A total of 156 teams and 402 students took part in the virtual challenge. Team SenangPrint and Team VENTUR emerged as top winners under Technology Innovation and Social Innovation Tracks
CYBERJAYA, Malaysia - October 20, 2020 – Team “SenangPrint” comprising students from UCSI University, University of Malaya and HELP University emerged as top winners under the Technology Innovation Track at the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) University Startup Challenge 2020 (USC) held from 22 June - 20 October 2020. USC is a startup experiential and pitching competition where students from local Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) learn how to build teams, product, develop new ideas, learn the latest tools in startup ideation, gain access to mentorship from industry experts and obtain support to launch their business ideas from the startup ecosystem. More than 400 students and 156 teams participated in this year’s challenge, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each top winning team received a cash prize of RM12,000, 3-month hot-desking at MaGIC Co-working Space, free access to 6-month mentorship on FutureLab platform and 1-year website/software hosting with FixColab. RM5,000 cash prize was also awarded to winners through publicvotes where 7271 votes were cast through an online voting system.
SenangPrint is a B2B online marketplace for customers to purchase print and marketing products efficiently. The startup aims to save consumer’s time on product sourcing in the printing industry. More often than not, a single printing store does not provide all the printing needs in one location. Most printing services do not disclose prices instantly which forces the end consumers to communicate with multiple service providers through multiple quotations. Prices are not justified and most of the time, the consumers are not aware that they are being overcharged. As a solution, SenangPring acts as a One-Stop Service centre with instant quotation at affordable and comparable prices.
Tai Kee Yuin, CEO and Founder of SenangPrint said, “USC provided an opportunity for studententrepreneurs like us to understand how startups work and the differences between a startup and a traditional SME. Although the prizes are very attractive, the value provided by USC is even more. This is very important because our goal is to quickly obtain validation of our ideas and seek ways to grow fast instead of using conservative, traditional methods to launch ourselves into a sustainable and scalable business.” Other SenangPrint members include Loo Jia Hao, Liow Ka Ming and Tang Ka Fun. All members are currently studying under the Faculty of Business, Computer Science and Information respectively.
Team VENTUR from the University of Nottingham Malaysia is the winner for the Social Innovation Track. Kuan Jian Xiang of VENTUR said, “Throughout my entrepreneurship journey, we had no clue on the right choices to make whenever we faced a problem. USC has provided us with many industry mentors which were able to guide us based on their success and failures. This programme gave us a platform to meet various aspiring university entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. This valuable connection provides us with an opportunity to collaborate with others to help each other in this new decade where collaboration works better than competition“.
VENTUR is a startup that focuses on environmentally friendly refurbished PC hardware. As a PC enthusiast himself, Kuan, a student from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, identified an ongoing problem with how most E-wastes are handled. Most E-wastes are directly delivered to recycling centres due to their inability to identify the value in usable E-waste. VENTUR was formed to collect these waste from E-Waste collection centres to proceed with the refurbishment of the materials. The materials will be sold back to the consumers with shared profits between VENTUR and the collection centres.
The theme this year is based on Technology and Social Innovation where students are encouraged to consider impactful business ideas that can solve community problems and social issues. The teams were judged based on several criteria such as creativity and innovation, social and technological applicability and advancement, scalability, sustainability and business model, value proposition, go- to-market approach, validation and MVP/ prototype readiness.
USC 2020 kick-started in June with 4 sessions of 3-day virtual bootcamps to prepare 255 students comprising 87 teams from IHLs across Malaysia through the basic building blocks for new venture creation such as ideation and validation, basic go-to-market strategies, prototype/ minimum viable product (MVP) development, pitching as well as basic finance. 363 mentor sessions were conducted as part of the refinement session for the teams, where 28 teams were then selected to the finale of USC Demo Day. Each team submitted their innovations either in Technological or Social Innovation tracks to a panel of judges including Wan Dazriq Wan Zulkiflee, Ventures & Ecosystem Geo Lead, Innovation Strategy & Consulting, Accenture; Shahrizan Abd Latif, Head, pitchIN Campus; Muzakkir Mohamad, Analyst, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd and YM Raja Taufik Azad Ahmad Suhaimi, Economics and Investment, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).
“MaGIC USC curates content and modules needed to generate interests and mould graduates into startup founders. This period of capacity building equips our talents with the basics of becoming a functioning startup. The fundamentals of these modules are hard-wired to the graduates, so these exercises could be a practical practice for the participants in the future,” said Mohd Rizalman Mohd Ali, one of the panel judges specialising in Social Innovation. The structured programme consists of 6 stages; Ideation, Validation, Go To Market, Prototype, Financial and Pitching.
One of the mentors from the Technology Innovation Track commented that most graduates expect capital readiness prior to starting a business, totally depending on government business grants and funding. A good business plan without a proven track record of business operation and profit-making would not fascinate any investors or funders to invest or any financial institutions to approve a business loan. This is where USC syllabus comes into play, converting the current mindset of students to one that is adaptive to the current climate.
“Since 2017, MaGIC has impacted more than 20,000 youth including students and underserved communities across Malaysia to equip them with entrepreneurship aspirations and inculcate problem-solving mindsets that view problems as opportunities to innovate. USC was created to foster and cultivate creative and innovative minds, and to encourage our talents to move forward and turn their ideas and innovations into viable businesses,” said Dzuleira Abu Bakar, Chief Executive Officer of MaGIC.
USC was launched in 2019 as part of MaGIC’s overall youth empowerment initiative. One of USC 2019 top winners was Ibupreneur- a social enterprise that empowers financially dependent and vulnerable mothers to grow into micro-entrepreneurs by leveraging their home skills such as cooking, baking and connecting this talent to the society. Ibupreneur demonstrated passion for change and has leveraged creativity and innovation to support the community whilst having a sustainable business model.
Since introducing the challenge last year, MaGIC has awarded more than RM100,000 in cash to winning teams and countless hours of mentorship and training leading up to Demo Day.
Pictures on USC 2020:
ABOUT MaGIC’s UNIVERSITY STARTUP CHALLENGE
MaGIC’s University Startup Challenge, an online startup immersion and pitching competition for students in higher learning across Malaysia. It equips students with an entrepreneurial mindset and skills through an intense syllabus that helps them refine, build and showcase their ideas turned prototypes through fundamental workshops, mentoring, sharing sessions and networking opportunities.
ABOUT MALAYSIAN GLOBAL INNOVATION & CREATIVITY CENTRE (MaGIC)
MaGIC discovers and empowers technology startups and social innovators through creativity, innovation and technology adoption, and develops a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem in Malaysia. Since its inception in 2014, MaGIC has provided its community of start-ups, investors and ecosystem players with capacity building programmes, funding opportunities and regulatory assistance that impacted more than 100,000 aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs with overall value creation of RM1.9 billion.
As an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), MaGIC facilitates, navigates and enables the ecosystem with the mission of strengthening Malaysia’s position as an emerging innovation nation. For more information on MaGIC, please visit mymagic.my/en/.
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