Aaron Sarma and Christy Ng win spots to Pitch@Palace Global
By Karamjit Singh June 29, 2016
- Founders of Touristly and Christyng.com beat 12 others in inaugural Malaysia event
- Prestige of event helps expose startups to corporate community
THE first Pitch@Palace in Malaysia was held in Kuala Lumpur on June 28, with 14 startups pitching to an audience of corporate leaders for two spots to the main Pitch@Palace Global at St James’ Palace in the United Kingdom in December.
With the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, and AirAsia group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes in attendance, a “zoned out” Christy Ng of christyng.com and Aaron Sarma of Touristly won themselves these trips to the United Kingdom.
Despite her exhaustion from a weekend warehouse sale and feeling the pressure of making her three-minute pitch to a corporate crowd that included Digi Telecommunications chief executive officer Albern Murthy, Ng nonetheless managed to keep it together to impress the judges and earn a ticket.
Joining her will be Sarma, who picked up enough pointers during a trial pitch run from the likes of Fernandes and some Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) executives, to adjust his pitch and take the second ticket to St James’s Palace, where both he and Ng will be hoping to make some valuable connections to further their businesses.
Pitch@Palace Global positions itself as a platform to showcase entrepreneurs, connecting them to UK and international networks with the objective of amplifying their businesses.
“This was definitely not the typical startup crowd you encounter at the usual pitching events,” said Sarma, who tweaked his pitch from the standard ‘I need money’ to ‘I need partners who can help scale the business, strengthen distribution and content,’ he told Digital News Asia (DNA).
While Kuala Lumpur is not lacking in pitching events, startups which participated in Pitch@Palace clearly felt that the nature of the crowd and prestige of the event would expose them to the corporate community and not just venture capitalists.
And with Fernandes supporting the Malaysian chapter of Pitch@Palace, which was organised by AirAsia and Tune Labs, expect this to become one of the key pitching events in Malaysia’s startup calendar, especially if he lives up to his word.
“I even see AirAsia and myself investing in some of these businesses already,” he told journalists.
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