Some of the brightest students of the region have participated and competed at the 2020-2021 edition of the annual FedEx Express/JA International Trade Challenge (ITC) Asia Pacific Competition. Presenting their ideas in front of a panel of the region’s business leaders, these students have teamed up in teams of two whereby they were needed to create a market entry strategy for a mental wellbeing product in South Africa. The competition took place for three days straight and after what seemed like an intense time for these students have been proven that they can do anything if they put their hearts and minds to it.
After proposing the idea to create a biometrics sensor powered by a smart app to detect anxiety attacks, the panel of judges was impressed and announced The Breakfast Club as the winning team. Chloe Jazzy Lau from Hong Kong SAR and Aljo Benedicto from the Philippines won out of a group of 52 high school student finalists that represented Asia Pacific markets: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
For the first time in its 14-year history, the competition was held virtually due to the ongoing pandemic however with that said, the finalists had already won through local market competitions fending off more than 2,900 other aspiring student innovators.
“We are both honoured to be named the winners of the competition. It’s so exciting! Every stage of the competition has been a fantastic challenge for us, especially in the finals. All of the ideas were so strong and we learnt volumes from this experience,” said The Breakfast Club team members. “We really feel inspired to follow a career in the business right now.”
Team Lumos comprising Sakthivell Ahrumugam from Singapore and Chaeyoon Park from South Korea were named first runners-up for their idea of a smart-bike that helps track the user’s mental wellbeing.
The Viennese Medicos comprising Raine Santiago Nakpil from the Philippines and Theethad Thipsoda from Thailand were second runners-up. Their idea was a smart lamp with a sleep monitoring function.
The FedEx Express / JA International Trade Challenge program is jointly organized by FedEx Express and JA Asia Pacific, a member of JA Worldwide. More information about the program can be found here. In addition to supporting young entrepreneurs through JA ITC, FedEx Express is an advocate for and supporter of small-and-medium-enterprises (SMEs) around the Asia Pacific region.
Judges of the competition were impressed by the organization of the virtual competition and the efforts made by the students. “Despite the challenges presented in a virtual format, the event was very well organized and was filled with passionate young adults from almost every country in Asia with concrete business plans that aimed to solve a specific social problem. Congratulations!” Darius Yuen, Founder, Zhong Yi Investment Managers.
“It was really good to see these aspiring young entrepreneurs rise up to the occasion pitching digitally, full of commitment regardless of the global pandemic. This bodes well for our Asia Pacific region with such talented youngsters bringing our nations forward.” Naysan Munusamy, Co-Founder, MoneyMatch.
“I am really impressed with the output of all the student participants. Despite the virtual format and limited time for their activities and interactions, they were able to come up with a good product and market entry strategy. I am looking forward to seeing these aspiring entrepreneurs do well once they decide to pursue their goals.” Neptune Factor, Founder and CEO, ECFulfill Inc.
“You are never too young to start your own business. So, start now! There is nothing you will learn more from than by building your own business. The learning experience is valuable for the rest of your life, no matter if your business ends ups being a success or not.”Robin Teurlings, CEO, The Startup Buddy.