Team iReka & WastetoPower will represent Malaysia in the Youth:Colab Summit

40 teams from 20 Asia and the Pacific countries to gather at Summit

Cyberjaya, Selangor 28 January 2019 – Two teams with the idea to create a one stop platform for building and owning affordable houses and a solution that transforms wastewater to energy will represent the country at the inaugural United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Youth Co:Lab Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam this April.

Youth Co:Lab is a UNDP Asia-Pacific youth entrepreneurship initiative to position young people front and center in order to solve the region’s most pressing challenges through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In Malaysia, the initiative focussed on three themes designed to explore viable solutions that impact marginalised communities in Malaysia which are Income Generation for Undocumented Persons, Energy Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability and Financial Inclusion for Marginalised Communities.

Co-led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Citi Foundation, powered by Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Youth Co:Lab Malaysia was executed in Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Penang. with a vision to connect young innovators with subject matter experts, leaders and businesses to develop their ideas and business models for social impact within their communities.

The two winners selected were team iReka from the Penang comprising of Muhammad Najhan, 27, Wan Muhamad Fadzli, 23, Mohd Razman, 35, and Cyril Ng, 30, and WastetoPower from the Cyberjaya comprising Muhammad Ikram, 27. iReka will be pitching their idea on designing a one stop platform for building and owning affordable houses while WastetoPower will pitch on their solution that transforms wastewater to energy. The two teams will be receiving weekly mentoring sessions to identify ways to test product, establish traction and to further strengthen their pitch for the finals. All participants will receive up to five mentoring sessions.

Asfaazam Kasbani, Assistant Resident Representative of United Nations Development Programme for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam said, “The Sustainable Development Goals are now in its third year and to achieve all 17 goals requires the partnership of governments, private sector, civil society and citizens alike to ensure we leave a better planet for future generations.

Recognizing the vital role that youth play in our journey in implementing SDGs by 2030 is the main driving force for UNDP Malaysia to be part of the Youth Co:Lab initiative which is being held simultaneously in 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific.”


Asfaazam Kasbani congratulating all the 8 qualifiers from around Malaysia that gathered for the selection in Cyberjaya

Youth Co:Lab Malaysia saw 110 participants, 23 teams in the three legs in Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Penang. Each leg comprised of a three-day bootcamp, participants were exposed to strategies on piloting their potential innovative solutions, building prototypes, solidifying their impact delivery models and refining their pitching for demo day.

Citibank Malaysia Director of Corporate Affairs, Celina May Benjamin encouraged the participants, “The future is yours. And equipping yourself with the capabilities to build and grow the business of the future, aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, is indeed a contribution you make for the future of economic prosperity of our country. What we do today impacts the future growth, shaping our communities and ultimately the future of generations to come. “

The qualifiers in Malaysia saw six other teams battle it out with the two eventual winners. Among the ideas presented were to provide energy for rural villages by utilising kinetic energy from rivers, income generation opportunities through the conversion of plastic waste into clean energy, reduce the usage of plastic F&B utensils and cutlery, online platform to connect undocumented mothers with short term jobs, discourage the usage of plastic bags through an incentive programme and a solution that turns noise pollution into electricity.

The event was closed by Dr. Anis Mahmud Abdul Samad, Deputy Secretary General, Policy & Entrepreneur Strategy, Ministry of Entrepreneur Development. He commented that the government will continue to connect resources to opportunities, “Impact driven enterprises and social enterprises offer us potential solutions to developmental challenges, creating jobs and becoming a catalyst for inclusive economic growth. At the Ministry, we continue to focus our efforts on cultivating Malaysia’s impact driven sectors and connecting those active in these various sectors with available resources and go-to market opportunities. We want entrepreneurs to start thinking of the impact that they are creating by placing a heavy emphasis on the SDGs which will enable Malaysia to compete in the global marketplace and attract top global talent and innovation capital.”

Amiruddin Shukor, Acting Chief Executive Officer of MaGIC commented that innovative solutions are key to solving nation’s most pressing issues, “We are proud to be in collaboration with UNDP and Citi Foundation to provide the youth of Malaysia with a platform to refine their innovative solutions, contribute to the UN’s SDGs and play a vital role in Malaysia’s economic development. We want to create ‘agents of change’ who will transcend boundaries and spearhead a pivotal role in the larger transformational journey of Malaysia.”

For more information on Youth Co:Lab Malaysia, visit:

One of the 8 qualifiers presenting their SDG solution to the panel of judges

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