The ASEAN region is currently one of the most vibrant and growing markets right now, with over 633 million consumers and a combined GDP of nearly US$2.4 trillion. It is a dynamic marketplace with high potential due to it being under-tapped, and the simplicity of setting up businesses in multiple countries within the region.

It is with this in mind that the Rice Bowl Awards; organised by New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF), the Malaysian Ministry of Finance as well as the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) is held. The aim of the awards event is to celebrate rising startups that harness technology innovatively to propel their business regionally.

“We’ve witnessed emerging young talents who are relentlessly pushing the boundaries on how technology can disrupt various industries to enrich the lives of consumers and generate positive social and environmental impacts in the ASEAN region.” Said Ashran Dato’ Ghazi, Chairman of New Entrepreneurs Foundation.

Tan Sri Dr Irwan and Ashran Dato' Ghazi speaking to one of the startup owners who are submitting their entries for their awards

Tan Sri Dr Irwan and Ashran Dato’ Ghazi speaking to one of the startup owners who are submitting their entries for the Rice Bowl Awards

According to Ashran, any startup business that was registered in an ASEAN country since three years ago is eligible to participate in the Rice Bowl Awards. The nomination period started from the 1st of June 2015, and will end on the 15th of August. The judges will then decide on the top 30 participants, who will announce their names on the 1st of October 2015.

The Rice Bowl Awards features 10 categories, including Startup Business of the Year, Women in Business Startup of the Year, Retail Startup of the Year, Media Startup of the Year, Digital/Online Startup of the year, Social Enterprise Startup of the Year, Tech Startup of the Year, Product Startup of the Year, Service Startup of the Year and Innovative Go-To-Market Campaign of the Year.

The winners of the award will be announced during the Awards ceremony in November 2015 during the 1ASEAN Entrepreneurship Summit 2015. Finalists in each of these categories will be awarded startup coaching worth USD15,000, regional media engagements and investor matching. Winners of each of the categories will also receive a Rice Bowl trophy.