Malaysian food tech firm Manis Leting and trip planning platform Triphie have topped the 1337 Ventures’ Alpha Startups™ Pre-Accelerator program.

1337 Ventures said in a statement on Wednesday that nine aspiring Malaysian startups showcased their innovative solutions in front of a live audience of investors, industry experts, and fellow entrepreneurs during its Alpha Startups™ Pre-Accelerator program.

According to the statement, the pre-accelerator program received hundreds of applications from early-stage startups nationwide when applications were announced early this year.

It is noted that 26 promising startups were selected to join the cohort.

From the 26 Malaysian startups, the cohort was narrowed down to the top nine finalists to wow the crowd with their ideas.

The Alpha Startups™ Demo Day hosted at Google Malaysia marked the culmination of the program, providing participants with a platform to gain hands-on experience to pitch their ideas to potential investors and launch their startup.

Manis Leting and Triphie subsequently won the cohort and will receive pre-seed funding of up to MYR50,000 ($10,811).

Amirah Jasmine and Atirah Danial’s Manis Leting creates healthier alternative food products that uses zero white sugar.

“Alpha Startups™ has boosted our confidence as startup founders in the food and beverage industry,

“The mentors in the program provided much needed guidance and support, giving us more clarity on how to bring Manis Leting forward,” said Atirah Danial Norman.

With the funding received from 1337 Ventures, the duo now plans to focus on licensing and certification, production, operations, and marketing to scale.

Meanwhile, Triphie is an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled all-in-one, personalized and collaborative trip planning platform that helps travellers discover, plan, and book their holidays.

“We’re at such an early stage, and that too in a very competitive market of travel and tourism,

“Being part of the Alpha Startups™ pre-accelerator program gave us a clear vision of how to differentiate ourselves among our competitors,” said Nour Araar, the Founder of Triphie.

The other startups pitched at the demo day were Beseek, Cocojack, Kita, MyDeliva, Odar, SAPOT, and TigerCampus.

They pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, including Freda Liu, a celebrated author and broadcast journalist; Bikesh Lakhmichand, Founding Partner of 1337 Ventures; and Alpha Startups™ alumnus Gokula Krishnan, the founder of Vircle.

“It’s hard to get to the core of your business when you only have a short amount of time to pitch and convince investors to invest in your business,

“Everyone worked hard, and as a first-time judge who has interviewed a lot of companies, it was a great experience for me.” Freda said.

Gokula Krishnan’s Vircle was an Alpha Startups™ alumni back in 2020.

“Reflecting on my journey as an early-stage startup during the pandemic, the Alpha Startups™ pre-accelerator program quickly helped me validate and finetune the idea of Vircle,

“It was a great stepping stone to where Vircle is today. The pre-accelerator also created invaluable connections and mentors that are still supportive today,” said Gokula.

All the startups from the recent cohort will receive perks up to MYR80,000 ($17,299) worth of digital credits from Google Cloud, CloudMile, Airtable, Swipey, Notion, Stripe, WORQ and more.

The latest cohort of Alpha Startups™ is supported by MRANTI, Digital Penang, WORQ, and Google.

Malaysian venture capital firm 1337 Ventures launches new $290,000 fund for Malaysian startups