Picture courtesy of KDU Entrepreneurial Design Facebook Page
Last month, we joined in a unique one-day entrepreneurial challenge organized in conjunction with the launch of the new Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) in Cyberjaya.
At first we were hesitant because:
1) It was a business challenge! (What if they asked about equilibrium, or how to balance a sheet??)
2) Six-month old baby at home constantly wanting attention, AND the fact that he was still being breastfed is going to make it extra challenging for me.
3) Let’s face it – there are going to be a lot of kids at this event – and I am going to be too old for this!
But then it turned into work. Our dear friends at KDU University College’s Entrepreneurial Design programme were keen on bringing their students in for this challenge.. and each team needed an entrepreneur. Plus, the POTUS, Obama himself might be there! So in steps The Wind Fairy.
Our registration details:
Team Name: Creventive
How would you describe your team in 3 words? Creative, inventive, distinctive.
What sets your team apart from the other teams? We are design entrepreneurs who think differently from your average entrepreneur. In problem-solving we look at the issue from the creative angle, visualizing and illustrating all potential ideas in our minds before executing them in the most innovative way possible. The fact that a lecturer and two students are combining force also should give us an advantage, giving us an edge in brainstorming a wider range of solutions for varied target audiences. We know, dare, and are proud to be different!
Registration day came. We had to leave our houses as early as 6.30am to reach Cyberjaya. As I entered a small tent-building to get my security pass done, the usher there brought me to the end of the long queue, only to find out much later that I was in the wrong queue… the first unofficial challenge of the day. I discovered much later that even the two students whom I were teaming up with, Sarah & Kris, got passes that were not meant for the contestants.
As the race was about to start, we were pumped. We were briefed that it was NOT a ‘race’ in literal sense, that it was not about who reached the finish line first. The challenge was actually to collect the most points to win. I was relieved. I am no match for running with these younger people! In my mind: we might actually win this.
Then came the first checkpoint. The challenge was something like this (in fact, some of the questions are exactly the same…). In my mind, with all the panic: we are doomed.
The second checkpoint was quite unfair, in my opinion, because we had to be interviewed and there was only one person interviewing – which meant there would be a queue of groups actually waiting to be interviewed. We lost a lot of time here. By the time we reached the third checkpoint – most of the other teams were already at the fourth and fifth ones. In other words, it was about who was the fastest, after all.
To me one of the checkpoints worth mentioning was the fifth one, where we had to brainstorm ideas for an online T-shirt company and pitch it to Noel, an online marketing guru. It’s also the most relevant one for my students as they had to brainstorm website ideas and designs for t-shirts. I hope they were able to get something useful out of the experience.
There were supposed to be 9 checkpoints altogether, but we didn’t manage to complete two of the final checkpoints because we ran out of time. We adhered to the 1pm-2pm lunch break which was noted on the race guide, where it clearly mentioned the race was going to be ‘paused’. But because we followed the guide too closely, we actually lost one precious hour! I guess what they are trying to teach us is… in business… there are always exceptions to the rules.
The race ended with us having 30 mins to compile videos and images to create a 60 second video using only Windows Movie Maker or our phones. See our final video made solely using an iPhone4s here.
Overall, the race was an experience. As you might have guessed, we didn’t win. But the highlight of the event was when Kris & I managed to catch a glimpse of the President of the United States himself as he came to visit the MaGIC building in Cyberjaya. Big thanks to KDU University College & the Department of Creative Arts for giving us this opportunity.
So… what did I learn from this competition? Rules mean nothing and time is never on your side. I end this entry with a picture of two esteemed leaders that graced our Accelerace closing ceremony and the launch of MaGIC.
Thanks for reading!