Kuching hosts Startup Weekend programme
The participants, judges, organisers and volunteers give their best poses for a group photograph at the end of the event.
KUCHING: Kuching recently became the first city in East Malaysia to stage the Startup Weekend, a globally-acclaimed programme to develop entrepreneurs.
Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, the 54-hour weekend event from last Friday until Sunday saw the participation of 30 youths mainly university students at the venue, iCube Innovation Sdn Bhd at Icom Square here.Organised by iCube Innovation in partnership with Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (Magic) and supported by OurYouth.my, Startup Weekend Kuching was the climax of a series of bootcamps held this year.
The concept pitching and team building took place on day one; whereby seven teams were formed around concepts and various skills brought to the table leaving the remainder of the weekend to mind mapping, strategizing and building a real business.
On Sunday evening, the seven teams then pitched the new business ideas before a panel of judges comprising Dato Chris Chung (Co-Founder and Managing Director of Titanium Group of Companies), Kenny Sia (Founder cum Executive Director – Level Up Fitness), Gerald Goh (Founder cum CEO – Impression Sarawak) and Olivia Ling (Founder – Poppies).
Team Flytech comprising students of different faculties in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) won first place with their business idea on waste management solution earning them a special prize from iCube Innovation.
At second place was Majoh team while Team Timely was third.
Founder and chairman of iCube, Dato Patrick Liew said the event was held to provide a platform to young entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and make them into a reality.
“Organisers and volunteers of Startup Weekend Kuching have been working behind the scenes to ensure that this event provides not only inspiration, but the resources required for building and launching a viable, scalable company,” he said.
He called on those teams who failed to land in the top three, not to give up but continue developing their business ideas and he pledged to personally assist them with it.Meanwhile, Chung on behalf of the judges praised the event which served as a platform to encourage more youths to become entrepreneurs.
“I like what Dato Patrick is doing. I would like to see Kuching as a place where more entrepreneurs are being born. Through events like this, people with passion to start their own business have a good platform (to realise their ideas),” he said.
Startup Weekend has its beginnings in Colorado, United States of America in 2007, before the model quickly expanded to cities around the world.
This programme has since been held in 800 cities worldwide in 135 countries involving 210,000 entrepreneurs. Startup Weekend also set up its office in Kuala Lumpur late last year.