Grab wins big at Malaysian Rice Bowl Startup Awards
By Chong Jinn Xiung August 22, 2016
- Ride-hailing startup ‘grabs’ 3 out of 11 awards
- Winners will represent Malaysia at Asean grand finale
RIDE-hailing startup Grab – originally founded in Malaysia as MyTeksi, but now incorporated in Singapore – was the biggest winner at the Malaysian leg of Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2016, bagging three out of 11 categories.
It was declared Best Disruptor/ Gamechanger as well as Startup of the Year, while its founder and chief executive officer Anthony Tan won Founder of the Year.
Other notable winners were streaming service iflix (Best Campaign of the Year), health and fitness service KFit (Best Newcomer) and 100% Project for Best Social Entrepreneurial Tech Startup.
The Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2016, presented by the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and organised by the New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF), entered its second year after landing a six-year partnership with Global Startup Awards (GSA) based in Denmark.
Four finalists from the Asean-level competition in September will compete against global contenders at the Global Startup Awards 2016 final in November.
The partnership aims to increase the region’s visibility as a vibrant global hub for innovation and celebrate the startups that are instrumental in driving that progress, according to myNEF.
“The Rice Bowl Startup Award came about as we wanted to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation that is changing the landscape of the Asean economy, and not just in Malaysia alone,” said myNEF chief executive officer Lilyana Latiff (pic), also chair of the Asean Rice Bowl Startup Awards.
“As Asians, rice is our staple diet and is region’s identity. When we say ‘Rice Bowl,’ we mean … that entrepreneurship is the new ‘rice bowl’ in Asean.
“It is exciting to see young upstarts disrupting old processes and bringing new changes to how we deliver goods and services,” she added.
This year, MyNEF wanted to hold an even bigger awards ceremony and make sure that there would be country-level awards in order to have more representation from each Asean country, she said as the awards ceremony on Aug 20.
The inaugural Asean Rice Bowl Startup Awards had received just over 500 nominations; this year the number of nominations doubled to more than 1,000 nominees, according to myNEF.
Winners in each category will represent Malaysia at the Grand Finale of Asean Rice Startup Awards on Sept 30 in the Philippines.
“Last year’s award categories were very startup-centric, so this year it was expanded to also celebrate entrepreneurship in the ecosystem,” said MaGIC chief executive officer Ashran Ghazi, previously the myNEF chairman.
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