Innovative idea shines its way to victory


Ressel at the Sunway Innovation Labs Start-It Challenge.

THE desire to bring light to a subject considered “taboo” brought Jason Yim and his team victory in the Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs) Start-It Challenge second edition.

The recent graduate of Sunway University’s Psychology degree programme amazed the panel of judges with his artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot for psychological help.

“Most people who are depressed do not seek help because of the stigma and fear of being classified insane.

“Unity Therapy is an AI chatbot that ‘talks’ to people who are facing mental problems so that it is like texting a friend,” the 24-year-old said.

Tengku Amir Shah (second from right) presenting a mock cheque to Yim (second left). Looking on are Dr Lee (left) and Sunway iLabs director Matthijs van Leeuwen.(Below) Yim and the other winners of the challenge celebrating their victory.

Tengku Amir Shah (second from right) presenting a mock cheque to Yim (second left). Looking on are Dr Lee (left) and Sunway iLabs director Matthijs van Leeuwen.

Yim, who worked with a partner based in Singapore, hoped it would make mental care awareness more accessible.

The runner-up title went to team Hermes Helmet Projector by Sunway College students Ashman Razaruddin and Aiman Zulqadri Mohd Zuber, both 19.

They came up with a motorcycle helmet visor projector which could be inserted into any existing helmet to project maps.

Third placing was shared by teams Suka Go – a platform to match volunteers to non-governmental organisations – which was represented by Muhammad Zarif Shamil Jamil and Nurul Jannah Najman and Power Waver (a self-charging power bank) by Muhammad Razlan Dhamir Hamdan.

The winners were awarded RM9,000 in cash prizes and will be accepted into the Sunway iLabs accelerator programme, which would begin in January 2018, to further develop their ideas.

The teams were among 10 teams which pitched their ideas to the judges.

Sumitra during the panel discussion at Sunway iLabs Start-It Challenge.

Sumitra during the panel discussion at Sunway iLabs Start-It Challenge.

The event was graced by Raja Muda Selangor Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

The panel of judges included Sunway Education Group senior executive director Dr Elizabeth Lee, Nexea Angels principal advisor Alan Lim, PitchIn chief executive officer and co-founder Kashminder Singh and DiGi Transformation head Kenny Lee. The Start-It Challenge attracted 160 submissions from students all over Selangor.

Besides the pitch, there was also a panel discussion by industry heavyweights on “The Role of Millennials to Drive Innovation in a Digital Era”.

The panel was moderated by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Talent and Digital Entrepreneurship vice-president Sumitra Nair with panellists Lazada chief executive officer Hans-Peter Ressel, Impiro chief strategy officer and advisor Ben Chong and Commerce Asia founder Ganesh Kumar.

Winners of the second edition of the Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs) Start-It Challenge. First place went to Jason Yim, 24.

Winners of the second edition of the Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs) Start-It Challenge.

Sponsor companies such as Sunway, DiGi, CIMB, Axiata Digital, Lazada, Impiro and Grab also announced the names of the candidates who tackled their challenge and would be invited for an interview for a potential internship or employment.

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