- Call for nominations in 10 categories, deadline Aug 15
- Finalists get startup coaching worth US$15,000, investor-matching, etc.
(L-R): MoF Sec-Gen Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and myNEF chairman Ashran Ghazi speaking to technology entrepreneur Azrul Rahim of JomSocial and MaidEasy fame.
MALAYSIA’S Ministry of Finance has kicked off the inaugural Rice Bowl Startup Awards, which will recognise breakout startups in the Asean (the Association of South-East Asian Nations) region that harness digital technology.
Announcing a call for nominations, the Rice Bowl honours rising entrepreneurs in various categories including industry awards, cross-sector awards, and star awards celebrating the Best Startup of the Year and Best Woman in Business Startup of the Year, among others.
Mooted by the New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF), the inaugural awards will be held in November 2015 at the second 1Asean Entrepreneurship Summit (1AES) in Kuala Lumpur. The first 1AES was held in March.
The awards aim to increase the region’s visibility as a vibrant global hub for innovation and celebrate the startups instrumental in driving that progress, myNEF said in a statement.
myNEF is a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on creating and developing sustainable entrepreneurs via strategic developmental programmes.
“Asean startups have tremendous opportunities for growth, given the region’s young tech-savvy population,” said Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Secretary General at the Ministry of Finance.
“The Rice Bowl Startup Awards will help reinforce a stronger, more collaborative network throughout the region, and serve as a celebration of our continued efforts to foster world-class innovation in technology and entrepreneurship,” he added.
With a market of over 633 million consumers and a combined GDP (gross domestic product) of nearly US$2.4 trillion, Asean is vibrant and growing.
“We've witnessed emerging young talents who are relentlessly pushing the boundaries on how technology can disrupt various industries to enrich the lives of consumers and generate positive social and environmental impacts in the Asean region,” said myNEF chairman Ashran Ghazi.
“We aim to recognise their contributions and successes as well as provide an additional platform to support them in their endeavours,” he added.
The awards will honour startups in 10 categories: Startup Business of the Year; Women in Business Startup of the Year; Retail Startup of the Year; Media Startup of the Year; Digital/ Online Startup of the Year; Social Enterprise Startup of the Year; Tech Startup of the Year; Product Startup of the Year; Service Startup of the Year; and Innovative Go-To-Market Campaign of the Year.
Finalists in each category will be awarded startup coaching worth US$15,000, regional media engagements, and investor matching. Winners will also receive a Rice Bowl trophy.
Nominations are open to all companies established within the past three years in an Asean country. The nomination period is open until Aug 15, 2015. The Top 30 finalists will be announced on Oct 1. Winners will be announced at November’s 1AES.
1AES was organised to bring together stakeholders and entrepreneurs throughout the Asean startup ecosystem to share ideas and best practices, and to develop solutions and partnerships that benefit the region.
The Rice Bowl Startup Awards are initiated by the Ministry of Finance, National Blue Ocean Strategy and National Strategy Unit, with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) as a strategic partner.
Community partners include Brand Geeks, Cradle Fund, MAD Inc, Multimedia Development Corporation, myHarapan, myPAA, myNEF, Startup Malaysia, UStart, Watch Tower & Friends, and others.
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