KUCHING – Industry experts and academics from institutions of higher learning in Malaysia and abroad played the role of mentors to groom finalists of the Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus “Swin Pitch Business Idea Competition 2021” competition, recently.
They were invited by the Australian university branch campus to share their knowledge and experience with the 30 finalists at a one-day online workshop intended to prepare them for the “Final Pitch”, where the winners will be selected at the end of September.
The finalists must produce innovative solutions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and rethink products, processes and services from its production and distribution to consumption that will create jobs, stimulate economies, reimagine supply chains, and improve outcomes for 10 million people by 2030.
Additionally, their business proposals must incorporate the United Nation’s 17 integrated Sustainable Development Goals.
Coaching the finalists at the workshop were Facebook Blueprint Lead Trainer Mr Jonathan Wong; Faculty of Economy and Business, Tanjungpura University, Indonesia, academic Dr Helma Malini; SEGi Group of Colleges lecturer Mr Haritharan Devanthran; and Hubridy Company Managing Director, Mr Alvin Lee.
Swinburne Sarawak Faculty of Business, Design and Arts lecturers Mr Gabriel Wee, Mr Irving Ting and Mr Kevin Tan were also involved as speakers.
“This competition and the speakers have taught me valuable lessons of the obstacles new and young entrepreneurs face. It has also given me an opportunity to advocate mental health awareness,” said Joseph Ling, a current Swinburne Sarawak student.
“It will inspire more young adults and teenagers to be more innovative and creative in accordance with the Swinburne actions for sustainability impact,” said Loo Yong Min from Hin Hua High School in Selangor.
Divided into Category A for Swinburne Sarawak students and alumni, and Category B for secondary school students aged between 15 and 19, participants must form a team of four individuals.
The winning team of Category A will be invited to launch a start-up under the mentorship of Swinburne Innovation Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the R&D and commercialization arm of Swinburne Sarawak.
Apart from receiving a seed funding of RM4,000, they will have access to SWIM’s network of investors and mentors, and receive coaching on starting a business, as an office space for their business venture at SWIM, worth RM6,000, for up to a year.
The team that wins Category B will be awarded cash prizes ranging from RM300 to RM800, and scholarships of RM1,000 and RM3,000 per student.
The “Swin Pitch Business Idea Competition” is organized by Swinburne Sarawak’s Faculty of Business, Design and Arts.