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Five win scholarships to the US


ENTREPRENEURS: They will attend acceleration camp in Silicon Valley

KUALA LUMPUR: FIVE Malaysians who took part in the "Pitch Your Way to Silicon Valley" contest,  have won scholarships to attend a month-long acceleration camp, YouNoodle, at the IT hub in the United States.

The local start-up entrepreneurs were shortlisted candidates from last October's Silicon Valley Comes to Malaysia (SVC2M) symposium who went head-to-head to pitch their way to Silicon Valley in five minutes.

The competition was organised at the StartupMalaysia and Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Boot Camp.

First-prize winner, Ai Ching Goh, who founded Piktochart, will get the chance to network with venture capitalists and showcase ideas which can propel her business forward.

Piktochart, is a web application which helps non-designers create exciting infographics (one page posters) out of their information.

The other four winners were Bryan Gan, who founded "OctoApp", Melvin Wong for "FanXT", Fadzli Anuar who is the main entrepreneur for "Voucherers", and James Khoo for "SecQme".

StartupMalaysia founder Dash Dhakshinamoorthy said yesterday he wanted the winners to come back from their trip and make Malaysia proud.

"I'd like to see them embracing entrepreneurship here and practicing whatever they've learned from Silicon Valley," he said.

If the startups become successful, the winners could expand their market or even sell off their products to interested investors.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, who chaired the event at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, urged university students to pursue their entrepreneurship ideas.

"You can't wait for opportunities to come to you, you have to go out and search for them," he said.

The YouNoodle Basecamp will be held from July 2-28.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (second from left) with the “Pitch Your Way to Silicon Valley” contest winners Melvin Wong (third from left), Ai Ching Goh (fourth from left), Bryan Gan (centre), Fadzli Anuar (fourth from right) and James Khoo (third from right), and StartupMalaysia founder Dash Dhakshinamoorthy (right). Pic by Mustaffa Kamal

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