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Pitch perfect

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The inaugural season of Make The Pitch discovered business-savvy entrepreneurs with irresistible ideas

PITCHING sessions may seem like an everyday task for entrepreneurs to get funding for their business projects, with self-confidence being their No. 1 criterion to successfully sell their ideas.
For entrepreneurs who competed in ntv7’s recently concluded Make The Pitch, pitching sessions turned out to be battlegrounds and even the most assertive were stripped of their confidence. While not many managed to win the confidence of the panel of judges, who were also potential investors, three stood out from the rest and were crowned the winners of Make The Pitch season 1 on Jan 4.

Fadzli Anuar Shah, Jay Menon and Tan Aik Keong not only won the hearts of the investors from MyEG Services Berhad, Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, but also were awarded with RM1.4 million funding for their business ideas.

In the judging panel for the finale were T.S. Wong (managing director, MyEG), Datuk Norraesah Mohamad (executive chairman, MyEG), Datuk Badlisham Ghazali (CEO, MDeC) and Nazrin Hassan (CEO, Cradle Fund).
“We’re happy with the outcome. We look forward to helping the winners scale up their business to their full potential,” says Wong.

“To the contestants who did not receive funding, that doesn’t mean their business is not viable. With perseverance and determination, we’re sure they will achieve success.”
Though three entrepreneurs were crowned winners, Fadzli Shah Anuar was the biggest winner after being awarded with RM700,000 from MyEG and MDeC.
He says: “Going up against top entrepreneurs and a number of celebrities in this competition was a humbling experience. It’s already a blessing to come this far, so being given more than the funding we asked for was something unexpected.”

The 26-year-old MBA graduate in tech entrepreneurship from Masters London Business School started Voucheres Mobile with three others last May. His business idea allows consumers to get “crazy” deals from merchants the moment they step into the mall by downloading the app to their smartphones.

“With the funding, we hope to promote Voucheres Mobile in at least five countries. We are targeting at least 500 brands within two years.”
TV presenter and host Jay walked away with RM350,000 funding for her business idea, SCOXX, a web-based interactive social community network for sports enthusiasts in the country that connects and encourages people to engage more in sports, to expand their social circle and to live a healthier lifestyle.

As for Tan, 26, he took home RM350,000 funding for his business idea, MasaTu, a platform that enhances the social experience of users through real-life activities. Users can share and organise their every single moment (Masa) with their friends and family. The platform offers a brand new social experience to help users stay connected through past and future activities.
MasaTu is a project under Agmo Studio, which Tan started with two others in 2010.

“We’re taking advantage of the current rapid growth of the mobile platform and social networking. I think it’s key to capture the interest of the investors by pitching an idea that’s relevant to the current market,” says Tan.
Sponsored by MyEG, Make The Pitch provides a platform for entrepreneurs to present their business ideas and compete for a chance to secure funding from a panel of investors. Contestants not only need to present the most innovative business idea, but also be armed with wit and confidence while having the “perfect” business pitch to win the hearts of the investors.
This reality programme is open to individuals aged 18 and above, who have a registered company in their name. It is also open to registered societies, NGOs or associations, and the organisation must be represented by a person capable of creating change within his organisation.
The search for brilliant business ideas started last July with auditions held in Penang, Johor Baru and Kuala Lumpur. Thirty contestants were shortlisted from the audition sessions where they were grilled on their business ideas. They were then invited back for a recording session where they had to re-pitch their ideas to a panel of investors.
From the preliminary round, a few contestants were picked based on their ideas and pitches before moving on to the semifinal round. They were then offered seed money to complete a marketing task given by the investors to test the contestants’ abilities. Those successful would move on to the finals.

Make The Pitch season 2 is now open for application. Submissions can be done online at www.myeg.com.my/makethepitch.
Wong says: “Malaysians must evolve from being consumers of technology to creators of innovative global products to move our country up the value chain. 2012 is the National Year For Innovation and we believe Make The Pitch season 2 can be a catalyst to unearth more innovative products.”

The 12-episode season 1 was hosted by TV presenter and entrepreneur Nazril Idrus. For those who missed the show, catch it on TonTon at www.TonTon.com.my.

Winner Fadzli Shah Anuar (second front left) with his team mates (from left) Harris Rajudin, Syed Sofi and Arsyan Ismail


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