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MIT Malaysian startups programme ends on 'resounding succcess', says MDeC

AvantiKumar | Sept. 10, 2014
The seven week programme of mentoring young entrepreneurs culminated in 'Best Prototype' award for a team from Malaysian universities.

Best Prototype - Feeion modified

Photo - Best Prototype - Feeion.


A recent initiative called Global Startup Labs Malaysia 2014, organised by Malaysia's national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation [MDeC] and Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] together with Ministry of Education's Entrepreneurship unit to enhance local talent, has ended successfully.

Muhammad Imran Kunalan Abdullah, MDeC's director of talent division, said "We are very proud of the quality of ideas and presentation of students who took part in the MIT Global Startups Lab Malaysia 2014. With the help of their experienced mentors and facilitators, the students were able to showcase their innovative talents in utilising digital technologies to create fundable startups. We hope this effort will pave the way for greater opportunities for themselves and their community."

Imran said a seven-week mentoring programme resulted in a 'Best Prototype' award going to LeadAlways Technology, which comprised a team of students from various local universities, for a startup idea Feeion. This is a fitness application that allows teenagers and working adults to be motivated to exercise through raising a virtual pet. The virtual pet reflects its user's body size and health status.

He said the Best Project Presentation Award was awarded to team SimpleBox Lab with their mobile application ShopINS while the 'Most Promising Project' was won by team Running Bus with their idea of a mobile application that reduces students' waiting time for campus buses by notifying them when a bus is about to reach the bus stop. It also allows students to view live coordinates, estimated arrival time and capacity of campus buses that are installed with a GPS tracker within.

Kunalan said that participants of the Global Startups Lab Malaysia 2014 were led through the seven-week programme, which started on the 30 June 2014 where they were mentored by technology and industry leaders in Malaysia as well as facilitators from MIT to guide them through the steps of creating a successful company. This includes ideation, market research, writing business plans, pitching and fundraising.

Entrepreneurial culture

"The Malaysian government, through the Ministry of Education is committed to encouraging a more entrepreneurial culture in higher education institutions in Malaysia and to develop the necessary skills, attitude and behaviour among Malaysia's younger generation for them to be more entrepreneurial in their thinking and actions, and in pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities," said Datin Dr Syahira Hamidon, head of entrepreneurship unit, Ministry of Education [MoE] for the MIT Global Startup Lab.

"In this regard, MoE is very pleased to support the MIT GSL programme together with MDeC as it is directly relevant to MoE's mission of generating graduate entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial graduates who are highly employable and sought after in the job market," said Dr Syahira.

"MoE will continue to support this programme as we believe in its capability to provide results and great impact to churn out technopreneurs among our students and graduates," she said.

MIT Global Startup Labs (GSL), formerly known as MIT AITI (Accelerating IT Innovation) is a multidisciplinary group within MIT that promotes development in emerging regions by cultivating young technology entrepreneurs. This is the first iteration of the accelerator in Malaysia, where almost 40 participants from institution of higher learnings across the country were handpicked for this programme.


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