GEM Launches ColossusINNO2017 – Offers USD 100,000 for Winning Idea


SUBANG JAYA, 21 June 2017 – The inaugural ColossusINNO2017 competition was officially launched today by the Global Entrepreneurship Movement (GEM), to recognize entrepreneurs with world class innovations that will help transform ASEAN’s socio-economic community. The global entrepreneurship competition is one of several programs organized by GEM under the Startup and SME Promotion Year (SSPY 2017).

ColossusINNO2017 was created with a mission to inspire breakthrough ideas among entrepreneurs aimed at addressing the prevalent gaps existing in the ASEAN market.

GEM – the brainchild of founder and patron Tan Sri Dr. Mohd. Irwan Serigar, who is also the Secretary-General of Treasury at the Ministry of Finance, Malaysia was created with the mission of democratizing entrepreneurship in Malaysia and around the ASEAN region.

According to Tan Sri Irwan, “It is a known fact that there is no lack of innovation in the ASEAN region, as the entrepreneurial ecosystem has evolved tremendously over the years. What we need now is greater confidence amongst our entrepreneurs to think big, take on bigger challenges and direct their imagination on innovating in ASIA for ASIA. Thus, the creation of ColossusINNO2017 – as the name suggests, we want the ideas to be ‘born global.”

Tan Sri Irwan added that ColossusINNO2017 is on the lookout for the next big solutions that help address the market gaps, which in turn will propel ASEAN nations closer towards first world status – such as innovation in the areas of governance, poverty eradication, education, health, environment and cleanliness.

President of GEM, Dash Dhakshinamoorthy also shared his enthusiasm for ColossusINNO2017 and was confident that it will attract top notch startups and ecosystem players from around the world.

“We are positive that a global competition of this scale and stature will attract the support from top notch ecosystem players – such as accelerators and early stage funders. And with its global support network, GEM aims to attract regional and global startups to launch their ventures in Malaysia through ColossusINNO2017, in hopes of garnering more interest from the international funding community and support network,” commented Dash.

He also added that ColossusINNO2017 is working closely with a Silicon-Valley-based competition platform, You Noodle, to be its competition engine – to call for submissions, shortlist and select winners. The platform will also help engage with an international panel of judges to make an independent selection of the winner based on global requirements. The panel of judges consists of world-class industry leaders and experts, including Director of Global Education at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., Sam Potolicchio, Advisor to the Vice President for the MENA Region at World Bank in Washington D.C., Olivier Lavinal, and Director and Leader of Digital Transformation at Cisco in India, Lux Rao.

The ColossusINNO2017 competition will occur in several stages. Submissions will be opened to challengers from across the world from June 21 to end of October, followed by the announcement of the top ten finalists in November. These finalists will be then invited to present their winning stories to ASEAN and global entrepreneurs, policymakers, industry leaders, investors and other startup community participants at the Global Entrepreneurship Community 2017 (GECommunity 2017). This will also give them an opportunity to connect on a global level via specially-curated programs, designed to build strategic linkages and drive real change.

The winner of ColossusINNO2017 will be announced at the GECommunity 2017 on December 5 and 6 2017, where the winning entrepreneur will receive a cash fund prize worth USD 100,000.  Subsequently, the winner will be exposed to a variety of mentorship, resources and skills to aid the growth of the idea, amongst which collaboration with the local government and corporations will be made possible in aiding a stronger market entry.

Also present at the event were the GEM Champions and GEM City-Chapters, consisting of ecosystem builders that have direct access to many local communities of entrepreneurs – and who actively champion GEM’s programs and objectives. These GEM advocates hail from various cities around Asia including Bangladesh, Bangalore, New Delhi, Guangzhou, Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, and Phnom Penh.

ColossusINNO2017 is a collaborative effort by GEM and its partners – Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC).