Cultivating entrepreneurship skills through competition

Front row from left: Alvin Marsh, Dan Then, Prof Faidz and Saiful Rizal with participants and organising committee

UTAR’s Unovate Centre organised its inaugural business plan competition at Sungai Long Campus on 18 April 2019. The competition aimed to provide students the exposure towards becoming an entrepreneur while promoting students’ ideas to potential investors.

The students were put to different practices such as developing ideas, putting together a founding team, writing a business plan and presenting to investors in the competition. The first prize winner walked away with a cash prize of RM500 while the second prize winner took home a cash prize of RM300 and the third prize winner won RM200 cash. Sponsoring the event was ZOM-IN, an online platform created for young minds and successful entrepreneurs to empower and inspire one another.

Present at the competition were UTAR Vice President for R&D and Commercialisation Prof Ts Dr Faidz bin Rahman, Faculty of Accountancy and Management Centre for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility in Business Chairperson Dr Mohammad Falahat Nejadmahani, Department of Consultancy and Commercialisation Head Ching Yen Choon, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science Head of Programme for Master of Information Systems Dr Wong Whee Yen and participants. Judging the competition were Zom-in Co-Founder Alvin Marsh, MCM eCom Global Venture Sdn Bhd, Bizporter Chief Executive Officer Dan Then and Wadhwani Foundation Senior Manager Saiful Rizal.

“First and foremost, I would like to congratulate all the finalists for your shortlisted projects. Entrepreneurship training is very important especially for students because you are the one who will be going out to the job market. The experience of going through the entrepreneurship practice is useful for your future career,” said Prof Faidz as he welcomed the participants.

Alvin said, “I’m pretty excited to listen and see the business plan from the participants and I hope the participants will be able to learn something from today’s competition in the aspect of sealing up a business plan and learning how to pitch.”

Twelve business plans were presented with various topics relating to several industries such as education, transportation, healthcare and cosmetics, food and beverage as well as advertising. Some of the presented topics were “Smart parking slot management app” by Tan John How, “Keli Programming Education” by Wong Jia Hau, “Secure360, a new way of car security” by Leong Wai Lun, “Public Transport Tracker (PubTT)” by Chan Ze Hao, “V.G. Joy Vegetarian Fast Food Restaurant” by Simran Kaur, Muhammad Akmal bin Marzuqi, M. Arathi, V. Monishalini and Patricia Liaw Hui Li, “Star Truck” by Loh Sze Hwei, “Jusride from Transport & Tracking (T&T)” by S. R. Dheenodara Rao and Chua Chang Chyuan, “CosyFans O2O Marketing” by Lee Jiun Yih, Teh Kok Wei and Soong Shao Yuan, “Wadcup” by Ng Chuan Hoe, “Water-Poof” by Joshua Yeoh Chin Hock, “Skinshelf skin care” by Chay Min Jie and “The Square Box” by Raymond Goh Kai Xian and Cheah Wan Yi.

Joshua (right) receiving his prize from Alvin while Prof Faidz (left) looks on

First prize winner Joshua said, “I feel great! All my hard work and effort have paid off. This victory has given me a tremendous amount of confidence and motivation in my business, driving me to push on and continue to bring it to greater heights. The next step would be to apply for a patent to protect this idea of mine while seeking potential investors to invest in my business and collaborate with, to effectively bring this product into the market.

He further added, “Start now! Successful people create their own opportunities. It is also important to gain knowledge in areas like financial literacy as it will greatly help you in starting up your business and keeping it alive and healthy. You have to be clear of your mission and vision for the business and be disciplined and keep your perseverance high. Public speaking and pitching skills are also very important. These skills are necessary for you to convince and attract potential investors to invest in your business. Communication skills play an important role in maintaining a good, healthy relationship with your partners, investors, employees and customers. Lastly, leadership skills are very important as the entrepreneur has to be able to lead his or her team towards the goal, to achieve the mission and vision of the business.” 

Loh, who won the second prize, presenting her ideas to the judges 

Third prize winner: Wong (right) receiving his award from Alvin as Prof Faidz (left) looks on 

Participants taking turns to present their ideas 

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