This shift in focus was emphasized at the recent hackathon hosted by LiveWIRE Brunei, from 9 to 11 April.

40* young entrepreneurs participated in the successful 3-day hackathon that was designed to stimulate and inspire collaboration around five core areas: agrotechnology, waste management, digitalization, smart manufacturing, and energy transition.

Participants, who ranged from marketers to engineers, formed teams of eight to ideate and brainstorm their ideas, many of which addressed energy and the environment.

To help refine their ideas and prepare a working prototype, participants took part in training workshops and mentorship sessions. The topics covered included business models, brand building, and finance.

A fireside chat session featured three speakers, Sofiah Umar, BSP IT & Digitalization Lead, Shirley Sikun BSP Head of Energy Transition and Dr Adna Rahman, Head of Entrepreneurship Innovation Centre at Ministry of Education. The chat focused on future-ready work and was facilitated by Reuben Chin, Startup Development Manager of Darussalam Enterprise (DARe).

The teams' ideas were judged against six criteria, the ability of their idea to address one of the core areas, level of innovation, business viability, market analysis, long-term profitability, and designated team roles.

The first, second, and third place winners were awarded B$2,000, B$1,500, and B$1,000 respectively.

In addition to prizes, the winners were granted access to resources including eSuite facilities for 3 months to further develop their idea, mentorship & monitoring of business progress by LiveWIRE Counsellors, and access to LiveWIRE workshops and programmes. They will also participate in the Top Ten Innovator or Business Awards.

“We believe that we can contribute towards building a smarter Brunei through our five business focus areas. We are so proud that Brunei’s youth have been so enthusiastic, conceptualising inspiring concepts that we hope can be actualised to build a smarter Brunei” said, Programme Director of Shell LiveWIRE Brunei, Hj Abdul Yusrin bin DSLJ Hj Mohd Salleh.

Team PITCHR was awarded first place for their smart compost gamification idea. Team member, Muhammad Asyraf Sufi Dahlan, said he learned that “There’s more than one way to solve a problem. Sometimes the smallest changes make the biggest impact. Who would’ve thought that a team of programmers would be talking about a smart composting bin as a business idea?”

RecOil placed second for their idea of turning used cooking oil into renewable energy. Discussing their experience, team member, Ak Md Firdaus Pg Haji Abd Rahman said, “During the final day, we were in a rush to finish the business plan as fast as we could. The scariest part was to finish up the accounting. With the help of various workshops from LiveWIRE & DARe, we made it in a nick of time. From marketing to accounting the hackathon provided us with endless opportunities of the next possible steps.”

Electrack taking third place with B$1,000 with their idea for an app that tracks electricity usage.

Pedalling-it-out received an honorary mention for their electrical bike for the public convenience idea.

* Shell LiveWIRE Brunei has been following the government prescribed Covid-19 related rules and regulations for managing events.