LKC FES students emerge as finalists in the Jacobs Startup Competition 2023

A team of four UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) students were declared as the finalists in the Jacobs Startup Competition 2023 which took place from 16 to 18 March 2023 at Constructor University Bremen in Bremen, Germany. The team consisted of LKC FES students Tan Xuan Qing, Lew Yanzhe, Teoh Jia Jing and Chua Kai Wei. Meanwhile, their supervisors were M Kandiah Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (MK FMHS) Clinical Assoc Prof Dr Thaw Zin and LKC FES Assoc Prof Dr Tee Yee Kai. On the other hand, Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI) lecturer Dr Aloysius Yapp and LKC FES lecturer Dr Hau Lee Cheun were the team’s mentors.

The Jacobs Startup Competition 2023, also known as the Young Entrepreneur Summit, is an international competition organised by students, and is catered towards student entrepreneurs from all over the world. The competition aimed to provide a platform for young and aspiring student entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to judges and investors, as well as to allow them to network with founders, mentors and experts in their respective industries. Not only that, the competition also offers a variety of prizes, including cash and special prizes such as incubator programs and individual coaching sessions.

The team’s project, titled, VeinWatch, is a small-sized vein finder that helps medical professionals locate the veins in the patients, especially during medical procedures such as blood tests, IV insertions, and other procedures which require access to the patient’s veins. According to the team, the inspiration behind the project was to solve the issue of needle insertion failure, with the plan of this invention being made available at general hospitals, clinics, and other medical settings.

Lew Yanzhe (left) and Tan Xuan Qing presenting their project to the jury at the competition in Germany

Tan, the team’s leader, spoke on his feelings of joining the competition, saying, “We did not expect to reach the final when we first registered for the competition, and it was a pleasant surprise, as we were competing with other teams from around the world which made it more challenging than the previous competition that we participated in. It was also an amazing experience to have learned the different cultural backgrounds of the European juries, compared to the Malaysian ones. Finally, as the only Malaysian team at the finals, presenting our idea on an international stage was a nerve-wrecking but an exciting experience, and I am glad that we got the chance to do so before graduating.”

He added on about his experience as the team leader during the competition, “As the team leader, I am glad that each of us were self-disciplined and responsible in completing our assigned duties. Not only that, preparing the flight and accommodations in order to travel to Germany, as well as communicating with the organisers from Germany who lived in a different time zone, were not easy tasks. Nevertheless, I have gained much experience from being the team leader, and I learned to obtain resources by communicating with different people.” Finally, Tan was grateful to the people who helped the team, saying, “We are grateful to Dr Aloysius and Dr Hau who actively helped us in securing funds to travel to Germany. We would also like to thank UTAR for providing us with financial support, and UTAR Unovate Centre for allocating resources to help us develop our project.”

Tan Xuan Qing

The second team member, Lew Yanzhe, enthused about his excitement in joining the competition, noting, “Needless to say, I was delighted to have received the opportunity to join the competition, and I do not think anyone will turn down a competition invitation from Germany. My experience participating in this competition was fantastic, as I am always excited to go to different places, see things and meet new people. The participants at the Jacobs Startup Competition were diverse, and I managed to bond with other students from all around the world, as they were all so friendly. Not only that, the trip to Germany was made all the more affordable and easier, thanks to the financial support provided to us by UTAR Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research (IPSR).

Lew Yanzhe

He carried on with expressing his gratitude to his loved ones, saying, “I would like to thank my project partner Tan Xuan Qing as he gave me the opportunity to join the competition, and the rest of the team as well for all their support and tolerance throughout our journey. My parents have also aided me by lending their support, especially when preparing for my travel to Germany.”

 “As an engineering student, it is not often we get to see and experience the business side of a product or service. Thus, when the opportunity to join a startup project presented itself, I decided to participate as I was intrigued. By taking part in this competition, we learned more about the ways to build a company and to network with people, not to mention, being able to learn from a larger international community has definitely been a great experience”, enthused Teoh. He added, “I would like to thank the two seniors, Tan Xuan Qing & Lee Yanzhe, who brought me into the team, exposing me to these experiences and for helping me throughout my journey in this competition. For students who are interested in joining this competition in the future, it may seem daunting and difficult, but the experience you gain is definitely worth the time and effort.”

Teoh Jia Jing

The final team member, Chua, lastly briefly described his gratitude in joining the competition, noting, “It was an incredible experience to have partook in the Jacobs Startup Competition as I met new people and gained knowledge on many new things. For instance, I learned to look at businesses through an investor’s perspective. Overall, I had a great time participating in this competition and I am grateful to the team for putting in a lot of time and effort into the competition, as well as to my mentors and supervisors for their guidance.

Chua Kai Wei

UTAR congratulates the four students on their amazing achievement in the competition.

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