← Techstars Blog

BINTULU – July 21, 2019 –  It was a gathering of young minds and entrepreneurs when forty participants consist of programmers, working professionals and students from Universiti Putra Malaysia Kampus Bintulu (UPMKB) took part in the first ever Techstars Startup Weekend in Bintulu. The programme was jointly organized by The Founders Club, Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (TEGAS) and Page Productions.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour programme designed to provide experiential entrepreneurship education for students, professionals and entrepreneurs. Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, participants bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday, teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of judges.

“I am excited to be part of this programme as a mentor. It’s a good start for the Bintulu startup ecosystem. I believe Bintulu has the talent to produce high-growth startups that will contribute to the Sarawak digital economy,” said Lee Zhi Eng, Founder of Kloena Digital, a Bintulu-based startup and strategic partner of TEGAS.

On July 21, the teams pitched their final presentation and minimal viable product (MVP) before a panel of expert judges including Khairool Adzelan from SMA, Fakhzan Buang from UPMKB and Tan Yee Siang from Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC).

“It’s exciting to see the potential of our youths given the right platform and opportunity to express themselves. The Startup Weekend Bintulu is one such platform and provides the learning opportunity to structure their ideas into a potential entrepreneurship. We look forward to having more such programs and participations in the future. Big shoutout to The Founders Club for organizing the event.” said Khairool Adzelan, Ecosystem Strategist (Talents).

It was a team of students from UPMKB who won over the panel of judges with their innovative ideas and business solutions. They won 3-months access to SMA-TEGAS Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) and MaGIC Co-working Space @ Borneo 744 as well as opportunity to participate in their Pre-Accelerator programmes.

“This Startup Weekend Bintulu is a good platform to select qualified participants for our more advanced programmes run at our SMA-TEGAS Digital Innovation Hubs in Kuching, Bintulu and Miri, such as TEGAS Pre-Accelerator Bootcamp, TEGAS Startup Lab and Sarawak Shell Livewire” said YB Datu Haji Len Talif Salleh, Chairman of TEGAS

“The Sarawak government has put in place many facilities aimed at helping Sarawak entrepreneurs in its pursuit towards the digital economy goal. One of the reasons why we want Sarawakian entrepreneurs to find out the facilities made available for them is to enable them to explore the opportunities and have access to programmes slated for enhancing their skills and capabilities”, added Datu Len.

Techstars Started Weekend Bintulu was held at SMA-TEGAS Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) which is located at second floor, Naim Street Mall, Bintulu Paragon. Launched by The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak in February 2019, it serves as an inclusive platform to provide growth opportunities for early-stage startups and to build a strong startup community across Sarawak.

“On its own, it will be the focal point of entrepreneurial activity in Bintulu and as a prime component of the state’s ecosystem, DIH Bintulu managed by the capable hands of TEGAS team, will be supplying high-potential early-state startups that will graduate to the Digital Village in Samajaya and be the pride of Sarawak and the nation,” said Dr. Zaidi Razak, General Manager of SMA

Under Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2025 (Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Action 37), the Sarawak government through SMA would establish one innovation centre in each division and facilitate others (private sector, universities and communities).




TEGAS was established in 2012 as a Charitable Trust dedicated to promoting STEM, TVET and Entrepreneurship amongst Sarawakian youth. For more information about TEGAS, please visit www.tegas.org.my



Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) is a regulatory body established pursuant to Section 3 of Sarawak Multimedia Authority Ordinance 2017 with the primary objective to spearhead, oversee and facilitate the development and implementation of Sarawak’s Digital Economy Initiatives. For more information about SMA, please visit www.sma.gov.my



The Founders Club (TFC) is a community-driven startup based in Miri, Sarawak which aims to empower the 21st century youth and local communities at large with the entrepreneurship spirit by providing the right environment for them to develop as entrepreneurs. More than just a social business, they are a family with the will to bring change, to bridge the gap between ideas and reality while giving all the support a startup or an entrepreneur need.  For more information about TFC, please visit www.founders.my

Steven Wee