First leg of ASEAN Rice Bowl 2019 kicks off in Malaysia

  • 13 category winners at Malaysia Rice Bowl Conference & National Awards
  • 5th year to empower ASEAN Economic Community to power up local economies

Malaysia Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2019 winners with [from 4th left] Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO MaGIC, Wan Suraya, Head Secretary of Ministry of Entrepreneur Development, Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Hamdi Mokhtar, chairman The New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF).

The New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF) yesterday successfully organised its first Malaysia Rice Bowl Conference and kicked off the ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards.  The events were officiated by Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Minister of Entrepreneur Development.

The inaugural conference included panel discussions on startup fundraising, perspectives from investors and a panel discussion on the role of government agencies in the Malaysian startup ecosystem which saw participation by government agency heads  Dzuleira Abu Bakar (Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre), Surina Shukri (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation) and Azmi Said (SME Corp).

Running for the 5th year, the Rice Bowl Startup Awards aims to connect and empower the ASEAN Economic Community to power up local economies with startups and scaleups. The awards, which celebrates the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in Southeast Asian startups is also the official Southeast Asian circuit of the Global Startup Awards.

Mohd Redzuan shared, “This award is in line with the Ministry’s own aspirations for Malaysia to become an outstanding entrepreneurial nation in 2030. Under the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 (DKN 2030), launched on 11 July 2019, we seek to foster a stronger entrepreneurship culture across all segments of Malaysian society. I am confident that awards such as this will help in building a critical mass of entrepreneurs by publicly recognizing entrepreneurship role models. For the economy to grow, we must ensure the presence of more startups, capital, talent and markets.”

Hamdi Mokhtar, chairman of ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards and myNEF adds, “To those who wonder why Rice Bowl Awards are called as such, it is because ‘rice’ is a staple diet in Asian countries. Not only that, it is also a symbol of wealth and resources throughout the region, making the rice bowl an enduring symbol of livelihood and sustenance. Startups have always been that rice bowl that sustains and grows the Southeast Asian economy, and we believe they will continue to provide for ASEAN for generations to come. We honor and celebrate these startups for their innovation and entrepreneurial spirit especially for their courage, determination, hard work and perseverance that helps power the region’s economy and wealth.”

More than 3,000 nomination were received this year from across Southeast Asia, a 60% increase from the previous year. The startups come from diverse industries and backgrounds but are united in their hunger and drive to succeed.  “These are the risk-takers who inspire and thrive in the startup community with their hard work,” adds Hamdi.

Among the notable winners from Malaysia in previous years who are making waves today are Carsome, Dropee, JomParking, and iflix.

Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Wan Suraya at Malaysia Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2019.

Following are the categories for Malaysia Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2019:

  1. Best E-commerce & Supply Chain Startup
  2. Best Life Helper
  3. Best Foodtech/Agritech Startup
  4. Best IoT Startup
  5. Best AI & Machine Learning Startup
  6. Best Fintech Startup
  7. Best Accelerator or Incubator Program
  8. Best Coworking Space
  9. Investor of The Year
  10. People’s Choice
  11. Best Newcomer
  12. Founder of The Year
  13. Startup of The year

The top 3 categories with the most number of nominations in Malaysia are Best Life Helper, Best e-commerce & Supply Chain and Best Newcomer.

Nominations were open to all companies established no more than 5 years in an ASEAN country with the nomination period between 27 May 2019 to 9 August 2019. This was followed by a round of judging by panels of industry-experts. The winners of each country will be announced in multiple national events in October and November 2019.

Malaysia is the first country to announce its Rice Bowl Winners for 2019 and each category Winner for will receive a PR Strategy Advisory Services from Suppagood PR worth RM15,000 each.

All National Winners will get to participate in the regional finale, a cross-regional program designed for entrepreneurs. At the finale, winners will be able to meet and leverage the vast ASEAN startup community network to strike regional, vertical, or cross-commercial partnerships to accelerate their market expansion.

This year the regional grand finale of the awards will be held in Kuala Lumpur in January 2020 in Kuala Lumpur.

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