NEXT Academy, a Malaysia-based coding academy, has recently organised The NEXT Challenge (TNC 2016), an idea stage startup pitching event. The youngest pitcher of TNC 2016 bagged the grand prize worth RM10,600 (US$2,600) of NEXT Academy Scholarship Funds to learn programming.
TNC 2016 is a pitching platform for aspiring entrepreneurs with great ideas but lack the technical skills to start their tech-driven business. Twenty teams competed tooth-to-tooth to win NEXT Academy Scholarship Funds to join NEXT Academy’s coding programmes, so they can equip themselves with skills necessary to bring their ideas forward.
The “Shark Tank”-styled pitching competition aims to provide participants a taste of real-life pitching to investors. The judges are composed of seasoned entrepreneurs from startups who have been through the process of building a successful company. They are Josh Teng from NEXT Academy, Francesca Chia and Muaz Jema Khan from GoGet, Fong Wai Hong from StoreHub and Giden Lim from BloomThis.
More than a hundred ideas have been submitted, ranging from SASS and e-commerce to marketplace platforms. From this cluster, only 10 teams were chosen for the finals after two rounds of elimination. The 10 teams will need to convince the judges on their idea’s unique value proposition, market readiness and revenue model based on the problems and solutions they have proposed.
The top three winning ideas were 18-year-old Muhammad Adam’s SEED (a mobile assessment app for students to learn and for teachers to contribute), Ferhan Faidzan’s Skirrel (an insurance comparison platform to suit customers with different needs), and Sim Li Hong’s Store Fairy (a mobile app for trying out clothes via augmented reality).
“We’ve heard many feasible ideas which solve real world problems. Now it is all about taking it to the next level,” said Josh Teng, founder of NEXT Academy, in a press statement.
“The ideation stage is over, and the real work begins now,” he added.
One of Malaysia’s go-to coding schools, NEXT Academy currently offers two flagship programmes, web development bootcamp and iOS mobile development bootcamp.