We were invited to the Malaysia Rice Bowl Conference & Award Ceremony this year in Kuala Lumpur.
ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards, or its short form Rice Bowl is the official Southeast Asia circuit for the Global Startup Awards. The Awards is divided into several rounds – nationals, regional and global.
Trivia: the reason behind the name Rice Bowl
Rice Bowl noun. an area (as Southeast Asia) in which abundant quantities of rice are grown (Oxford, Merriam Webster) Rice is the staple diet in Asia. It is also a symbol of wealth and resources throughout the region, making the rice bowl an enduring symbol of livelihood and sustenance. Apart from the official itinerary, we managed to meet new people and catch up with existing contacts within the Malaysia startup scene, including finalists and volunteers who became panelists or contributed directly to the event.
This year was the first year a conference session was added to the awards ceremony.
Panel Discussion 1: The Art of Startup Fundraising
The panel discussion "The Art of Startup Fundraising" consists of startup founders who have successfully navigated the peaks and troughs of raising funds, and they are now sharing the insights they have. Startup founders Nadhir from TheLorry, Jeevan from Zoom and Lennise from Dropee who shared about the various types of funding options they had used to grow their respective startups, and advice on how to entice investors, and how to maintain a relationship with your investors.
Panel Discussion 2: The Investor Perspective The Investor Perspective is a panel-session consist of representatives from VCs, angel investors, crowd-funding experts and funding agencies, this was an informative session divulging insights straight from the investors themselves, sharing what they look for in a prospective investment, how to best prepare for your pitches and what not to do when approaching investors.
Panel Discussion 3: Are Government Agencies the best enablers for successful Malaysian startups? Astro Awani's Kamarul Bahrin posed this question to a panel of agency leaders at the Malaysia Rice Bowl Conference. Joining the panel is an impressive line-up of MDeC CEO, Surina Shukri, MaGIC CEO Dzuleira Abu Bakar and SME Corp CEO, Azmi Said.
After the panel discussions, Malaysia’s up and coming singer-songwriter Amrita Soon was invited to perform a few numbers, some of which are her own compositions.
YB Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Minister of Ministry Entrepreneur Development (MED) was present as the guest of honour, and delivered an eloquent speech, where he was famously quoted, "Under the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 (DKN 2030), launched on July 11, 2019, we seek to foster a stronger entrepreneurship culture across all segments of Malaysian society. For the economy to grow, we must ensure the presence of more startups, capital, talent and markets."
The complete list of winners Malaysia leg is found here, congratulations to all winners!