Samsung gives Malaysian startups a boost

(2nd L) Loqman Hakim handing the award to (3rd L) Couch Go founder Mohd Rashid, while (2nd R) SME's Roh looks on.

While most corporations stop at charity, Samsung Malaysia Electronic has gone a step further by sharing its tech know-how with 16 local startups.

Its corporate affairs director Datuk Roh Jae Yeol says as an MNC (multinational company), it feels it is its responsibility to help startups reach the next level.

“There are so many ambitious startups that have seen impressive growth; and as a company that supports the idea of chasing after your dreams and making it happen, we at Samsung want to do as much as we can to help the budding entrepreneurs,” he says.

Youth Sports Ministry secretary general Datuk Loqman Hakim Ali says such programmes are in line with the ministry’s goals, as it feels it’s important to try new ideas and venture into new fields.

He adds that getting new startup players will help drive the economy, so the ministry is supportive of all entrepreneur development programmes which assist startups in getting funding and going to market.

This year’s Samsung’s Employee Volunteer Programme, based on the theme Global Startup Acceleration Programme, was held between Aug 4 and 10 at the International Youth Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

The 16 startups were selected from various sectors, including  education, agriculture and fashion and they were also joined by university students.

They received mentorship from 35 experts and engineers from Samsung Headquarters, who provided training in marketing, engineering, design and strategy.

Go Coach snagged the top prize, earning US$3,000 (RM12,250). Go Coach founder Mohd Rashid Jamiran, 36, explains that his startup matches sporting enthusiasts with coaches of an appropriate level to ensure people get the right trainer within their budget.

He says the team is now planning to expand its web-based service to mobile apps.

First runner up, customised-clothing maker AiReca won US$2,000 (RM8,160) while second runner up, Gigz, freelance jobs placement service for university students, won US$1,000 (RM4,080).

In addition to cash prizes, the three teams will get another six months of mentorship from StartUp Malaysia to help them deliver on the plans presented during the programme.

Five other teams were given awards for various achievements including Most Improved, Best Potential and Social Impact. Each of these teams were given a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.
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