What do aspiring entrepreneurs Bryan Lee and Darrell Zhang, Joshua Chao and Zhang Weiliang, and Keith Tan all have in common? They’re one step closer to achieving their dreams having been one of the winners in this year’s Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA) competition. Read on to find out more about their award-winning ideas and the unforgettable experience they had taking part in the YEA.
Bryan Lee & Darrel Zhang
Bryan and Darrell’s business idea tackles a real world problem that is all too familiar to homeowners or business owners ・the need to minimise energy costs. Called Intraix, their low-cost energy management system provides an alternative to current energy solutions that may prove too costly and impractical to implement.
By taking their idea to the YEA, the team obtained useful advice and validation from renowned entrepreneurs such as Ms. Elim Chew (President and Founder, 77th Street), Dr. Low Lee Yong (CEO and Founder, MHC Asia Group), Ms. Goh Yiping (Co-Founder, AllDealsAsia.com) and Mr. Michel Birnbaum (Partner, iGlobe Partners) who made up the panel of judges for the contest.
Sharing with us their experience, Darrell said, “It was a great taking part in the YEA; the panel was firm and very engaging. In fact, they provided good feedback and helped refine our business and revenue model for the company.”
The $3,000 prize money and $6,000 in Canon business products are sure to come in handy for the team as well.
“The prize money will be channelled into the development of the Intraix solution and the sponsored products will help in the operations of the company. At the same time, the win also raised the profile of Intraix, which is beneficial for the company at this early stage,” Darrell commented.
Joshua Chao & Zhang Weiliang
Like their fellow YEA peers, Joshua and Weiliang also found the opportunity to share their business idea with the panel of judges to be extremely useful. Utilising UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) as a land mapping solution, their proposal earned the duo $2,000 in cash and $4,000 in Canon business products.
Commenting on what they felt was invaluable about their YEA experience, they said, “The judges feedback allowed us to tap into their experience and listen to their criticism. They also highlighted points to look out for which we thought were very helpful.”
Following the recommendation of a friend to participate in the YEA, Joshua and Weiliang also learnt about Canon’s ‘Think Big, Think Canon’ campaign and were impressed by how it encouraged ‘big-picture thinking’ and featured an informative website packed with interviews and articles that provide insights of today’s top entrepreneurs.
While most participants submitted business plans for profit, Keith Tan stood out from the rest with his idea to improve volunteerism. Called ‘Start Now’, the website connects volunteers to a wide array of volunteering opportunities, and offers tools to both volunteers and non-profit organisations to coordinate, track and schedule volunteer activities.
This makes it simpler than ever for those interested to become volunteers, while helping non-profits lower their operation costs and increase awareness.
When asked how the YEA helped his business, Keith’s enthusiastic reply said it all. “We’ve made some good contacts with the judges and also with other entrepreneurs. Networking is always a great part of starting any business and these contacts may create business leads for us in the future.”
The positive impact the YEA has made reaffirms Canon’s role as an integral part of empowering both existing and aspiring entrepreneurs. Canon would like to thank all participants and judges for making this year’s YEA a resounding success.
About the ‘Think Big, Think Canon’ Campaign & the YEA
Introduced in 2010 by Canon, the goal of the ‘Think Big, Think Canon’ campaign is to reach out to entrepreneurs, particularly in the Small and Medium Enterprise segment (SME). In addition to advancing businesses with cutting-edge Canon innovations, Canon aspires to go beyond technology and empower entrepreneurs to take their business from start-up to success.
The YEA, jointly organised by Canon and MediaCorp, is designed to help budding entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 to 40 turn their start-up idea into a real business with cash and technological solutions, courtesy of Canon.