Kuala Lumpur, 27 November 2010 - UCSI University’s BizPlan Competition concluded today, with the service category first prize going to Be Leaf, comprising of Tan Lea Ngar, Lye Phui Yan and Tan Huey Ghee who had developed an Aquaculture Hatchery System, while the product category first prize was won by the Transformer team comprising of Foo Dun Fei, Ng Shing Leng and Charles Teh, who had developed a product that could harvest touch energy in mobile phones. Both winning teams brought home a cash prize of RM500, with the chance to win the RM50,000 research seed fund from the University’s Centre of Excellence for Research, Value Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CERVIE). 

To add another feather to their cap, the Transformer team from the Faculty of Management and Information Technology for the product category has also qualified for the MDeC IHL Business Plan Competition (MIBPC) on the 15th of December where winners can win up to RM10,000 prize money and also stand a chance to apply a grant from MDeC to start their projects. 

The service category first runner up was won by D’Amore, comprising Food Science and Nutrition student, Yau Le Si, who was guided by her lecturer, Mr. Kong Chee Leong. Yau had developed a natural beauty lotion created from natural industrial wastes, such as coconut, avocado peel and seeds. First runner up for the product category was won by Varinderjit, made up of Ngan Kok Yew, Sajid Ahmed and Varinderjit Singh who had developed the healthy food kiosk that provides fast, affordable and fresh takeaway foods. First runner ups took home a cash prize of RM300. 

The seven finalists were judged by both internal and external judges. To better gauge the commercial viability and quality of each presentation and proposal, the external judges were from various industries. Mr. Mohan K., the Director of Adastra Intellectual Property Sdn. Bhd. was the chief judge for the service category, while other judges were made up of Edward Ng, CEO for Cemporium Sdn. Bhd., Gerald Fernandez, General Manger of CPA Australia, Noor Azman Merican, General Manager of the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), and Mohd Irman Hj. Mohd Din, Senior Executive for Bank Negara Malaysia. UCSI University’s Vice Chancellor, Dr. Robert Bong was also among the team of judges. 

According to Mohan K., all the proposals were very well-written, and the judges had a tough time deciding on the winner, since most of the presentations were commercially viable. “Many of the ideas were ready for implementation, and were really innovative ideas. I truly believe that with a little more effort, all of the proposals we’ve seen today could be commercialized.” 

Since being involved in the competition two months ago, the students have had to juggle their normal classroom schedules while developing the prototypes, and conducting research on their respective projects. For most of the participants, developing the business aspects for their projects was a totally new experience. 

According to Applied Sciences student, Tan, learning how to market and brand their product was important. “Many science students specifically, do not realize that the business aspects of the product are equally important as the research that it entailed. It is absolutely necessary and vital to ensure that well-researched products can be sold to the masses.” Her teammate, Lye concurs, and adds that the workshops they had attended before the finals were very informative, and guided them well in developing their proposals and presentations. 

Dr. Bong, the varsity’s Vice Chancellor lauded all the teams who had made it to the finals. “All of the proposals given were very well-written and were comprehensive as well as credible. In fact, all of them were of the same standards.” He added that the judges had to deliberate for some time to place each team, as the differences between each team were minimal. “What set the winners apart was that their research was proven in concept.”

Due to the success of this year’s event, the UCSIU BizPlan Competition will become an annual event at UCSI University, to enable other students next year the opportunity to submit their business proposals. Dr. Bong hopes that students would be quick to realize the potentials to be gained from joining such a prestigious competition. “The University will be helping them commercialize their venture, and aside from the monetary aspects, the more important thing is that students will know how to run their own businesses, making them true entrepreneurs.”