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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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/startupjohor/

Jiaway Koh