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Two months after the Malaysian Rice Bowl Awards 2017 transpired, the official South Asian circuit for the Global Startup Awards, ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2017 took place at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Ballroom on 13th December 2017.

Chairman of the ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards, Lilyana Latiff, opened with a speech to thank all members of the panel that contributed their hard work to make the event happen and acknowledge all the startups that were present.

“The competition has been intense, with startups from sectors such as e-commerce, fin-tech, bio-tech, medical & health tech, social impact, and smart city solutions—all vying for the top prizes.”

She added that the traction they had garnered had grown from 3 years ago. In the previous years, there were no nominations from Brunei, Laos, or Cambodia.

Today, all three countries celebrate their own national-level Rice Bowl Startup Awards, with Cambodia and Brunei bringing home an award of their own that night.

So here are the winners of ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2017, according to category:

Best Social Impact Startup: MallSampah (Indonesia)

MallSampah’s founder on the right: Adi Saifullah Putra / Image Credit: MallSampah

The founder Adi Putra was overcome with emotion as he headed to the stage to receive his award.

MallSampah is an online waste management service that connects the community with nearby garbage collectors or scavengers.

Their vision is the create a greener world through the recycling and re-selling of trash, as well as creating a platform for people to sell their recycled goods or handcrafted eco-friendly products online.

Best Smart City Solution: Grab (Singapore)

To change the way cities operate and the way we live with new service applications to enter the industry, Grab unsurprisingly won.

An on-demand ride-hailing service, Grab has expanded to eight countries and has proven to solve several transportation issues in the region with the numerous awards they won last year.

Best E-commerce / Supply Chain Startup: Eatigo (Singapore)

Eatigo is an online food reservation portal where users can enjoy real-time restaurant deals up to 50% at off-peak hours.

You can pick your favorite restaurant, choose your preferred time and discount, and wait for your confirmation via sms or email.

Best Healthy Lifestyle Tech Startup: Honestbee (Thailand)

Honestbee team in Singapore / Image Credit: Honestbee

Honestbee is an online delivery service for groceries, food, and parcels. Currently they have expanded into laundry, health and auto as well. They’re active in Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Manila.

Best Life Sciences / MedTech Startup: CLAS Healthcare (Vietnam)

CLAS Healthcare focuses on the delivery of primary care from family doctors by providing integrated patient management services.

The services they deliver include Electronic Medical Records, Hospitals’ Enterprise Resource Planning and Health Dashboards to function as statistical software for health service providers.

They aim to combine doctors, healthcare IT experts, and developers to work together to push for a digital transformation of the healthcare system.

Best FinTech Startup: Qwikwire Billing Systems (Philippines)

Qwikwire is a cross-border billing and invoicing platform for enterprises to collect payment from anywhere in the world online.

Born from Philippines, Qwikwire can help companies manage their transactions, understand their metrics, and secure their payments with a few key features.

Send bills and invoices through email, collect payments from a gateway of your choice, and keep track of your metrics real-time by customising your own dashboard to manage all your payments in one central location.

Best DeepTech / AI / Big Data Startup: Glueck Technology (Malaysia)

Malaysia pocketed its first win from Glueck Technologies, a team of passionate people driven to bring businesses and innovative emotion analysis together.

Glueck CEO Albert Alexander delivering a pitch. / Image Credit: Glueck Technology

They develop artificial intelligence with deep machine learning algorithms that measures customers’ interests and their responses to stimuli in real-time environments.

This enables businesses to understand their customers’ desires and emotions better so that they can mould and broadcast the right message to them.

People’s Choice: Zoom (Malaysia)

Having won Startup of the Year at the nationals, Zoom bagged another major win at the ASEAN regionals.

Zoom connects online shoppers, retailers, businesses and consumers to on-demand delivery in real-time. Using an algorithm to ensure the delivery to the nearest Zoomer, this optimises the fastest route for the product.

Best Accelerator Program: MaGIC (Malaysia)

MaGIC‘s global accelerator program accelerates 80 startups to be investment-ready in a period of 4 months.

They also have held several workshops and events that have helped connect aspiring entreprenuers to investors and panel-sharing sessions to build the spirit of entrepreneurship in Malaysia.

Best Co-working Space: Hubud (Indonesia)

Hubud is Bali’s first collaborative workspace set in a outdoor village in a cosy and casual environment.

It is home to a diverse community of local and visiting creatives; where entrepreneurs, artists, designers, and tourists connect and collaborate.

They also have programs for startups to hone their teamwork or individual workshops for personal development, purpose alignment and more.

Best Newcomer: BuildEasy (Malaysia)

“Newcomers are always the ones that need funding the most and have to work the hardest to get it,” said Kim Balle, CEO of the Global Startup Awards.

“That’s why this team really deserves it!”

BuildEasy connects interior designers to consumers and provides virtual reality showrooms to revolutionize the way properties are marketed worldwide.

Founder of the Year: Sopheakmonkol Sok – SokhaKrom (Cambodia)

Sok on the right.

From Cambodia, Sopheakmonkol Sok is the co-founder of Codingate that developed SokhaKrom, an all-in-one participatory healthcare platform.

Special Recognition: Agrome IQ International (Brunei)

The Special Recognition award went to Agrome IQ from Brunei.

An agriculture business intelligence platform that supports decision-making for farmers, they aim to create customised solutions for faring as well as help farmers run their farms efficiently.

Chairman Lilyana Latiff praised them for their efforts and added that she hoped to see more startups in agriculture establishing soon.

“In Southeast Asia, we have a rich agriculture industry but lack the resources for its advancement. So, I hope to see more startups in the future that will address this.”

Startup of the Year: Zoom (Malaysia)

ZOOM celebrating their win.

The roar was deafening from their table as Zoom was announced Startup of the Year—effectively cinching two awards from the ASEAN regionals and three in total, if you count the nationals as well.

“This award is for all of us here, us startups in South East Asia. Hopefully, what we do today will lead us to a global level, and let us be recognised that we will be one the biggest startups out of the ASEAN region as well,” said Zoom chief operations officer Sean Lee.

Congratulations to all the winners!

The winners will go ahead to represent their countries at the Global Startup Awards to be held in China next year.


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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)