The Ministry of Education Malaysia has selected top student businesses to be the winners of the annual National Micro Enterprise Pitching Competition (NMEPC). Over 150 student founders from 20 public institutions have spent 2.5 months to iterated, validate and launch 42 innovative ideas.
One of the challenges of a student entrepreneur is landing on the right idea. Some students think that their idea is unique and has no competitors. Others wasted their entrepreneurial journey building something that is not suited for the market. Most of them will lose their entrepreneurial drive and decide that they are not fit to run a business.
NMEPC is an accelerator that helps student entrepreneurs to find product market fit for their idea, class project, or ready-to-be-commercialized research by creating a journey for them to validate and launch their venture. Students went through a 3-days boot camp to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey. To encourage innovative-driven products, the students were taken to key locations such as Cyberjaya the Tech Hub of Malaysia, RekaScape the smart retail entrepreneurship center, and also MRANTi, an enabler for research and innovation commercialization. The students also network with more than 50 industry experts getting feedback about their venture. This will help them to spend less time on bad ideas and identify other solutions that are similar to what they are building.
"Since the inception, our priority is always to design the best journey for student entrepreneurs to launch impactful ventures". Says Nurul Amiera binti Noor Azahar, one of the co-founders of Youth Ventures Asia, also the Head of Judge for NMEPC. "We are honored to create the first accelerator that integrates crowdfunding, edu-tour, and most importantly, community building." Youth Ventures Asia also launched Universitystartupchallenge.com, the first crowdfunding platform for university-led ideas. During the finals, the participants need to pitch their ideas for five minutes and will need to face the judges for 10 minutes. They are required to showcase their product and have the chance to sell their product to the public.
"We manage to pivot our idea during the NMEPC Bootcamp and create a working prototype right before the final pitching session," said the founders of Combine from Universiti Malaysia Pahang. Some ventures like Quoffee from Universiti Utara Malaysia and Uni Parcel Station from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia are planning to open up new locations at other institutions. IntelliRent from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia became the first venture to reach its goal at Universitystartupchallenge.com. Here is the complete winner's list for NMEPC:
1st Copykats (UM), a platform for creatives to manage their IP and Copyright
2nd Resin Art Crafts (Politeknik Merlimau), a business that focuses on resin arts
3rd Snap Creative (UiTM), a creative agency that helps SMEs attract gen-z.
Consolation: Combine (UMP), Postkankad (UPNM), Artbea (Kolej Komuniti Besut)
Food and Beverages
1st D’Kacang (USIM), an instant Kuah Kacang where you only need to add water.
2nd Quoffee (UUM), a social-driven coffee shop that empowers the student.
3rd Drink & Chocolate Seaweed-Based (USM), a superfood company.
Technology and Innovation
1st UNISCENT (UPM), a candle company from waste cooking oil.
2nd Insujab ( UIAM), a medical tool for patients who use insulin.
3rd Soy Growth Booster (UMK), a high-performing fish feed that is better for the environment.
Consolation: Hand Obstacle Detector (UMP), Mesin Proses Daun Mengkuang (UNisZA), Intellirent (UTM)
1st UNIPS (UKM), student parcel management service.
2nd Bouquet_Uni (UUM), a surprise delivery service.
3rd Cabcos (UiTM), booking system for student beauty services.
Consolation: IDN & Co (UTHM), JOM TAPAU (UTM), Aileana Beauty (Kolej Komuniti Pasir Gudang)
Best Showcase - Agrozonia (UNIMAS), a community-driven organic farm.
Best Group Pitch - Mesin Proses Daun Mengkuang (UNisZA), a mechanical system to process Daun Mengkuang.
Best Group Work - Insujab ( UIAM)
Best Product - UNIPS (UKM)
Grand Prize UNIPS (UKM)
First Runner Up D’Kacang (USIM)
Second Runner-Up UNISCENT (UPM)
NMEPC was organized by Universiti Teknikal Melaka Malaysia with the support of the Ministry of Higher Education and it is designed and delivered by Youth Ventures Asia, the one-stop network for youth development.