HSBC Young IT Entrepreneur Awards (YITEA) 2004/2005

Posted by Administrator  |  Feb, 11 2017  (Last updated: Feb, 11 2017 11:25:12 PM)

Category: IT Awards, Entrepreneur Awards

NOT FIVE but six teams made it into Round 3, which is the final round of the HSBC Young It Entrepreneur Awards (YITEA) 2004/2005. So keen was the competition among the 26 teams in Round 2 that the panel of judges decided to let an extra team through. 

“At this stage of the competition, it is definitely tough shortlisting teams. Each team’s proposal has strong points. Some had really creative and innovative ideas but lacked commercial viability. There were however a few proposals that stood out in terms of the amount of thought and research that was put into them. 

“Although we were supposed to choose only five finalists, there were six proposals that were really close. We therefore decided to let six through as we really want to encourage these students to participate,” said chief judge Chu Hong Keong who is HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad’s chief information officer for Information Technology and E-business.  

The six teams that made it to the finals are (in no particular order): 

Dominions;  DTK; Mobility;  Radiant Biotech;  TNB Allied; and A-Team (see chart for full list) 

The other judges for Round 2 were Intelligent Capital Sdn Bhd principal Asgari Stephens, managing partner of iContent Group Gerry Pillai, and Symphony Global Technologies' Khairul Shahrin. 

Said Khairul, “It is really heartening to see the effort put in by the students as all had ideas with a lot of merit. We had to look at the proposals from various standpoints – technical, innovation and also commercial viability. 

“It was not easy choosing the six teams ? there was quite a bit of debate, discussion and dissension between us.” 

YITEA was introduced in Malaysia four years ago, one year after it was incepted in Hong Kong. The aim of the awards initiative is to nurture young entrepreneurs and to equip them with the skills they would require in the workforce. 

The competition is divided into three stages. In the first round, teams had to submit a brief proposal outlining their idea on official entry forms obtained from the bank’s website. Proposals are judged on three criteria – creativity, adaptation of IT as well as commercial viability and potential. This year, there were about 150 entries, of which 26 were selected for the second round of the competition in which teams had to submit a 10-page business plan. To help them, contestants were invited to a workshop on how to write a proper business proposal.  

The business plans were judged on creativity, commercial viability and potential and application of IT knowledge and skills.  

The six teams chosen for the third round will be invited to attend a presentation skills workshop where they will pick up very important tips on how to present their ideas to a panel of investors. This workshop is crucial as it will prepare teams for the final challenge of the competition – selling their business plan to the panel of judges in March. 

At this stage, judging will be based on innovation and creative thinking (40%), commercial viability and potential (40%), application of IT knowledge and skills (10%) as well as communication skills (10%). 

Although impressed with the standard of the entries, the judges had a few words of advice for the teams. 

“Language plays a very important role even in an IT and Entrepreneurship competition such as this. Readability is important and you need to make sure you can communicate your ideas to your audience. It is also better to keep it short and to the point. Some of the proposals had a lot of unnecessary text and lacked what was essential information such as the citation of sources used for reference and research,” said judge Pillai. 

Added Asgari, “Yes, language is definitely important. I remember at my first job, my boss rejected my proposal seven times because of language.” 

Apart from the six teams, five teams received merit awards for their effort and RM800 per team. The merit award winners are:  

I-TeenS;  Tech.Monsters; Clueless;  M1; and  L.M.C (see chart for full list). 

To the teams that did not make it to the finals, the judges not only extended their congratulations for “a job well done” but also encouragement to keep on trying. 

Said Chu, “There are really no losers. Any team that made it this far has to be congratulated. What is also important is the training and exposure the teams got from this whole experience such as attending the business plan workshop.  

“I can already see improvements in their ideas when I compare their initial proposals sent in for Round One and the more detailed plan sent in for Round Two. This is important as it shows they have learnt something. 

“I believe that this competition has succeeded in planting the seed (of innovation and entrepreneurship) and I am quite happy with the results,” said Chu. 

The climax of the YITEA 2004/2005 is the final round where teams will have to presenting their business plan in front of a “panel of investors” that is a panel of six judges led by HSBC Bank Malaysia’s executive director and deputy chief executive officer John Coverdale. 

To be held on March 28, this is the make or break time for the teams as the panel will select the Gold, Silver and Bronze Award winner.  

The winning team will take home RM10,000, compete in the first ever regional competition in Hong Kong and go on a winners’ tour of Seattle in the United States.  

Winners of the silver and bronze awards will take home RM7,000 and RM3,000 respectively, plus the opportunity to witness the regional competition in Hong Kong.