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



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



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

Companies That Started Because of Startup Weekend in Sarawak

Startup Weekend is a platform for people who have great interests in wanting to create their own company from ground-up. In Startup Weekend’s website, it claims in just 54 hours, you will experience the “highs and lows” and “fun and pressure that make up life at a startup”. At Startup Weekends, you will get to learn how to create a real company and meet some of the best mentors, investors, cofounders, and sponsors who are willing to help you start your business.


Image via Startup Wekend

To put it simply, once you signed up with Startup Weekend, you will attend its event over the course of a weekend. In Startup Weekend’s words – learning how to put your business ideas to formality. On top of having your company ideas formed and what not, you will also meet mentors, investors, co-founders, etc. All over the course of a weekend startup event.


Here are 10 successful companies that started from Startup Weekends.

1) The Founders Club 



The Founders Club is an entrepreneurship club that was founded in early 2018 by a couple of passionate students. Our main goal is to empower the Malaysia community with entrepreneurial skill sets.




Started by a group of students, this brand wants to spread the awareness of gender inequality through arts and design.

They created a clothing brand that symbolize unity of human kind,  clothes that are genderless and is only seperated by cutting of the shirt.

3) FunnelBear

They are a digital marketing agency that aims to help your business connect, strengthen, and solidify your relationship with your customers. Funnelbear differ from your traditional marketing agencies as we are driven on results based marketing in the digital realm.

” Marketing and ROI (Return On Investment) measurability is how we aim to alleviate your problems and elevate your business and brand. We strive to achieve this by taking care of your marketing strategy, web experience, lead generation tactics, and even your brand’s perception.”

4) Uncle Green

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Uncle Green is a start-up that specializes in growing vegetables via hydroponics without the use of pesticides.

“We want to change the world by growing healthier vegetables. The vegetables that we normally eat are grown with the usage of pesticides and we cannot determine the residue levels. This is especially serious these days with the development of stronger chemicals to counter pests which has grown resistant to old pesticides. By taking in these vegetables in the long-term, it will be too late when we start feeling the side-effects.

Therefore, Uncle Green is a brand which grows non-pesticide vegetables such as lettuces, sawi, pakchoy and many more. We want to promote a healthier lifestyle for everybody. Support and tag along our journey by following our Facebook page for constant updates.”

5) HoriznMedia

HoriznMedia is a digital marketing agency that focuses on growing startups digitally. they are building a digital community of digital talent across Sarawak.


When isit your turn?

To those who wants to start up,

Your business is like your baby👶 it keeps growing and with the growth comes yet another investment and the changes, some you would appreciate and others you won’t!

Register now at:


Startup Weekend Bintulu | All You Need To Know

Ever heard of Startup Weekend? If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, chances are you’ll have come across this term before.

And if you haven’t heard of it but are keen on starting your entrepreneurship journey in sarawak, we’ve got the answer for you.

What IS Startup Weekend?


startup weekend logo

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Startup Weekend is an event that focuses on the ideation and execution of an early startup. This event is typically held within a 54-hour window over the weekend, hence the name. Startup Weekend encourages groups of individuals with differing backgrounds to brainstorm ideas. These ideas are then discussed and worked on in the hopes of coming up with prototypes by the end of the weekend. Moreover, the event is a huge hit among working professionals such as developersbusiness managersstartup enthusiasts, etc. 

Now that we’ve got our textbook definition out of the way, we can move on to the “meat” of our article.

Let’s say you’re interested in joining a Startup Weekend event. You’ve scouted the closest venues and you’ve made your choice on which to attend. What now? Well, there are a number of important things to remember before the big weekend arrives.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on about our walkthrough of a typical Startup Weekend.


Startup Weekend Meet Up/Team Up


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The first day of Startup Weekend happens on Friday evenings. This is where you’ll first meet your potential teammates and fellow startup connoisseurs.


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The event starts with dinner (every great event starts with good food!) to get the participants settled down. The facilitator will kick things off and give a bit of an idea of what to expect for the weekend. But this is only the appetizer, the real fun starts now!


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Got an idea? You’ll be given one minute to pitch your idea in front of the group. Our advice is to not get flustered or shy when it comes to pitching your ideas. After all, this is just an informal idea pitch, no presentations or props required. If you don’t have an idea, not to worry! You can still contribute your skills to worthy ideas!

After all the pitches are concluded, voting begins. Participants vote to determine which business ideas will be developed over the weekend. And those who were not apart of the idea pitching phase may join other teams.

Worried that you won’t fit in? Fret not, you’ll be given the choice to work on ideas you deem worthy. That way, the entire team will come together organically under a common goal. We’d say that this will make the process go a lot smoother!


Working @ Startup Weekend


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On Saturday, participants will work around their ideas to come up with viable business models. Some may even go out into the community to interact with potential customers, sort of conducting a preliminary market research. This allows them to find out if their ideas are useful to the community. And if not, they’ll get a chance to figure out what can they do to change that.


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The best thing is, you’ll get advice straight from experienced coaches. The advice imparted by the coaches is indeed a valuable experience in itself. The coaches and local mentors are normally entrepreneursinvestorsdesignersdevelopers, digital marketers and so on. Basically, people who have already gone through these processes many times.

Once you’re done for the day, sit back and relax. You’ll need all the creative juices you can muster for the final day of your Startup Weekend!


The Final Day of Startup Weekend


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Practice, refine, and pitch. Teams will continue their quest to work on their ideas on Sunday. Meetings with coaches are expected. And refining business models and incorporating final insights will be necessary. Teams will also develop their revenue models and cost structures on the final day. On top of this, teams will also need to prepare their final presentations with the pitch coaches before night comes.


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What happens on Sunday night? The culmination of all your efforts throughout the weekend. The final stretch before the finishing line so to speak.


startup weekend judging

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Each team will deliver a four to five-minute presentation to a panel of judges in the style of an investor pitch. Also, do expect a short Q&A session after each presentation. So don’t be afraid to ask/answer questions!


startup weekend prize


After all the teams are done, the judges will make their final decision. The winners of Startup Weekend will receive various prizes for their efforts.


startup weekend sarawak

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What’s next after this? Celebrate! Your hard work has finally come to fruition. Oh, and remember to also take advantage of the opportunity to mingle around with your peers and mentorsNetworking is a very important part of startup culture!


And there you have it, the end of Startup Weekend.

Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, we’d highly recommend that you take part in Startup Weekend if you can. And don’t worry about awkward social interactions. You’ll definitely fit right in if you’re motivated to build a startup or are open to new ideas.

More information on Startup Weekend can be found here.


Bringing a Focus to the Bintulu Startup Community

We are here Bintulu!

How long have you been a student of entrepreneurship?

Tired of watching motivational videos without any actions to back up so many knowledge you have learnt?

If you are waiting for the “If Only” moment to come by to help you, this is the chance!

The Founders Club was a product of startup weekend and has seen many startups grown out of startup weekend in Sarawak!

What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.

‘Startup Weekend is a powerful way to turn tech dreams into reality over the course of just a few days.’

Get more info here 

What to expect in Startup weekend Bintulu?

Throughout the event, participants are able to create working startups by collaborating with like-minded individualsoutside of their daily networks.

All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs. The weekend focuses on action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on an idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekend is the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

You get to launch successful startups!


Participants are given an opportunity to launch successful startups by means of pitching ideas for new startup companies and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas by popular vote and embark on a 3-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.

You put your talents to work and develop a functional prototype, team, and brand for execution in the real world. Finally, the weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders where you put final touches on your presentation and state your case to the judges. They will give valuable advice and critical feedback and turn your startup idea into a success story.


You get to learn essential entrepreneurial skills!


Speaking coach

Image via The Founders Club Facebook

Startup Weekend features workshops that are based on the elements within the event hackathon itself. The topics covered in the workshop usually include the following:

Business Model Canvas (BMC) – BMC is a tool that people can use to help bring clarity to “How will we make money?” Ideas are fun to talk about, but even the best ideas will fail if they are not sustainable businesses. You will be going over how can startups best use BMC and learn what each part covers.

Ideation & Market Validation – Why is validation important to you? This workshop will help you quickly tackle a startup idea from the “hope” stage through ideation and market validation. You will be using customer development approaches by Steve Blank to talk about validation.

Effective Pitching – “Investors don’t invest in business. They invest in stories about business”. The act of convincing others to do something with your ideas is called ‘pitch’. Learn how to convince others that your idea is amazing.

Design Thinking – It’s a mindset of combining creative and analytical thinking and applying it toward solving a specific problem. Therefore, design thinking will involve your team to continually challenge yourself to be creative and innovative.

Ultimately, plenty of opportunities are available to refine your skill set by learning and growing through real world experience and problem solving. You’ll be inspired by great ideas around you and learn what it takes to create a successful business from the ground up.


In a nutshell…


Startup Weekend Miri 2018 Group Photo

Image via The Founders Club Facebook


Startup Weekend is a collaborative forum for sharing, learning, building, as well as having fun. As such, by registering as a participant, you acknowledge that any ideas by you or anyone else over the course of the event are contributions to the overall experience and community.


Come together to do amazing things if you like to share ideas, form teams, build demos and launch your startup! All ideas, applications and platforms are welcome – remember that the sky is the limit! Let’s learn, network, and join us for an unforgettable weekend in Startup Weekend Miri 2019! See you there!