KL20 Summit 2024 to propel Malaysia as hub for start-ups, venture capitalists

KUALA LUMPUR: The KL20 Summit 2024 will lift Kuala Lumpur into the ranks of the top 20 global start-up hubs by 2030 and boost Malaysia's position as hub for start-ups and venture capitalists.

According to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, Kuala Lumpur is now in the top 47 global ranking.

"The KL20 Summit 2024 stands as a beacon of Malaysia's commitment to fostering a thriving start-up ecosystem in the region," Rafizi said.

The statement said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will launch the KL20 action paper, a roadmap outlining reforms to achieve convergence among key stakeholders to propel Malaysia's start-up tech sector to new heights, the statement said.

"We hope the radical initiatives which we are curating will build the start-up pipeline from three perspectives: the funder, the founder, and the talent," Rafizi said at the soft launch of KL20 Summit 2024 at the Parliament Banquet Hall here today.

"Our simple message to the world is this, that Malaysia is open for business in (the) digital and technology (sector)," Rafizi said, adding that Anwar will launch the summit scheduled for April 22-23 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

The KL20 event is "not just talk, or a series of document papers" but is action-oriented to generate a buzz in the regional start-up community.

On venture capitalists, Rafizi said several international venture capital firms have set up offices here and unicorns have set up research facilities here.

"We will be seeing the launch of a growth fund, which by Malaysian standards, is (of a) significant (amount), more than what we have seen before," he said.

Rafizi said there has been a slight pivot in terms of strategy. Instead of focussing on homegrown start-ups and chasing unicorns — a policy of the past — Malaysia wants to attract global start-up founders to come here.

"By attracting these disruptors into our ecosystem, we want to drive Malaysia up the value chain and demonstrate our ability to compete with the very best," Rafizi said.

"Whether you are a founder from Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Mumbai or Seoul, if you bring or develop your start-up here, at the end of the day, the beneficiaries are Malaysian talents and the Malaysian economy," he said.

Over 1,000 participants comprising international investors and start-ups are expected at the KL20 Summit 2024.

Industry pioneers such as GGV Capital managing partner Jenny Lee; DeepTech and The Hive founder and chief executive officer Geraldine Andrieux Gustin; and China Investment Corp executive vice-president and deputy chief investment officer Qi Bin will delve into the factors shaping the future of entrepreneurship and innovation.

The summit will highlight Malaysia's potential as a conducive environment for start-ups, particularly in key sectors such as manufacturing and automation, agritech, cleantech and Islamic finance.

For more information and to register, visit — BERNAMA

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