ColossusINNO2017 winner bags US$100k

  • Technology enables accurate diagnosis of dengue and the Zika virus
  • Competition inspires breakthrough entrepreneurial thinking


ColossusINNO2017 winner bags US$100k


The winner of the inaugural ColossusINNO2017 competition was announced at the Global Entrepreneurship Community (GEC) Summit 2017 on Dec 15. After intense deliberation, Blusense Diagnostics from Denmark was awarded the title along with the winning prize of US$100,000 to pilot its innovation as a solution.

The ColossusINNO2017 was officially launched in June this year by Global Entrepreneurship Movement (GEM) patron Mohd Irwan Serigar, who is also Treasury secretary-general of Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance.

It was created to inspire breakthrough thinking among entrepreneurs to identify and build ventures that will result in providing solutions to solve regional problems in developing countries in ASEAN, be it poverty, governance, education, health or environment.

“ColossusINNO2017 is a benchmark of success for outstanding entrepreneurs that not only demonstrate extraordinary business insights but also excellent entrepreneurial spirit, disruptive innovation and strategic direction. This competition spotlights aspiring entrepreneurs that disrupt and lead to the change and economic growth required by societies,” said Irwan, who is a vocal proponent of innovation and entrepreneurship in Malaysia.

At the pitch, Blusense Diagnostics, represented by its co-founder Filippo Bosco, made a strong case on its submission called the BluSense technology that enables the accurate diagnosis of dengue and the Zika virus using a single drop of blood.

Combining biomarker quantification with portability, affordability and ease of use, BluSense point-of-care products are designed to help healthcare organisations to increase their diagnostics capacity, and to monitor, control and manage virus outbreaks.

The global call for submissions for ColossusINNO2017 was held for three months after the launch. The competition received 1,780 submissions from 88 countries. To ensure that the selected entrepreneurs met global standards in terms of knowledge, solution to problems and other requirements of a scalable startup, a panel of independent global judges consisting of key industry experts narrowed down the applications to 30 semi-finalists, before shortlisting 10 finalists

The global experts that made up the panel of judges were:

1.         Mohd Irwan Serigar, patron and founder of GEM

2.         Dash Dhakshinamoorthy, president of GEM

3.         Datuk Md Zubir Ansori Yahaya, CEO of Malaysia Debt Ventures Berhad (MDV)

4.         Dato Arulchelvam Arulampalam, CEO of Ebizu

5.         Jamaludin Bujang, CEO of MAVCAP

6.         Ganesh Kumar Bangah, executive chairman of

7.         Asna Towfiq, Bangladesh country representative of Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

8.         Philippe Benjamin Skow, award-winning concert violinist

9.         Sam Potolicchio, director of Global and Custom Education, Georgetown University

10.       Jennifer Augustin, Cisco

11.       Zhang Yong, Mengniu Group

The judging was observed by YouNoodle. Each finalist presented for 5-minute in front of the judges, which was followed by a 6-minute Q&A session.

The ColossusINNO2017 finalists were evaluated based on criteria including feasibility and having a well-defined problem and solution; scale of the idea’s execution, including market opportunity; having a well-defined target market; potential for growth; perceived differentiation from competition; likelihood of long-term success; and speed of execution based on the strength and expertise of the team.

Related stories:

GECommunity 2017 aims to drive growth of entrepreneurship

GEM creates regional links, launches global challenge for Asean

Najib: Government and private sector collaboration for innovation will be ‘the new normal’


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