The Khazanah Impact Innovation Challenge (KIIC) 2023 has concluded its Demo Day on Tuesday, where 15 finalists representing impactful Malaysian businesses pitched for potential equity investments and/or debt funding from Khazanah and its funding partners in their quest to deliver innovative solutions to tackle climate change challenges for food security in Malaysia.
Three winners were selected by the KIIC 2023’s panel of judges for having the most innovative and unique solutions with measurable impact, operating on a sustainable business model and offering solutions that are relevant to Malaysia, Khazanah said in a statement.
The Top Three, Braintree Technologies, Ultimeat and Kapitani were awarded grants of up to MYR 500,000 ($106,781) each to realize their business plans.
The other twelve finalists, on the other hand, stand to receive grants ranging between MYR 150,000 ($32,034) and up to MYR 400,000 ($85,424) each.
said that the firm’s plan is to speed up its robot’s commercialization plan and scale up its production with the grant.
He noted that climate change has brought unprecedented production uncertainty to farmers as they can no longer rely on their usual crop cycle pattern.
“The uncertainty in the crop calendar also causes uncertainty to the farm workforce,
“Our robots are flexible, versatile workers that can do multiple types of work and help farmers deal with the uncertainty,” he said.
Ultimeat Chief Executive Officer Edwin Lee said that the firm plans to amplify its community engagement efforts, ensuring Malaysians are well-informed about their distinctive products.
“Given the pressing challenges of climate change and its implications on food security, Ultimeat’s innovative technology provides a sustainable solution by producing proteins in just seven days, mitigating environmental impacts,” he added.
“We will also test our financing solutions for farmers. We want to pay them faster and easier,” he added.
In addition, three other selected tech-based startups, namely Entomal, Hydroemission and Kairos, each received MYR 10,000 ($2136) as recipients of the “Partner Selection Award”, sponsored by Cradle’s MYStartup, as motivation for further development of their businesses.
Cognisant of the importance and urgent need for a more sustainable future, the Partner Selection Award recognises the top innovators tackling climate change for Malaysia’s food security.
Khazanah Managing Director Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said that through KIIC 2023, the fund hopes to channel the necessary support and capital for the application of innovative and sustainable solutions to address the issue of food security while driving socio-economic resilience and growth potential for the country, in tandem with its Advancing Malaysia strategy.
“The dedication and ingenuity of these startups will not only improve the agrifood landscape but potentially support countless households,
Launched on 25 July 2023, KIIC 2023 called for submissions from Malaysian businesses that have developed innovative and commercially viable solutions to address the challenges posed by climate change on Malaysia’s food security.
Khazanah received more than 160 applications, with 15 finalists shortlisted by the committee, including its partners, for the Demo Day, which took place on November 7, 2023.
Selections were done based on their entrepreneurial track record, business model and competitive advantage, impact measures, and execution strategy.
The finalists attended a 4-week workshop and coaching by industry experts to prepare them for the Demo Day.
KIIC 2023 is organized by Khazanah in partnership with its program partner, Plug and Play APAC (PNP), outreach partners, Impact Circle and Cradle Fund’s MYStartup, and funding partners Gobi Partners, 500 Global, and Agrobank.
At the KIIC Demo Day, the finalists presented their business proposals to the KIIC panel of judges, which comprised subject matter experts as well as members of Khazanah’s senior management.