JOHOR BAHRU, 11 November 2015 –  60 budding entrepreneurs from 4 higher learning institutions converged at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Johor Bahru Campus to participate in an exciting 3-day workshop, which gave them opportunities to brainstorm and pitch ideas for start-up companies.

Participants for the event were from UTM, Universiti Malaya, Taylor’s University and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. The event was jointly organised by the UTM Technology Entrepreneurship Centre (UTM TEC), UTM Entrepreneur Cell Club and Wadhwani Foundations.

UTM Technology Entrepreneurship Centre manager, Dr Mohd Zaidi Abd Rozan said that ‘Startup Weekend JB’ aimed at enhancing students’ awareness on what entails entrepreneurship.

The 60 participating students were grouped accordingly to form nine groups. Each group was asked to brainstorm and formulate possible entrepreneurial start-up ventures.

The groups came up with many novel ideas such as devices that could detect brain waves, and mobile apps that will help source for second-hand books and help in solving parking woes. However, it was a seven-member team of UTM and UM students who won over the panel of judges with their idea for “Hire Up”, a platform that helps students look for part-time jobs. They took home a RM1,500 top prize for successfully pitching their proposal.

UM business administration student, the leader of the winning team, Ng Jun Wei, said that the team intends to patent the idea in the near future. He also mentioned the fact that the team in fact had several good ideas, of which the idea for ‘Hire Up’ was the most well received by the judges.

Entrepreneur Evelyn Samuel, who was among the mentors sharing his experiences and knowledge with the students at the event said, “In the current global economic situation, we have to think of more ideas to lower costs.” “Equipping students with the know-how for start-ups will help to supplement their income and improve the livelihood of the people,” he futher added. Samuel is the founder-director of Atheneum Communications Services, which developed a mobile app for blended learning last year.

Another mentor, Jason Kang, who is the chief financial officer at advised potential entrepreneurs to form a diverse team so as to generate more and better ideas.

Event organizing committee chairman, Nor Aisah Hatta, 21, who is a technology management major at UTM, believes that all participants have gained some insights and invaluable knowledge on how to generate novel ideas and pitch ideas, which are important in becoming successful entrepreneurs.