September 16, 2012

The EaC Accelerator Boot Camp experience!

So for the past two days many of us incubatees from UBD have been chosen to participate in the EaC Accelerator Boot Camp by iCentre. I didn't know what to expect at first because I haven't heard of such boot camp before but I knew soon enough that we were the first batch to ever take part in it! In Brunei at least, from what I heard. 

Basically, all of the participants were required to pitch in their ideas and we voted for the ones we think is the best. Once everything is sorted out we ended up with 7 teams and 7 grand ideas! Each team moved forward with their idea and started on constructing the business plan.

Day 1

 Shyang Li and Kanniga

 Nana and me

 All of our ideas were written on the sticky notes!

 Using the launch pad provided as a guide for our business plan

The mentors putting their two cents in

Me and my team mates decided to proceed with the idea of a marriage boot camp, Phoenix Getaway. Kanniga came up with this idea during one of our sessions back in UBD and she found out that about 1 in 5 marriages ended in divorce locally in 2010! In the US the ratio is 1:2 so basically 50% of marriages ends in divorce. That data is certainly an eye-opener eh?

Sorting out what goes into where

 Delwin Keasberry from Projek Brunei

Wanted to take a picture of Kristav Childress, one of the judges in the boot camp but he walked off the centre of my screen just when I took the shot!

The first day passed by quickly and by the end of the day we have a facebook page set up and people were already starting to like it! It wasn't easy though, I posted, shared, tweeted and even text messaged my friends to like the page! Once we had our dinner me and my friends left the ILIA building and continued working on our executive summary at the female hostel till late at night. It took a lot out of us and I couldn't sleep after that, which doesn't help at all since day 2 was only a few hours away lol 

Day 2

For the second day the boot camp was held at iCentre. The morning started off with a presentation by the mentors giving some tips and tricks for an effective... well, presentation. After that Hiro Tien gave us a talk on how he founded Social Deal! Apparently he was still halfway through getting his degree when he decided to jump into the business. I think it's pretty impressive what he did because there wasn't any business like Social Deal before in Brunei so the risk is certainly there. Personally I don't think I would be able to do what he did even if I have a business idea because I like to have something to fall back on. If let's say my business didn't go very well, I'd still have my degree and then I could move on to the next thing right away, you know what I mean?

Hiro Tien from Social Deal

 Finally completed our launch pad!

 Preparing our presentation slides

Chee Ta introducing Bajutik, an online baju kurung shop where you design your own baju kurung.

Zul introducing iPark, a parking app which can be used to identify available parking spaces in specific areas.

Gary introducing DirectMe, a mobile app giving people suggestions on where to hang out next or where to eat for lunch.

Panel of judges! Our incubation supervisor Adna was one of the judges that evening.

In the end, our team won second place! Bajutik won first place and DirectMe won third. At first I wasn't sure if we are going to win because the ideas being put forward by the other teams are really brilliant and I think by then that there is a chance for any of these 7 teams to win! I have to say though I think Kanniga is an excellent presenter! The debating skills from her secondary school years has definitely helped in putting us in that second spot as 1st runner up.

The team behind Phoenix Getaway!

Overall I enjoyed the boot camp and I think it's worth every effort! I mean, even if you don't win or anything if doesn't really matter because you'll still walk out a winner. I've learned so much from the talks given by the mentors as well as the guest speakers. Every time a mentor walks up to our desk and gave us really good advice I feel like it's a Eureka! moment. They have years of experience and you can tell they know what they are doing and they are darn good at it! It makes me think of how much I have yet to learn. Well, guess I'd better start now!

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