SHAH ALAM: University students can show off their skills when they take part in the DiGi Telecommunications (DiGi) Challenge for Change competition this year.
The competition will focus on getting students to collaborate in the creation of social ventures for underserved communities using mobile and Internet solutions.
“This year’s competition is part of DiGi’s ambition to enable the Internet for all. We believe that connectivity can be a powerful catalyst to propel communities forward, enable socio-economic development and help local businesses grow,” said DiGi chief executive officer Henrik Clausen.
“With this competition, we are leveraging our core competencies to empower and nurture Malaysian youth to drive positive changes among the underserved,” he added.
DiGi’s Challenge for Change competition will see students working with local non-governmental organisation (NGOs) and communities to develop solutions using mobile and Internet technologies to address socio-economic or environmental issues.
DiGi hopes to get 15 to 20 universities to participate in the DiGi Challenge for Change. Last year, 15 universities participated in the competition. This is the third year DiGi has been running the competition.
The competition, which is open to all public and private universities, requires students to initiate ideas, develop a business prototype and to pitch for seed funding – all within a span of 48 hours at one of the six regional startup weekends.
The startup weekends will take start in the middle of next month. The six regional startups are held in Penang, Selangor, Pahang, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.
Two finalist teams will be chosen from each of these startup weekends by a panel of judges. A total of 12 finalists will be provided seed funding as well as access to DiGi and industry mentors, who will guide them in the development and implementation of their venture.
An overall winner will be selected based on team presentations and the feasibility of their startup idea in March 2012. More than RM200,000 worth of cash and experiential prizes (such as internships, study trips) are offered to participating and winning teams, DiGi said.
DiGi’s Challenge for Change is endorsed by the Information, Communications and Culture and Higher Education Ministries. The other partners for the competition include MSC Malaysia, ZTE Corporation and Jobstreet. It is also supported by GEW (Global Entrepreneurship Week), which is a global movement that aims to inspire entrepreneurship among the youth.