KUALA LUMPUR: A homegrown IoT startup, Wangi Lai PLT, went home with a cool cash prize of RM 50,000 at the Selangor International Pitch on Friday, 14 September.
Held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), the Selangor International Pitch was part of the Selangor Smart City & Digital Economy Convention 2018, which was co-organised by the Selangor Information Technology & E-Commerce Council (SITEC), Menteri Besar Incorporated Selangor (MBI), Smart Selangor Delivery Unit (SSDU), and Invest Selangor Berhad.
Coming in at second place between two Taiwan-based startups, Wangi Lai PLT competed by pitching to a panel of judges against a highly competitive lineup of 28 other top startups from the Asia Pacific region, such as Taiwan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore as well as Malaysia.
Beating wearable IoT air purifier startup ible Technology from Taiwan who came in third place, Wangi Lai PLT from Kuching, Sarawak wowed the judges with their product ‘BAWA Cane’, a clip-on IoT device for white canes to help and empower the visually-impaired to better perceive their environment.
The BAWA Cane (www.bawa.tech) helps users with mobility and navigation by using an IoT sensor to improve obstacle detection and avoidance, giving foresight of the surrounding environment through Big Data Analytics. This information is then transmitted to a cloud server, and then to the user via audio, allowing them to navigate safely around. BAWA Cane is available on Indiegogo and retails for USD 399 (RM 1,600) during the campaign period at igg.me/at/getbawacane.
The champions of the SIP, Hahow (https://hahow.in) from Taiwan, went home with a staggering RM 100,000 (USD 26,000). The educational marketplace impressed the judges with their product that melds the MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) model with a crowdfunding element.
Targeting both educators and learners, Hahow allows experts to share their knowledge through pitching their courses to learners, thus allowing educators to earn money through the platform. It has received tremendous traction in their homeground Taiwan, and are in talks locally to bring the technology and platform to serve the Malaysian market.
Third place winner ible Technology Inc. from Taiwan went home with RM 20,000. They pitched about Airvida, an ergonomic, wearable device placed around the neck that purifies the air around the user. It generates 2,000,000 negative ions/cm3 to purify PM2.5, pollen, and smoke around the user’s face, allowing users to improve air quality around offices, cars, restaurants, and anywhere else. Currently, ible Technology Inc. is looking for local distributors and channel partners in Malaysia and Asia. Airvida is available for USD 169 (RM 700) at www.airvida.com.
The top five Malaysian startups of the Selangor Accelerator Programme were furthered to the Selangor International Pitch as well.
They include Dropee, an online B2B marketplace; Firegent, a SaaS that mines data using AI; Homa, an O2O marketplace that sells overstock building materials; Kwikcar, a peer-to-peer car rental service; and Rtist, an online job portal for clients and those in the creative industry, such as designers and copywriters.