Annual competition encourages technopreneurship among students
KUALA LUMPUR; 5 JUNE 2013: The 9th MSC Malaysia – Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) Business Plan Competition (MIBPC), held here recently, has unveiled the Grand Prize winner for the Business Plan category: a software solution dubbed “Trash Point”, created by a team from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the Grand Prize winner for the Business Idea category: a product called “Paddy Defects Diseases Intelligent Kit” (PaDDI Kit), created by a team from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).
The MIBPC is an annual programme jointly organised by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), the Ministry of Education and the IHLs in Malaysia, aimed at providing a national platform for the convergence of skills development focusing on innovative thinking, problem solving and entrepreneurship.
The MIBPC also aims to inculcate a culture of technopreneurship in IHLs, provide exposure and knowledge of key competencies required in becoming a successful technopreneur. It encourages students and researchers from diverse backgrounds to share their business ideas and form teams that leverage on both technology and business competencies and to identify commercially viable ideas and intellectual property for development Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) industry.
With ICT as the basis, the competition was focused towards application software, creative multimedia, Internet-based business and mobility embedded software and hardware. The competition was divided into two categories; Business Idea and Business Plan.
The winning team members from UPM, which comprised Cheong Hoong Jun, Ching Kin Heong, Sham Wai Rock and Tan Yeong Zhuang, walked away with RM12,000 cash. Their creation, “Trash Point”, significantly increases the rate of waste collection and distribution process via a platform for users to set up their point of collection.
The grand prize winner of the MIBPC 2012/13 Business Idea category, the team from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) with their creation named “PaDDI Kit” is flanked by Secretary General of the Ministry of Education Datuk Ab. Rahim Md.Noor (fourth from left), MDeC CEO Datuk Badlisham Ghazali (second from right), Chairman of MIBPC Prof. Datuk Dr Ahmad Yusoff Hassan (extreme left) and head of Talent Division MDeC Muhammad Imran Kunalan Abdullah at the awards ceremony.
Meanwhile, the winning team members from UiTM, which comprised Megat Ridwan Megat Adnan, Nur ‘Atiqah Ghazali, Muhammad’ Umar Rasydan Romli, received RM7,000 cash. Their product, the “PaDDI Kit”, provides farmers with efficient paddy diseases detection, with expert level knowledge and suggestions.
Secretary General of the Ministry of Education Datuk Ab. Rahim Md. Noor, who awarded the winning teams during the recent prize giving ceremony, said “the MSC Malaysia IHL Business Plan Competition is one of a kind competition aimed at producing digital entrepreneurs amongst students and graduates, providing them with the necessary skills, resources and opportunities to realise their entrepreneurial inclination and potential”.
MDeC Chief Executive Officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said, “MIBPC began as a test bed to challenge local students to produce viable and marketable ICT based products, applications and solutions. Nine years down the road, the competition has successfully produced digital entrepreneurs, some of whom have launched their products, applications and services for the global market”.
The MIBPC 2012/2013 winners and merit prize winners of both the Business Plan and Business Idea categories in a group photo with Secretary General of the Ministry of Education Datuk Ab. Rahim Bin Md. Noor (seated 7th from left), MDeC CEO Datuk Badlisham Ghazali (seated 9th from right), MIBPC Chairman Prof. Datuk Dr Ahmad Yusoff Hassan (seated 6th from left), head of Talent Division MDeC Muhammad Imran Kunalan Abdullah (seated 8th from right) and MIBPC judges after the awards ceremony.
The MIBPC 2012/2013 competition attracted the participation of 18 public IHLs and 12 private IHLs. A total of 35 Business Ideas and 27 Business Plans were submitted for the pre-qualifications round from 19 IHLs across the country.
To compete in the Business Idea category, teams of a minimum of three undergraduates (preferably Final Year students) were required to demonstrate the commercial viability of the idea. However, no prototype or product was required to be developed.
For the Business Plan category, teams of maximum four members, comprising a combination of undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers and academic & non-academic personnel were required to submit a comprehensive business plan detailing the commercial viability. It was compulsory to show a prototype or product.
Judging was carried out by industry experts, and among the criteria assessed by the judges included product/service/technology description and commercial viability, idea innovativeness, market, sales competition, opportunity and risks, financials, prototype demonstration and overall presentation.