Malaysia and US come together for Asean startup bootcamp
By Digital News Asia July 1, 2015
- Obama initiative to strengthen leadership development and networking in Asean
- Supported by MaGIC, bootcamp seeks solutions to tackle Asean community issues
THE Young South-East Asia Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) said that applications are now open for the YSEALI Generation: Startup Weekend, part of its youth engagement programme facilitated by the US Embassy in Malaysia.
Launched in 2013, YSEALI is US President Barack Obama’s (pic above) signature programme to strengthen leadership development and networking in South-East Asia.
Through various activities, including US educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI said it seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and South-East Asia, and nurture an Asean community.
YSEALI Generation Startup Weekend (Startup Weekend Asean) is an initiative to bring together young entrepreneurs from the 10 Asean countries to ‘ideate,’ create and develop products and solutions that have the potential to grow and make an impact on the regional community.
The programme is held in partnership with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), the agency mandated with building the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Malaysia; and Techstars, a global network of entrepreneurs, MaGIC said in a statement.
It is open to Asean citizens between the ages of 18 and 30. Ideal participants would be university students or young professionals who have already started or plan to start a business, or who work in small entrepreneurial enterprises, MaGIC said.
The top team from the YSEALI Generation: Startup Weekend will win a trip to the United States to meet US entrepreneurs, businesses and technology incubators, and key companies as well as the opportunity to participate in the MaGIC-Stanford G2Market programme, a one-week programme for early stage entrepreneurs to develop and commercialise their ideas.
The second and third place teams will win seed money which will be donated by private sector partners.
All participating team will receive long-term mentoring and coaching that will extend beyond the programme, MaGIC said.
“Inculcating creative thinking and inspiring young entrepreneurs is at the core of what we do here at MaGIC,” said its chief executive officer Cheryl Yeoh (pic).
“YSEALI Generation: Startup Weekend is a great platform to promote entrepreneurship and cross-country youth collaboration around building viable solutions to tackle many of the regional issues.
“With Malaysia chairing Asean this year, and MaGIC’s focus on Asean entrepreneurship initiatives, we are greatly aligned in our support of this programme,” she added.
The call for applications is now open and will close on July 3, it added. 110 shortlisted participants will be invited to a three-day bootcamp at the MaGIC Campus in Cyberjaya from Aug 4-6.
In the 54-hour bootcamp, the teams will pitch ideas and solutions that has relevance across the Asean community – such as healthcare, environmental issues, traffic management, government, and agriculture.
With the guidance of onsite facilitators and mentors from Startup Weekend, the teams will develop and program applications that address the chosen theme or cause. On the final day of the bootcamp, each team will pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs and mentors.
“Bringing together … innovators in Asean will no doubt bring great value in tackling the challenges in the region, and it will also forge valuable relationships, creating a stronger sense of community and strengthening the ecosystem as a whole,” said Danielle Reyes, director of Global Expansion at Techstars.
For more information on the YSEALI Generation: Startup Weekend, click here.
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