THE Sunway University Food and Beverage Entrepreneurship Challenge 2016 is a brainchild of School of Hospitality lecturer Dr Daniel Chong Ka Leong.
The competition, which was held at the end of last year, tested students’ agility and innovation in the food business.
It was opened to Year 3 students in the BSc (Hons) in International Hospitality Management and BSc (Hons) in Culinary Management programmes.
Ten groups of students had four months to form their companies, come out with business ideas and run their registered online businesses according to the given theme, Online Food Business.
Daebak 814 Enterprise emerged champion with Nasi Lemak Kimbap, a combination of two dishes from Malaysia and South Korea.
The winners included Lavender Chia Hui Shin and her teammates Jeremy Lam Tuan Chi, Nguyen Hoang Oanh, Sim Jiseon and Pham Thi Ngoc Anh.
Lam said they got the idea for the dish because of the popularity and influence of the South Korean wave among Malaysia’s young generation.
“We also wanted to create something convenient for students, who are always busy and often skip meals.
“Every meal is prepared in a box with a pair of chopsticks and is delivered by our group members on campus.”
The students faced several challenges, including a lack of accounting and finance backgrounds, and negative feedback from customers at the beginning.
The first runner-up title went to Macaronlogy Ventures. The team members were Teoh Zhi Hau, Hilda Chow, Joel Yong, Sheryl Wang and Marianty Chen.
Teoh said: “We are the first group in Malaysia to come out with macarons made with zero artificial ingredients.
“Everything from the colouring to the cream filling of the French cookie is made with natural fruits and vegetables.”
Teoh said aside from the product, they also tried to focus on the emotional attributes, where the packaging was customised and a personal touch was added in the form of an appreciation card.
5 Minds Enterprise took home the second runners-up spot. Its members were Gan Tick Mun Natassia, Subattra Kanesan, Tham Carmen, Lee Tze Meng and Kenjiro Shinno.
Its company’s product was Shang Tea, or blended homemade tea, and the team used social media to market it.
Chong said he hoped to turn the competition into an annual event. He said the best way to learn entrepreneurship was to participate in the process.
Running a real business helped the students to realise the importance of innovation, risk management, financial control, continuous improvement, joy of entrepreneurship and business integrity, he said.
For him, the most important quality of an entrepreneur was to take risks and learn how to deal with failures.
The students were assessed by judges comprising of Jeffred Tham, founder and managing director of Thai Syok; George Ang, CEO of Manhattan Fish Market; Cyrus Chin, founder and CEO of Bravo Events & Entertainment; and Nigel Leong, founder of Negative Signature.
Sunway University will have an open day on March 18 and 19, between 10am and 4pm.
For details, call 03-74918622, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://university.sunway.edu.my