[12 October 2020, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia] From the 25th to 27th of September, the Malaysia Cross-Industry Virtual Hackathon went live and gathered 58 teams with close to 200 participants from around the world making it the largest virtual hackathon in Malaysia to be organized to date. With problem statements from top corporates ranging from a multitude of industries; namely telecommunications, travel, agriculture, oil and gas, retail, sustainability, property, and, health and safety, the participants were given the choice to choose and hack one problem statement that they identify with the most. Finally, ‘Augmenteed’, a startup with augmented technology solution, has won the crown.
The 58 finalist startup teams were carefully shortlisted from an encouraging number of applications that came in to solve challenges from top Malaysian corporations including Celcom Axiata Berhad (Celcom), Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAS), Eco World Development Group Berhad (Ecoworld), and HLX by Hong Leong Group (HLX). The crux of it all for startups was to find a solution that not only can solve the selected problem statement but has to be agile and versatile enough to be leveraged across industries.
Starting on Friday the 25th of September, the selected finalists were brought together as a preparation for the hack and Pitch Day, which were to take place later on during the weekend. With less than 48 hours to work on the problem statement of their choice, the teams were given the opportunity to get up close and personal via virtual mentoring sessions on the 26th of September with representatives from corporations and also subject matter experts from various fields such as technology, UI/UX design and business models. Not only were the teams expected to overcome the challenges with their ideas and technology, they were also given exposure on how to perfectly pitch through a sharing session by Sam Shafie, the founder of PitchIn.
Newborn team and problem statement winners AgreXive claimed that Malaysia Cross-Industry Virtual Hackathon to be one of the best experiences they have ever had. “Team AgreXive has had a wonderful journey throughout the preparation for the Malaysia Cross-Industry Virtual Hackathon. The team was formed spontaneously a day before the deadline, where we decided to give this a shot. Nonetheless, none of this would be possible without the support and guidance of our mentors. Their wisdom and experience has guided and provided us with incredible insights, which would benefit us post-competition” said John Woo, team representative from AgreXive.
John and Rishi from Team Untitled who were also problem statement winners further asserted how Malaysia Cross-Industry Virtual Hackathon was a stepping stone for them to engage with the corporate world. “Our experience of the hackathon has been well. The mentoring sessions were helpful to improve our ability to pitch effectively in a short period of time. Team Untitled proposed a single database architectural design solution for the problem of integrating multiple channels' customer insight into a single platform,” John stated.
The Pitch Day reached its peak on the 27th of September, with teams pitching their solutions to the respective corporations. By the end of the day, after thorough due deliberation by the corporate judges, the champion for each problem statement was announced and celebrated with RM5,000 prize money each.
However, this was only the beginning of their pitching journey as these problem statement champions were together again for a Grand Final Pitch to compete for the Grand Prize of RM15,000.
The 8 finalists representing each problem statement had no more than 3 days to align themselves, revise and improve their solutions before getting back in the ring again. The Grand Final Pitch day was intense and the judges had a challenging time to select the winner. The top three teams had a small margin of score between them. However, there has to be a winner and ‘Augmenteed’ came out the stronger team earning them the title of Malaysia Cross-Industry Virtual Hackathon Champion.
‘Augmenteed’ is made up of a group of aspiring engineers with the expertise in augmented reality. Providing a solution to upskill front-line technicians with remote capabilities, ‘Augmenteed’ managed to convince our esteemed panel of judges to prevail as the Champion of Champions.
“We would like to thank RISE, MDEC, Celcom, Malaysian Airlines for the chance to pitch at the event. RISE and its partners are a crucial part of the startup ecosystem in SEA and provide an important platform for young startups working on emerging technologies. These events gave us access to real customer pain points which we could then solve following the guidance of experienced mentors. Our participation has certainly opened doors to the Malaysian market which we wouldn't have had otherwise. Augmenteed hopes to accelerate its development and growth and winning the competition is an excellent lever for us to achieve our milestones in the future.” Said Rakesh Patni, Co-Founder of Augmenteed, the winner from the hackathon.