Photo: (From left) Director of Sunway iLabs, Matthijs van Leuween; CEO of Sunway Ventures, Evan Cheah; Founder and Chairman of Sunway Group, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah; DYTM Raja Muda Selangor Tengku Amir Shah ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah; Deputy Chairman of Sunway Group, Tan Sri Razman Hashim; Corporate Advisor of Sunway Group, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam; and Senior Executive Director of the Sunway Education Group and Sunway University, Elizabeth Lee.
Malaysia-headquartered Sunway Group's startup incubator, Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs), is hoping to offer a major growth acceleration opportunity to startups through its first Start-It Challenge.
More than 300 students and recent alumni attended the recent weekend event, which was launched by the Crown Prince of Selangor and Royal Patron of Selangor Youth Community (SAY), DYTM Raja Muda Selangor Tengku Amir Shah ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah together with Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO, the founding trustee of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, and founder-chairman of Sunway Group.
"Young entrepreneurs are assets to the State, and even more for Selangor as the biggest revenue contributors to the nation," commented the Crown Prince. "With the Start-It Challenge, entrepreneurs would have the opportunity to pitch their ideas, and be equipped to tackle market challenges."
The challenge is in tune with the Foundation, said Dr Cheah. "The entrepreneurial spirit continues to drive Sunway Group to greater heights and we want to see more young Malaysians discover their potential and contribute to achieving our nation's goal to become a high-income country by 2020."
The challenge, which included a two-day 'Ideation Weekend,' hopes to identify three startups for the acceleration programme, which includes cash prizes up to RM9,000 in total.
Meanwhile, the top 20 participants will be chosen for a boot camp (September 9-10), which will include delving into lean start-up methodology, finance, pitching skills as well as and business models.
Three pronged objectives
Matt van Leeuwen, who is director of the not-for-profit initiative Sunway iLabs, talked briefly of the objectives driving this move. "The three-pronged objectives of the Challenge is to foster entrepreneurial thinking, spur innovation and instil problem-solving skills."
Leeuwen explained: "We want to impress upon students that employers see problem-solving as a required skill for new interns or recruits embarking on their career. At the end of the Challenge, it is our hope to incubate three market-driven, socially-responsible start-ups that will create employment opportunities for the youth."
During the launch of Sunway iLabs in May 2017 at Menara Sunway, Sunway City, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO, founder and chairman of Sunway Group, and chancellor of Sunway University, said the aim is to help establish Malaysia as a regional startup hub.
Speakers at that launch included Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, chief executive officer, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC); Steve Hsia, co-founder and CEO, Silicon Valley-based Young Outliers' and Chris Burry, co-CEO, US Market Access Centre (USMAC). (See - 'Growth-hacking' at Malaysian university's new lab embraces 12 business sectors)
For more information, visit innovationlabs.sunway.edu.my
For some other Sunway Group news, see:
IBM, Sunway University to equip students with advanced ICT skills
Sunway Group's five-year transformation plan includes IBM Malaysia's cloud solution
Exclusive Case Study: How IT shared services is driving Sunway Group's edge
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