The inaugural ColossusINNO2017 competition was recently launched by the Global Entrepreneurship Movement (GEM), to recognise entrepreneurs with world class innovations that will help transform ASEAN’s socio-economic community. The GEM management committee for the competition expects to receive over 1,000 submissions from entrepreneurs across the world, where a cash prize of US$100,000 will be awarded to the winner.
GEM is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation developed by Tan Sri Dr. Mohd. Irwan Serigar, also the Secretary-General of Treasury, Ministry of Finance, Malaysia, to democratise entrepreneurship – to create zero barriers for aspiring entrepreneurs to spur new enterprises, to be easily educated in the field of entrepreneurship and to connect the Malaysian and the ASEAN entrepreneurship ecosystem to other global ecosystems.
A collaborative effort by GEM and its partners – Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), under the programme of Startup and SME Promotion Year 2017 (SSPY), ColossusINNO2017 was incepted to inspire breakthrough thinking among entrepreneurs to develop the next big innovative solutions that help address the market gaps in ASEAN, which in turn will propel ASEAN nations closer towards first world status – such as innovation in the areas of governance, poverty eradication, education, health, environment and cleanliness.
Tan Sri Irwan commented, “It is a known fact that there is no lack of innovation in the ASEAN region, as the entrepreneurial ecosystem has evolved tremendously over the years. What we need now is greater confidence amongst our entrepreneurs to think big, take on bigger challenges and direct their imagination on innovating in ASIA for ASIA. Thus, the creation of ColossusINNO2017 – as the name suggests, we want the ideas to be ‘born global.”
President of GEM, Dash Dhakshinamoorthy also shared his enthusiasm for ColossusINNO2017 and commented, “We are positive that a global competition of this scale and stature will attract the support from top notch ecosystem players – such as accelerators and early stage funders. And with its global support network, GEM aims to attract regional and global startups to launch their ventures in Malaysia through ColossusINNO2017, in hopes of garnering more interest from the international funding community and support network.”
ColossusINNO2017 is working closely with a Silicon-Valley-based competition platform, You Noodle, to be its competition engine and call for submissions, shortlist and select winners. The platform will also engage a panel of international judges to make the selection independent and to ensure that the winners meet the global standards in terms of knowledge, solution to problems and other requirements of a scalable startup.
The panel of judges are Director of Global Education at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., Sam Potolicchio, Advisor to the Vice President for the MENA Region at World Bank in Washington D.C., Olivier Lavinal, and Director and Leader of Digital Transformation at Cisco in India, Lux Rao.
Submissions for ColossusINNO2017 will be opened to challengers from across the world from June 21 to end of October, followed by the announcement of the top ten finalists in November. These finalists will be invited to present their winning stories to ASEAN and global entrepreneurs, policymakers, industry leaders, investors and other startup community participants at the Global Entrepreneurship Community 2017 (GECommunity 2017).
The winner of ColossusINNO2017 will be announced at the GECommunity 2017 on December 5 and 6 2017. Apart from being awarded with a cash prize of USD 100,000, the winner will also be exposed to a variety of mentorship, resources and skills to aid the growth of the idea, amongst which collaboration with the local government and corporations will be made possible in aiding a stronger market entry.
Also present during the launch were the GEM Champions and GEM City-Chapters, consisting of ecosystem builders that have direct access to many local communities of entrepreneurs, are actively championing GEM’s programmes and objectives. These GEM advocates are from various cities including Bangladesh, Bangalore, New Delhi, Guangzhou, Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, and Phnom Penh.