Budding Entrepreneurs Shine At The Business Plan Challenge

Entrepreneurial spirit thrives in many of the business students at Taylor’s Business School, bringing out strong personality characteristics such as persistent, socially engaging, creative, uncompromising and the ability to withstand adversity. The Business Plan Challenge Finals held on May 10, 2013 saw five teams – Team Educaid, Team MrWebStudio.com, Team Fundlic, Team TNA News Hub and Team I-Deals compete for the winning prize.

Taylor’s Business Plan Challenge was kick started with a participation of 25 teams from different schools, in addition to students from Taylor’s Business School. Out of the top five teams competing in the finals, four of the teams are from other schools such as Taylor’s University School of Engineering, Taylor’s University School of Computing and IT and Taylor’s College.

The Business Plan Challenge was designed to stimulate innovation and creativity, moulding and developing students to become future successful entrepreneurs. With the competition devoted only to Taylor’s students, the business plan competition provides a safe space for aspiring young entrepreneurs to learn and compete. The teams were required to go through a series of workshops before qualifying to the finals. These workshops were aimed at training students to pitch effective business plans, enhance their market research and resource management skills while honing their critical, analytical and problem solving skills.

Walking away with the winning prize of RM 6,000 worth of Entrepreneur Development Programme and Business Consultation by CEDAR, SME Bank while captivating the panel of judges with their winning presentation was Team Educaid comprising of engineering students; Yap Wai Kit, Christopher Chew Mun Kit, Song Cher Pin and Ooi Ferng Lin with their presentation on incorporating Taylor’s Foundation in Engineering modules into the iBook. These modules can be updated with latest information such as case studies, videos and any other material from the internet which will make students learning more industry relevant.

Emerging as Runner-up was Team I-Deals consisting of computer students Yau Chun Wei and Chan Jun Hou with their prize of RM 4000 worth of Entrepreneur Development Programme and Business Consultation by CEDAR, SME Bank. Team I-Deals presented their business plan on a mobile application that promotes the products and services of small business enterprises to its users.

“Our team is glad to have won this Business Plan Challenge and confident to market this plan further to potential investors. This competition provided an opportunity for us to learn something new beyond what we have studied in engineering and helped us market our creation to actual industry professionals who may have an interest in buying our products and expertise while opening doors to a promising career,” exclaimed Ooi Ferng Lin from Team Educaid and final year Engineering student currently pursuing Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Chemical Engineering at Taylor’s University.

“In usual competitions, we understand what is required and ensure we comply with the criterias given, relying solely on what we know and gather for the competition. However, there were workshops conducted prior to the Business Plan Challenge which helped us improve our presentation, analytical and creative skills. A crash course on finance was also conducted in order for us to manage the financial aspect of our presentation which was something new we learned and essential for the competition,” said Yau Chun Wei from Team I-Deals and final year student pursuing the Bachelor of Computer Science at Taylor’s University.

The Business Plan Challenge which was organised by Bizpod of Taylor’s Business School, had a compelling line up of judges from the industry namely Sheila Shanmugam, Director, GroupM Sdn.Bhd, Mr. Terence Dorairaj, Director of Sales, Star Group, Pandian Vijaya Rengam, Entrepreneur, Husain Dawoed, Vice President and Head of Training and Consultancy – CEDAR (Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research), Aliman Ali, Assistant Vice President – Priority Banking, SME Bank, Muhundhan Kamarapullai, Head, Incubation & Entrepreneurship from Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), Geoff Foote, Managing Director, Biomedical Strategy Consultants, Andrew Wong, Chief Executive Officer from MAD Incubator, Benjamin Levy, Partner, Bootstraplabs Silicon Valley and Christoffer Erichsen, Chief Executive Officer, Scope Group.

“We all know that it is not easy to start up a business. That is why Taylor’s Business School, through its BizPod, aims to provide aspiring entrepreneurs at Taylor’s University the right skills, knowledge and guidance to enable you to embark on this journey,” enthused Vinitha Guptan, Dean, Taylor’s Business School.

She further added that winners of the business plan challenge will have a chance to be mentored by CEDAR, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SME Bank; and the experts from BizPod. The invaluable mentoring will guide the teams to where they can find their first venture capital and how to sustain their business in the current digital age.

With the Taylor’s Graduate Capabilities embedded in the modules taught, Taylor’s Business School consistently seeks to enhance its modules to be industry relevant and provides opportunities for students to master their knowledge and skill sets. The Business Plan Challenge is one of the many avenues for students of Taylor’s University to showcase their entrepreneurship with the aim to become successful entrepreneurs in future.

Bizpod serves as an idea bank that provides specialised training modules and receives monetary support from corporate organisations, which are channeled to fund the business plans. Encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit, the Bizpod allows students to be mentored by business academics with the help of industry experts in developing their business plans to succession. The Bizpod organises several activities under its banner such as workshops and tea talks by inviting renowned and established speakers from the industry to reach out to the students.