The first ever Startup Weekend arrives at Johor Bahru!


Over the weekend, we saw tremendous support and enthusiasm from the Johor Bahru community during Startup Weekend Johor Bahru.

The first ever Startup Weekend in Johor Bahru was held from 14th to 16th of November 2014 at MSC Cyberport, Johor Bahru. SWJB was organized as the kick start event for StartupJohor, a social enterprise envisioned to build the local startup community in Johor through creating meaningful startups and educational events as well as connecting technopreneurs around the southern region of Malaysia.

With an overwhelming attendance rate, participants ranging from students to working adults, 29 pitches were presented on the very first day. With the help from the mentors and facilitators, 16 prototypes were produced in the next 54 hours.

After a variety of ideas were pitched on the first day, a voting process on the popularity of the idea was held. The participants decided on which ideas they are interested to work on and formed teams, working on said idea for the weekend. Throughout SWJB, we had guest speakers and mentors guiding the participants on the different stages of starting up; from ideation, to market validation, design, creating prototypes and pitching.

On the final day, 16 pitches were presented in front of the panel of judges and the top 3 teams were awarded. The grand prize was awarded to Jomla! A mobile application that helps students find part time jobs within a few clicks.


Grand Prize Winner: Jomla!

HandyMate, a trade service booking platform that connects handymen and homeowners, came in as the first runner up and the second runner up went to RentAStay; a localized homestay listing and booking portal for Malaysians.


First Runner Up: HandyMate


Second Runner Up: Rent A Stay

What’s next for the winners? Jomla!, HandyMate and RentAStay will be incubated by MSC Cyberport for the next six months and will receive mentorship with different specialization in their journey of developing their project into a commercially viable product. They will also participate in Global Startup Battle 2014, the largest virtual startup battle, in the Champions track, representing Malaysia to compete regionally with the Startup Weekend winners in Asia Pacific. The top 2 regional winners will then compete globally.


“We’re going to bring our startup project into market in the coming 6 months. Meanwhile, we’re representing Malaysia to Global Startup Battle! We’ll be specially trained by entrepreneurs & mentors in the 6 months, and be ready to kickstart.”

– Zi Kang Tai, Jomla!.



Startup Weekend Johor Bahru was the result of months of preparation ever since the ideation of StartupJohor in July 2014. StartupJohor will continue holding events to create impact to the local startup community and will keep working to unleash the potential of Johoreans entrepreneurs.Global Startup Battle 2014 is also open for the teams that participated in SWJB in other tracks. The identified teams that have high potential in creating a commercially viable product will also be supported.


“#SWJB may be over, but the startup scene in JB has just started. We want to make JB a sexy place for startups where talents will come back”

– Feng Lim, organizer of SWJB. 


Want to be kept updated about the coming events? Follow StartupJohor at

Global Startup Battle is Back!

gsbbGlobal Startup Battle (GSB) returns for its fifth year this November as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week!

From November 14 – 24, 2014, entrepreneurial communities around the world are joining forces to create the largest startup competition in the world – Global Startup Battle. Last year there were 15,000 participants at 167 events across 40 countries and more than $500,000 in prizes.

What’s new for GSB this year?

All new regional battles, new cities and bootcamps! As always, there will also be big prizes, a global audience, themed battles, mentorship opportunities and more. Take a look at our event infographic from last year for a quick overview.

Why participate in GSB 2014?

  • Become a part of a global movement to strengthen entrepreneurship in communities around the world.

  • Join thousands of  entrepreneurs in over 100 countries to rally together in the name of innovation and community each year

  • Build relationships with mentors and high profile entrepreneurs

Interested in participating in a GSB event? Sign up for updates!

How do you participate in GSB 2014?

1. Sign up for Startup Weekend Johor Bahru happening 14th to 16th November 2014.

2. Come up with the best innovative and creative startup during SWJB and be one of the top teams during the event!

3. You will qualify to enter Global Startup Battle 2014!

The story behind GSB:

An initiative created by Startup Weekend, Global Startup Battle aims to generate a stronger global community of entrepreneurs through the largest startup competition in the world. During the weekend prior to and following Global Entrepreneurship Week, hundreds of Startup Weekend and other UP Global programs are hosted around the world and winning teams from each event move forward to compete with one another via a global video competition. Global Startup Battle enriches the global entrepreneurial community by creating a sense of inclusion between startup teams around the world.

Dear Students, why join Startup Weekend JB 2014?

10151776_10152177015459580_3028647831890664740_nGoing for a Startup Weekend is like a roller coaster. At first, you are unsure and doubting whether you should be joining this event or not. And after you have completed the whole three days event, you get off the roller coaster and line up to get back on again.

From my experience, as a student without prior preparation before my first Startup Weekend, I learned 3 things:

Number One: There is a bigger world outside your university life and you shouldn’t be afraid to explore it. Personally, I have always been contented with staying within my comfort zone and find it difficult to talk to people outside my social circle. I got too comfortable in my own environment that when I am thrown into the outside world, I will be petrified. Sure, I can make do with a nervous chuckle and an awkward, “Hello” but after a while, you’ll realize that you can’t carry a conversation. So, go out and explore, meet new people and talk to them. You will find that there are so many things out there for you to find out and learn.

Number Two: Mistakes will be made but that’s okay. In my first Startup Weekend, my team and I worked on an idea which ungracefully popped into my head in the same morning I met them. A little sidenote to make is that I look older than I actually am, so, my team indirectly elected me to take charge for the rest of the three days. Keep in mind that this was my first Startup Weekend and that I had no experience whatsoever beforehand, so, the terms minimum viable products, the lean startup model, market validation confused and seriously scared the crap out of me. Mistakes were made, our minimum viable product was a powerpoint presentation and I used the term, “Fremium model” without knowing what it actually meant.

But you know what, that’s okay. It is alright to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. Startup Weekend is a great place to learn because you are surrounded with not only students but also founders, co-founders, techies, designers and business developers who know their stuff. Being a student has its advantages because you are forgiven when you make mistakes. You won’t have this chance once you enter the working industry, so make mistakes while you still can.

Number Three: Don’t doubt, just do.Three days to work on a startup idea does not give you much time to daydream. That’s three days to cook up an idea, consider the business model, build a minimum viable product and practice your pitch. But one thing I did learn from this is that action speaks louder than words. Back in university, we’re bound by restrictions in terms of what to say and write during assignments and presentations that you will realize that nothing much actually gets done. During these three days, you will experience a whirlwind of events happening all at the same time and it challenges you on how you will deal with each of these issues at the same time. You will not have time to think about them, but you will have to solve them. Action speaks louder than words. You will learn how to walk the walk during these three days.

I hope that you are not intimidated by my experience but believe me when I say this. Startup Weekend changed my perspective on a lot of things that are happening around me. It is definitely a great opportunity that I highly encourage you, as a fellow student, to join because of the many things you can learn from which textbooks really cannot offer you.

Written by a fellow student,

Jiaway Koh