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That extra step

Written by Rano Iskandar on 25 January 2013.


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Spot on, Pehin Yasmin


Pehin Yasmin delivering an inspiring speech about entrepreneurship *salutes*

I like Pehin Yasmin's (the Minister of Energy Division at the Prime Minister's Office) speech last Wednesday in driving more local SMEs in Brunei Darussalam and not give up hope. The speech was delivered during Ignite 2012/2013 Business Plan prize presentation held at Indera Samudra Hall, The Empire Hotel & Country Club.

It is true that if we were to sustain entrepreneurs in Brunei, training is required to improve our skills. He used a great example such as China and Singapore where countries are rich in SMEs and Brunei can be on that path if we put more believe and work hard for it.

I do agree about Pehin's statement on how business can get congested in terms of delivering similar products as other competitors. This is what I call the "Nasi Katok" effect and this is pretty common in Brunei. A good example would be the Potato Twist and the take-away chicken business. These are considered rising markets and they are now prominent in the social network, promoting their business and getting recognised.

It was another full house event at Ignite prize presentation with majority being students which is a great opportunity from them to learn from the Minister's advice. This is also one of my vision, to aspire and inspire more youth to undertake entrepreneurship and take that extra courage and trust yourself that it's ok to succeed and it's also ok to fail. Well, that's part of business, ain't it?

One entrepreneur that I can highly recommend you to learn from is Keeran Janin of MeSixty who has tirelessly experience success and failure on his business adventures. Right now his business is taking off on a whole new different level with the support of Brunei Economic Development Board and iCentre and also angel investors.

I envisioned Brunei to be have more local ICT players and developers in the next three years. We do have a lot to catch up but it's never too late. I am also venturing into mobile software development to see more possibilities. Let the games begin.

It's good to see Dato Timothy among the invited guests. He believes in me which drive me to newer heights.

Hello Ambrose, Shazali and Stuart

The finalists of the Ignite participants were anxious for the results

Pehin Yasmin was smiling when Musegeek Technologies' idea was shown on the screen. He kinda liked it.

It was a full house event once more

They had to put extra chairs for the late comers

The usual suspects - Nat and Allen

Some of the guests last Wednesday

Pehin Yasmin visiting Cubebox

Pehin Yasmin visiting PHMD Publishing

Pehin Yasmin visiting Silverwings Services

Pehin Yasmin visiting Rumbian Nation

Pehin Yasmin visiting SocialBuzz

Pehin Yasmin visiting BruInnovEdu

Pehin Yasmin always sharing his ideas to Adi Shamsul whenever he became aware of ideas


Moments by Zali Ariff


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The Boor & The Langsat


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Hiro reaches new milestone


The guest of honour with the winners of Ignite 2012/2013 last and the judges last Wednesday

This is like the Oscars version for ICT awards. Well, we still do have the BICTA but it seems that Ignite have created more uniqueness and they have managed to get many participants ever since its inception a few years ago. Thumbs up to iCentre and Brunei Economic Development Board for making this possible and opening up new doors for the youth in terms of creation of new ideas.

This time, Hiro Tien, bettered himself after his runner-up finish last year. His idea of "Gigland" landed him with first place in the ICT Open Business Plan Category. His startup business company Socialbuzz is already gaining momentum in Brunei and he's one of the rising stars in the Brunei ICT companies. As most of you know, Socialbuzz is also the reason behind Social Deal (the groupon version of Brunei).

His "Gigland" idea bagged first prize worth BND 20,000 and his prototype will able to connect individuals with talents and skills from around the world with potential employers with the aid of geo-tagging technology. These micro-jobs are geo-tagged to specific locations on an interactive world map.

Aswana (Bebeh) of Musegeek Technologies won 2nd place (BND 10,000) and her idea was also awarded the Most Innovative idea (BND 3,000). This is perhaps one of the best achievement for Bebeh and she hopes to make her idea into reality. I certainly hope so too. The only irony is that her business proposal failed to win the hearts of BEDB Leap Grant's panelists a few months ago.

Third place was shared between Hj Suhardi of MediaHikmah and Ak Mohd Khairi of PHMD Publishing (BND 5,000). MediaHikmah won the grand prize in BICTA 2012 but he wasn't able to repeat the same feat for Ignite 2012/2013 award. His best achievement was winning a merit award last year in APICTA 2012 for his prototype.

As for College and University category, Bruelit from ITB won first place with BND 4,000 whereas Kg Ayer Sensation came 2nd with BND 2,000. My friend Winnie Sia came third for her Inkprints idea with BND 1,000.

As for the international category, Singaporean company, Jublia was awarded in the International Category with BND 8,000 while Tap Mind from Sri Lanka received a consolation award with BND 1,000.

Too bad this time round, I didn't make Top 3 for my EVODE idea but not to worry as this idea will be implemented soon this year. It's great to see newbies stepping up and I hope there are more participants from the young generation because the opportunities are simply out there. You just need to take that extra courage to believe in yourselves more.

Hiro Tien of Socialbuzz, the big winner for Ignite 2012

Aswana of Musegeeks Technologies won 2nd place in ICT Open Category

Khairi and Suhardy came 3rd place in ICT Open Category

Bruelit came 1st place for College and University category

Kg Ayer Sensation came 2nd place for College and University category

Winnie Sia of Inkprints came 3rd place for College and University category

Jublia won first place in International Category

Tap Mind won consolation prize in International Category

Hiro didn't expect to win because of the tough questions raised by the chief judge during his final presentation. All his hard work has paid off indeed!

Bebeh didn't expect to win two awards, one being innovative. However, she still wonders why her LEAP application was rejected and yet the panelists of the Ignite 2012 love her ideas. Given the choice, she would prefer to get the LEAP Grant.


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Established in 2003, RA started off from a blogspot in 2002 before owning the domaining. What started off as a hobby, turned into one of the most viewed blog in Brunei Darussalam. Hence, it is branded as a social news blog. More details on this soon.

Contact Me

Rano Iskandar
iCentre, Anggerek Desa
BSB, Brunei Darussalam

Telephone: 673-8677773