Participants of Startup Weekend Sibu.
KUCHING: The inaugural Startup Weekend Sibu event held at University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) last weekend saw teams focusing on an idea and turning it into reality, guided and mentored by successful entrepreneurs and startup founders.
The event came at the heels of the last Startup Weekend Miri in August (also a first) and is part of a Google for Entrepreneurs supported global movement now found in more than 150 countries.
Over the same weekend, 38 cities around the world conducted the Startup Weekends, and Sibu was one of them.
Startup Weekend Sibu, like its global sisters, was an intensive 54-hour event, that helped participants in teams to focus on an idea and turn it into reality, guided and mentored by successful entrepreneurs and startup founders.
The Sibu edition was organised by iCube Innovation, in partnership with Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) Cyberjaya, and in collaboration with University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS). Other supporters included Trac-Wheels (M) Sdn Bhd, OurYouth.my, ERA fm, MY fm, and HITZ fm.
The three-day event began with participants getting to know one another through an ice-breaking session and then forming teams followed by a brainstorming session where ideas were pitched and evaluated by the group.
The best ideas went through an rapid session of fine-tuning, analysis, and market-validation and the weekend culminated in the final pitch sessions which were judged by a panel of experts.
Throughout the three days, between periods of working on their startup projects, the teams were also given a chance to learn from speakers from the prestigious MaGIC Accelerator Programme.
The speakers, who are from the programme’s third cohort, included founders and leaders of several up and coming startups, including Fruni Print, Smartstudy, Ombré, and WanderZoom.
The panel of judges for the final pitch session consisted of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry leaders in the likes of KTS Trading Sdn Bhd Light Machinery Department senior executive manager Kevin Lau, Trac-Wheels (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Richard Song, and Saga Majumas Sdn Bhd founder Kelvin Ong.
Lau said the Startup Weekend was truly great for the participants as it encouraged and gave them the confidence to move out of their comfort zones.
“This is certainly something we want to encourage in the participants. We want them to stay positive throughout their journey in starting their businesses,” he said in a statement yesterday.
There were over 50 participants, grouped in eight teams, and a total of 19 ideas were pitched.
In describing the event from a participant’s perspective, Alex Lai, who came all the way from Kuching, said he really enjoyed the dynamic atmosphere and loved how the participants engaged with one another.
He and his teammates agreed that the Startup Weekend event was an ‘amazing place to learn together how to build a start up in entrepreneurship’.
Meanwhile, Kuching-based iCube Innovation strategic manager Malcolm Wu said it was certainly iCube’s (one of the prime movers of Startup Weekends in Sarawak) intention to organise these entrepreneurial events all over the state, as one of its goals is to continue unearthing new entrepreneurs.
“One of the key defining traits of the Startup Weekends that we’ve organised is the great amount of energy put in throughout the event. It’s infectious! And all that energy translates into action and results.”
To date, the team at iCube has organised four Startup Weekend events namely two in Kuching and one each in Miri and Sibu.
Next, they will be taking it to the next level, by organising the biggest one yet, which is the Startup Weekend Sarawak (SWSWK) from Nov 11 to 13 here.
SWSWK will be one of the 200 over events within Global Startup Weekend, involving more than 15,000 entrepreneurs across the world.
This means that participants of SWSWK will join the largest entrepreneurial network in the world.
Participants will also have access to unparalleled resources and support in entrepreneurship, and be able to leverage on the expertise of many knowledgeable mentors throughout the weekend.
Furthermore, winning teams throughout the Global Startup Weekend will receive exclusive perks and prizes, such as membership in F6S Alpha, which includes access to US$1 million of free growth services.
For more details about Startup Weekend Sarawak, a constituent event within the Global Startup Weekend, and to sign up, visit ww.icubeinnovation.com.my or call 082-266868 or email email@example.com.