Maxis Celebrates Mobile Content Challenge Entrepreneurs
Maxis continues to inspire innovation from bright, young Malaysian entrepreneurs whilst enriching the Malaysian mobile content ecosystem
Maxis Berhad (“Maxis”), Malaysia’s leading integrated communications provider, today hosted an event to celebrate Mobile Content Challenge entrepreneurs, including 32 past winners and participants from Mobile Content Challenge 2007, 2008 and 2009, who have successfully commercialised their content, applications, or services, or who have started new business ventures.
The event, held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre was graced by YB Dato’ Joseph Salang, Deputy Minister for Information Communications and Culture and Maxis Chairman, Raja Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Arshad bin Raja Tun Uda. Mobile Content Challenge entrepreneurs were acknowledged for their achievements in the Malaysian content space.
Raja Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Arshad bin Raja Tun Uda said “As Malaysia’s leading integrated communications provider, Maxis has always been a dominant player in the development of the local content industry. Since 2003, we have actively invested in developing young and bright content entrepreneurs through the Maxis Developer Programme, spending over RM18 million on the initiative.
Since inception, an estimated 200 developers representing both companies and individuals have participated in the programme and they have gone on to commercialise over 300 applications and services.
“In 2007, Maxis took this initiative a step further by partnering with the Government – The Ministry of Information Communications and Culture and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission – for the Mobile Content Challenge, a comprehensive programme to discover, nurture and guide young Malaysian students in developing content and applications, with the ultimate goal of successfully commercialising their ideas, spurring creativity and innovation. Since its launch, the Mobile Content Challenge has worked with over 60 Malaysian Institutions of Higher Learning to generate over 460 new ideas which have helped spur the growth of the mobile content industry.
“By building capacity – nurturing not only local content development but also the talent in this area, we are certainly building the capacity in terms of knowledge and expertise for future Malaysia. I am very pleased to see the fruits of our investment today, in the faces and hopes of these bright young Malaysian content entrepreneurs.”
YB Dato’ Joseph Salang noted, “The Mobile Content Challenge is a shining example of how a corporate organisation is able to support the Government by creating a diverse Malaysian creative and innovative talent pool that can further the national vision of becoming a regional hub for digital content. The Mobile Content Challenge has also equipped students with invaluable experience from industry experts, building exposure, confidence and broadening their perspective on technology and its practical applications.
Today, it is fit that we celebrate these young Malaysian students-turned-entrepreneurs who have stepped up as skilled professionals, contributing directly to local content development and to our economy.”
Mobile Content Challenge – Past Winners
Thus far, the Mobile Content Challenge has helped to commercially launch “Kids Cashier”, one of the winning applications of Mobile Content Challenge 2007. The application is an educational mobile phone game introducing primary school students to money denominations whilst reinforcing their understanding of basic addition, subtraction and multiplication concepts.
Muhamad Hazmin Wardi and Mohamed Muaz Mohamed of the Kids Cashier team have gone on to greater achievements, winning the IP Content Creation grant in August 2008, the MDeC Pre-Seed grant in December 2009 and the Cradle grant in August 2008. Muhamad Hazmin Wardi has started his own company with another colleague to develop creative content applications for the iPhone and Facebook.
Of the Mobile Content Challenge experience, Muhamad Hazmin Wardi said, “When my project was chosen as the runner up in 2007 and I received RM20,000, it gave me the drive to move forward. Now I own a company and have gotten funding up to RM300,000. My dream is to turn RM300,000 into RM3 million. It is an ambitious number but I am confident I can achieve it because I am a radical dreamer!”
Another past winner from Mobile Content Challenge 2008, the ArtMobile team from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (“UTM”), has since launched their application online with “SPACE”, UTM’s online long distance learning centre. 2009’s winning application was “MMSKu”, a personalised greeting card service that enables users to send an electronic card through WAP and SMS whilst delivering MMS content to the end user.
MMSKu is a Multimedia Messaging System (“MMS”) creation engine that enables users to create MMSes with their own text embedded within the image. MMSKu won in the category of Best Mobility Content award in Mobile Content Challenge 2009 and was the brainchild of two UTM students, Hasnol Ariff Hussin and Muhamad Bukhairi Samsudin, and their lecturer-advisor Dr. Mohd Yazid Idris.
Sustainability of the Mobile Content Challenge programme
As the Mobile Content Challenge programme is designed for sustainability, Maxis has put in place critical end to end components within the Malaysian content ecosystem to support the initiative. In 2009, Maxis introduced the Nurturing Programme and Commercialisation Support Programme to assist past Mobile Content Challenge finalists to further enhance their concepts and turn their prototypes into commercial-ready products. These programmes incorporate workshops, product testing labs, hands-on guidance and coaching by Maxis’ product and business managers, as well as industry mentors, to ensure participants’ products are ready for market.
2009 also saw Maxis opening the virtual Maxis’ 1Store, a one stop mobile application and content store for Maxis’ wide base of customers with over 13.5 million subscriptions – providing a ready market and captive audience for winning Mobile Content Challenge applications. To encourage the participation of local developers and these young entrepreneurs, Maxis is giving a special incentive of 100% revenue share for applications developed and submitted before 1 June 2011.
Moving ahead, in tandem with Maxis’ journey towards integrated communications, the company will continue to support these young developers in new areas of content based on integrated services to customers – delivered seamlessly on any smart screen and leveraging interactivity between screens.
Summary and conclusion
The Mobile Content Challenge continues to fulfill its role as a strong platform for creating and nurturing a new generation of innovative entrepreneurs, fulfilling the Maxis corporate responsibility vision of promoting deserving Malaysians as leaders in their fields. Maxis is committed to further inspiring these bright, young Malaysian entrepreneurs whilst enriching the Malaysian mobile content ecosystem.