The wait is over for the finalists of Skim Usahawan Permulaan Bumiputera (SUPERB), a three-year RM100 million funding programme under the supervision of Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (TERAJU).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the winners for SUPERB BizPitch Second Series at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya.

In the second series, 15 winners successfully acquired the grant from SUPERB. With the funding, they will now be able to commercialise their product and take their business to the next level.

In his speech, Najib said a total of RM6.5million was allocated for SUPERB Series One winners.

He said innovation and creativity are the two main criteria for a business pitch to be chosen and called for more Bumiputera entrepreneurs to participate in SUPERB, including those from Sabah and Sarawak.

15 winners successfully acquired the grant from SUPERB

TERAJU chief executive officer, Husni Salleh said the quality of business ideas in the second series improved tremendously compare to the first.

“SUPERB Second Series is more comprehensive and we offer opportunities to all participants to pitch their business ideas to our panelists in every economic corridor," said Husni.

"We were able to filter and evaluate the presentation and ideas in a more efficient way. The panelists have also acknowledged that the finalists in the second series have better business idea than anticipated," he added.

He also said that in SUPERB's coming series, there will be slight variation in terms of how the programme will be executed to access to a variety of ideas and entrepreneurial talents from different sectors.

“We would like to see more professionals from the corporate world to join this programme, which will perhaps encourage the conversion of a professional to become an entrepreneur.”

Among the 15 winners, there was one participant who made a comeback for series two with a different
business idea.

“My advice to those who did not make it this time, never give up, because that was what I did. Come back for the third series” Arsyan Ismail, CEO of 1337 Tech Sdn Bhd said during an interview with Astro AWANI.

The business idea pitched by Arsyan for this series is “Baucar” app for retailers, an interactive hyper-local advertising platform using iBeacon technology.

SUPERB was launched on January 27, 2014 by the Prime Minister to support Bumiputera entrepreneurs and startup companies with grant up to RM 500,000. In addition to providing funds, SUPERB also offers support in terms of mentorship, training and access to venture capitalists for further funding.

SUPERB is supported by 10 strategic partners including: Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), MyCreative Ventures Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (MAVCAP), Kumpulan Modal Perdana Sdn Bhd, Multimedia Development Corporation (BiotechCorp), Malaysia Debt Ventures Berhad, Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad and SME Bank.

The judges were corporate personalities Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly, Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin and Norman Abdul Halim.

The next season of SUPERB BizPitch kicks off on 18 July 2014.