MaGIC’s University Startup Challenge 2020 cultivates aspiring leaders

Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC)’s University Startup Challenge 2020 (USC) was held virtually from June to October this year, with over 400 students and 156 teams participating. 

The 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 and learn the latest tools in startup ideation. Students also gain access to mentorship from industry experts and obtain support to launch their business ideas from the startup ecosystem. 

Participants teamed up and 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). 

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 public votes where  7271 votes were cast through an online voting system.  

Team “SenangPrint” comprising students from UCSI  University, University of Malaya, and HELP University was the winner for Technology  Innovation Track and team VENTUR from the University of Nottingham Malaysia was the winner for the Social Innovation Track.

SenangPrint is a B2B online marketplace for customers to purchase print and marketing products efficiently, and VENTUR is a startup that focuses on environmentally friendly refurbished PC hardware. 

Loo Jia Hao, Tai Kee Yuin, Liow Ka Ming, and Tang Ka Fun from the Faculty of Business, Computer Science and Information are members of the SenangPrint team.

Tai Kee Yuin, CEO and Founder of SenangPrint said, “USC provided an opportunity for student entrepreneurs like us to understand how startups work and the differences between a startup and a  traditional SME.

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.”

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 who were able to guide us based on their successes 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 the competition”.  

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