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The Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) has kicked-off the application drive for the YSEALI Generation: Startup Weekend, as part of its youth engagement program facilitated by the US Embassy in Malaysia.

YSEALI Generation Startup Weekend (Startup Weekend ASEAN) is an initiative to bring together groups of young entrepreneurs from ten ASEAN countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei and Philippines) to ideate, create and develop products and solutions that has the potential to grow and impact the ASEAN Community. The program is held in partnership with the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), the agency mandated with building the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Malaysia and Techstars, a global network of leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities.

The program is open to ASEAN citizens between the ages of 18 and 30. Ideal participants are university students or young professionals who have already started or plan to start a business, or who work in small entrepreneurial enterprises. The call for applications is now open and will close on 3rd of July 2015.

110 shortlisted participants from the ten ASEAN countries will be invited to a 3-day bootcamp in the MaGIC Campus in Cyberjaya, Malaysia from 4th – 6th August 2015.

In the 54-hour bootcamp, the teams will be involved in pitching ideas and solution for a common theme that has relevance across the ASEAN community such as healthcare, environmental issues, traffic management, government, and agriculture. With the guidance of onsite facilitators and mentors from Startup Weekend the teams will develop and program applications that address the chosen theme/cause.  On the final day of the bootcamp, each team will pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs and mentors.

Cheryl Yeoh, CEO of MaGIC iterates that, “Inculcating creative thinking and inspiring young entrepreneurs is at the core of what we do here at MaGIC. YSEALI Generation: Startup Weekend is a great platform to promote entrepreneurship and crosscountry youth collaboration around building viable solutions to tackle many of the regional issues. With Malaysia chairing ASEAN this year, and MaGIC’s focus on ASEAN entrepreneurship initiatives, we are greatly aligned in our support of this program.”

Danielle Reyes, Director of Global Expansion of Techstars also states, “Over the years, we’ve seen talent from around the globe surface and excel, setting the new standard for the next generations. Bringing together the regions innovators in ASEAN will no doubt bring great value in tackling the challenges in the region, and it will also forge valuable relationships, creating a stronger sense of community and strengthening the ecosystem as a whole. Any idea kept in the shadows is an opportunity lost and each idea has potential to change the world we live in. We’re excited to see what comes next for YSEALI entrepreneurs!”

The top team from the YSEALI Generation: Startup Weekend will win a trip to the United States to meet U.S. entrepreneurs, businesses and technology incubators, and key companies as well as the opportunity to participate in the MaGIC-Stanford G2Market program (a one week program for early stage entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize their ideas). The second and third place teams will win seed money which will be donated by private sector partners. All participating team will receive long-term mentoring and coaching that will extend beyond the program.

For more information on the YSEALI Generation: Startup Weekend, please visit yseali.state.gov.


Sara Sonnen Sara Sonnen
Sara is the Email Marketing Manager at Techstars. Previously, Sara was the Email Marketing Manager at UPGlobal before Techstars acquired the company in 2015. Sara graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism and Business Administration from Washington State University.