BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Datastream Digital (DST) held its first Innovation Awards ceremony on Saturday, rewarding standout submissions including a mobile app that helps students find part-time jobs and an e-commerce platform that integrates social media vendors.

Three youth teams won the platinum award in DST’s InnoLab Catalyst Programme, including BetaPrime and OrderUp in the Founders series category, while Leggo earned the top award in the Builders Series category.

The Catalyst Programme aims to foster youth innovation and entrepreneurship, and allows participants to make use of DST’s resources to develop their product ideas.

BetaPrime founder Rohadatul’aisy Nabilah Irwan said her Studeals app helps students to find discounts and search for part-time jobs.

“As students ourselves, we thought about what kind of problems students faced… that is how we came up with the idea of providing students with deals because we realised that our main problem is that we’re always broke.

“Based on our research, student deals are also available in other countries, so it makes sense for us to start compiling student deals and discounts,”the Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) student said in an interview.

More than a dozen merchants have signed up with the Studeals app in its business concept and development stage.

“Since we are already connected to the merchants, it’s easy for the merchants to advertise jobs. The next plan is to validate this further and make sure the app is solid enough before we can launch it,” she added.

OrderUp founder Ak Mohd Azam Pg Hj Abdul Rahman (R) received the Platinum Award under DST’s InnoLab Catalyst Programme. Photo: The Scoop

Another platinum award winner, OrderUp intends to gather social media-based sellers in one e-commerce platform.

“People who sell through Instagram and Facebook can sign up on my app and it will generate a link to their shop on my app”, said OrderUp founder Ak Mohd Azam Pg Hj Abdul Rahman.

“They can [include] the link in their Instagram bio or Facebook description and the link will direct the customers to an ordering service,” he added.

The platinum award winners in the Founders Series category won $2,500 prize money each for product development support, access to DARe programmes, as well as a six-month incubation programme with DST.

For the Builders Series category, Team Leggo was awarded $1,000 cash prize and a DST internship programme.

Permanent Secretary of Transport and Infocommunications Hj Mohammad Nazri Hj Mohammad Yusof presented the prizes to the winners at DST’s headquarters.

DST said the Founders Series is designed for youth who wish to start their entrepreneurial journey from scratch, through product ideation, business development and execution.

“The Builders Series is for those who may be more interested in building on the skills and knowledge they have already acquired in university. They will be [encouraged] to address and solve existing real-world problems with DST’s partners,” the telco added in a statement.

Photo: The Scoop

The Catalyst programme, which is part of DST’s InnoLab project, began in mid-September 2020.

The participants attended weekly workshops over six months and received mentorship from DST’s senior management as well as coaching from CEOs, investors and founders in the technology industry.

Prior to the award ceremony, the teams pitched their ideas to a select group of panelists made up of representatives from UTB, Darussalam Enterprise and DST on March 20.

With the success of the first cycle of the Catalyst programme, InnoLab will soon launch the second cycle of the programme, which focuses on the needs of university graduates. The programmme will start in August and conclude in December.

Participants are expected to receive hands-on experience on best practices of innovation via workshops and coaching by Bruneian tech founders, investors and business leaders.