MAVCAP), Malaysia Business Angel Network (MBAN), pitchIN, Reactor School, Scale Up Malaysia and Sunway Corporate Venture Capital), and ecosystem partners (Cradle Fund, MRANTI, Digital Penang, Iskandar Investment Berhad, Sabah Creative Economy and Innovation Centre (SCENIC), and TEGAS Digital Village and Digital Innovation Hub), who work collaboratively through LaunchX, to ensure that the country can produce entrepreneurial talents and generate more high-quality, innovation-driven startups from the earliest university days. 
 
The response to LaunchX 2024 has been overwhelming, with the participation of 116 student startups and 274 student entrepreneurs, from 43 higher education institutions across 12 states in Malaysia. After a rigorous selection process, 45 student startups were chosen, representing only a 40% acceptance rate.
 
In the upcoming months, LaunchX's student startups will participate in numerous workshops and mentoring sessions led by experts from the industry and venture capital sectors. The program will reach its midpoint with the Pre-Demo Day in June, followed by the Demo Day in August. During these events, the Ministry of Higher Education, Cradle Fund and Sunway University will offer supportive grants to student entrepreneurs to further develop their startups. 
 
In addition to invaluable mentorship and networking, participants of LaunchX 2024 stand to gain substantial support for their ventures. With startup perks valued at up to RM 100,000 from AWS and Microsoft for Startup, Stripe etc. 

Last year, LaunchX 2023 saw the participation of 169 student entrepreneurs from 27 universities across 10 states in Malaysia. The top 10 startups were awarded seed funding to develop their minimum viable product (MVP) and/or to obtain tractions, along with the startup perks worth approximately RM 100,000 from AWS, BossBoleh, Microsoft for Startup and Stripe.  

Among the notable LaunchX 2023 alumni was Unilah from Universiti Malaya, a student lifestyle app designed to enhance university experiences by helping students save money, participate in events, and secure job opportunities. Through LaunchX 2023, Unilah received two investments from the mentors and venture capital partners of LaunchX and formed two major corporate partnerships. Another noteworthy startup is SDG Energy+ from Sunway University, whose product provides sustainable thermal comfort regulation. Through LaunchX, SDG Energy+ successfully conducted two pilot trials with local corporates for technology validation.  

“Joining LaunchX 2023 was an incredible journey – it has impacted both my personal growth and my startup’s growth. During this programme, we were paired with mentors to guide us through our journey. (The mentors) were really helpful. Our mentors and LaunchX helped us refine our idea, business model and helped us prepare for the future of our startup,” said Khalida, a student entrepreneur from the University Kebangsaan Malaysia, who joined LaunchX 2023 and co-founded Auritma, a life-saving earbuds that is simple, convenient, and accessible to all, enabling preventive measures against cardiac arrest.   

“LaunchX is a great platform and inclusive program for early-stage startup development. The program also provided university spinoffs access to learn from subject matter experts, industry leaders, and investors to commercialise and grow. Auritma has shown tremendous improvement at the end of the program by improving their technical approach and articulating clearly the product and problem statements." echoed by their mentor, Tengku Omar, Principal of Artem Ventures.  

To learn more about LaunchX 2024, please visit https://innovationlabs.sunway.edu.my/launchx/

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