DST Innovation Awards Celebrates Success of Cycle 1 of InnoLab’s Innovate@Uni: Catalyst Programme
Established on 27 February 2020, Datastream Digital Sdn Bhd (DST)’s InnoLab made a leap in the landscape of Brunei’s economic industry by a offering a push in the right direction when it comes to providing the right environment for new technologies and innovation to thrive. Together with their education partner, Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB), and entrepreneurship partner, Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), DST introduced Innovate@Programmes where the Innovate@Uni: Catalyst programme is aimed towards encouraging students to cultivate and eventually develop their creations.
The Innovation Awards was held at the DST headquarters at Tungku Link on 27 March 2021 with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Info-Communications (MTIC) Awang Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof as the officiating Guest of Honour. Commemorating the Catalyst programme under InnoLab, the event highlighted the programme’s mission to foster youth entrepreneurship while bringing out the best potential in individuals with the help of the numerous resources generously available DST.
Under the programme, Catalyst focuses on Founders and Builders with the former targeting those looking to begin their entrepreneurial journey from scratch through product ideation, business development and establishment. The Builders Series caters more to individuals interested in expanding and honing the skills and knowledge that they have already acquired previously as a background during university and using it to address and solve existing, real-world problems with DST’s partners.
The participating teams in Cycle 1 of InnoLab’s Innovate@Uni: Catalyst programme began their journey in mid-September 2020 and have since then been refining their initial ideas via weekly workshops and consistent mentoring under DST’s senior management team as well as coaching from CEOs, investors and founders in the tech industry. The end result can be seen in their Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), simple prototypes which demonstrates their value to prospective customers. The Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) were then pitched by the teams on 20 March 2021 to a select group of panelists from UTB, DARe and DST. Awards were then presented to four teams from the Founders Series and one team from the Builders Series.
Teams in the Founders Series were in the running for the either the Platinum award—consisting of BND2500 prize money from DST for product development support, access to DARe’s programmes, as well as a 6-months’ long incubation programme under DST which includes coaching in commercial and technical development, access to DST’s market intelligence, infrastructure and assistance to identify and introduce pilot or reference customers—or the Gold award where teams will received 6-months’ long DST incubation support and access to DARe’s support.
Team BetaPrime and Team OrderUp of the Founders Series were the recipients of the Platinum award while Team wai.not and Team Thryffy won the Gold award with a Special Mentions award being given to Super Squad. Team Leggo of the Builders Series were awarded the Platinum award with BND1,000 prize money from DST for their achievements as well as an internship program under DST.
Thanks to the success of the first cycle of Innovate@Uni: Catalyst, the second cycle of the programme has been confirmed with the objective of focusing on the entrepreneurial needs of university graduates over the course of four months. The participants will receive hands-on exposure to innovation’s best practices via workshops and coaching by leading forces in the Bruneian tech industry including founders, investors and business leaders.