Startup Weekend Kota Kinabalu 05/17

    Friday, May 5 - 7, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Organizing Team
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Kota Kinabalu, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Kota Kinabalu 05/17

Friday, May 5 - 7, 2017

Friday, May 5 - 7, 2017
Event starts at 3:00 pm

The Pacific Sutera Hotel
1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 88100

Buy Tickets

Build a Business in 54 Hours

If you are interested in entrepreneurship, then this event is for you! Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, if you motivated to build a product or startup and open to new ideas, you’ll fit right in. Startup Weekend attendee backgrounds are roughly 50% technical (developers, coders, designers) and 50% business (marketing, finance, law, business development). 

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday May 5th

3:00 pm
Registration & Networking
Attendees: Arrive at the venue, get checked in, have some snacks, get to know fellow participants, and share ideas

3:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Organiser, Facilitator, Attendees: Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

3:30 pm
Pitches Start
Attendees: Line up to give your pitch

5:00 pm
Attendees: Vote for the top pitches

5:15 pm
Form Teams
Attendees: Teams start forming and discussing ideas

6:00 pm
Begin Work
Attendees: Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow. Organisers: Distribute Business Model Canvas sheets to attendees

Saturday May 6th

9:00 am
Attendees: Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Attendees: Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10:00 am
Real Startups Talk 1
Speaker: Sharing on opportunities and challenges of running a startup

10:30 am
Attendees: Continue with product development

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Attendees: After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coaching and Clinics
Coaches: 10-minute briefing with organiser/facilitator; set up clinic or help teams one-on-one. Attendees: Ask advice from the coaches. They are here to help!

3:30 pm
Real Startups Talk 2
Speaker: Sharing on opportunities and challenges of running a startup

6:00 pm
Attendees: Continue with product development

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
Attendees: After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Attendees: Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday May 7th

9:00 am
Attendees: Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:30 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches: 15-minute briefing; set up clinics or check on groups. Attendees: ASK QUESTIONS

12:00 pm

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Attendees: Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

3:30 pm
Break & Continue
Attendees: Simple tea break & standby for final presentation. Judges: Arrival and briefing by organiser/facilitator

4:00 pm
Final Presentations

5:30 pm
Judging & Awards

6:00 pm
Wrap-Up & Go Home
Photo op. Congratulations everyone!


Richard Ker

MaGIC + ASEAN connector & startup ecosystem builder

Event Judges

Ehon Chan
Executive Director of ASEAN Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE), and Community & Outreach, MaGIC

Entrepreneur in Residence for Impact Hub UK, former co-founder of Impact Hub Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide.Ehon Chan has been known as a social entrepreneur, innovator, and one of the “world’s most inspiring young achiever and innovator under 30” (Sandbox Network).He has passion for entrepreneurial and innovative approaches to social change that is both equitable and sustainable. His work has focused on harnessing the social impact of digital technology and new media for the greater good.

Ehon also has extensive experience working with the government, corporate and social sector as a consultant, educator, and advisor on projects related to engagement, community development, digital technology, new media and campaigning. Most recently, Ehon joined Impact Hub UK as their Entrepreneur in Residence, focused on catalysing growth and efficiencies across Impact Hubs Islington, Westminster, Brixton and Birmingham.

Emily S. Barner
Co-Founder & General Manager of The Borneo Tribal Squad MMA

Emily Barner is originally from Canada, where she graduated with an International Masters of Business Administration (IMBA) with a specialization in Cross-Cultural Management. Her work with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs originally brought her to Malaysia in 1998 where she was appointed the Executive Director of the Malaysia Canada Business Council in Kuala Lumpur.

Detailed bio:

Johan Amilin
Coach. Mentor. Trainer.

Certified Performance Coach and Trainer with broad experience in Financial Investment and Financial Planning and Speciality in Entreprenuership. Direct experience with setting up companies, motivating partners and staff, setting and achieving corporate goals, scaling up the company and developing business plans and strategies. 
Always interested in developing human capital, next generation corporate leaders and challenging myself to be better.
Specialties: Startup Coaching and Mentoring, Executive Mentoring, Sales, planning, strategizing, finance

Coaches and Mentors

Hanaa Wong Abdullah

Hanaa Wong Abdullah is an entrepreneur, a speaker, trainer, activist, a mother of two young adults, a mentor to other women and a strong advocate for women empowerment. Hanaa has co-owned and managed several companies from the time she lived in Kuala Lumpur in the 90s and has learned many good and precious experiences in her entrepreneurship journey. Most recently, she founded a training company at home in Sabah and now co-manages it with her husband of 27 years.

Detailed bio:

Audrey Koh-Wiles

Audrey Koh Sui Ean, just ‘Audrey’ to friends and family and ‘Madam’ to most, is a vibrant and dynamic individual who has come a long way but still has more to see and do. Having graduated from the University of Exeter, UK in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) with Honours in 2001, she now has 16 years as an English teacher under her belt. Her passion lies not just in teaching this intricate subject, but as an examiner and a motivational and content-based speaker for teachers and students all over Malaysia. She runs workshops and seminars for all levels including English for UPSR, PT3, SPM 111/9 and MUET. Audrey now has a successful blog with more than 4 million hits. You can have a peek at and she has also recently started online mentoring.

Detailed bio:

Sivakumar Kumaresan
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, University Malaysia Sabah

Dr. Siva is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at University Malaysia Sabah, where he currently serves as the Deputy Director for Community Engagement at the Centre for Industry and Community Networks. He is also a Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner, and has been training and coaching students and working adults in accelerated learning, personal development, and communication skills since 2000.  He feels that with the right knowledge and practice, everyone has the ability to live a more meaningful life.  

Specialisation: Coaching and Mentoring, Integrating Personal Development into Entrepreneurship

Suhaimie Selin
Founder and Director at Master Tyro Virtual Office

Suhaimie spend almost 8 years now learning his own path of entrepreneurship. Started his journey with online business and then go to the street market where he tries to understand back to the basic the needs of being an entrepreneur. Along the way he learn his trade by actively involved in various development program organized by the government, NGO’s and not just being a participant but also being the person in charge to run the program. He believes life will be better by having the right knowledge, multiple experiences & resources in hands. To add on that he also believe in building great circle of networking & having the right people surrounding. Also be able to self-motivate ourselves from the inside is one of his key in sustaining today lives.
Currently he now enjoyed exploring the idea of community power in entrepreneurship pathway. His style is always about exploring new ways of doing things. That’s why the words virtual is the latest keyword and platform he love to use when he do his coaching and online training. Apart from that, he wants to be more specific in his area of sharing which cover mostly on Personal Development Program, Entrepreneurs Effective Communication and on How to Start Better in Business. Being a Speaker, Trainer & Social Entrepreneur are just how he does his things now in reality and virtually. All this are under construction in his personal & business brand called Master Tyro. “Get You Start Better!”
Suhaimie aka Master Tyro: Business Model, Market Validation & Pitch

Rene Mark Barrow & Tessa Laurabel de Souza
Garden Serenity Airbnb Superhosts & Oddjobbers

Husband and wife team, Rene & Tessa love to study, explore and experiment with doing lots of different things in life. Rene’s qualifications include interior design, singing, pronunciation training, voice technique, and even biblical studies, while Tessa’s qualifications include hospitality marketing, Teaching English as Foreign Language, life coaching and behavioural analysis. 

They have run a successful Airbnb in Kota Kinabalu since April 2014 and were featured as one of the top seven Malaysian Airbnb Superhosts to stay with. However, they also love pursuing multiple interests, with Rene working as a singer, emcee, voice-trainer and voiceover artist, while Tessa is an HRDF-certified trainer who enjoys emcee work and volunteering with NGOs.

Life is too short to just focus on one thing, so they try to do as much as they can with their limited time on earth.

Jennifer Balanting
Operations Manager, Inspiring Ahead Sdn Bhd

Jennifer Balanting is local Sabahan certified Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) Trainer who has been in the employment market for over 12 years involving in most of the functional department of production, hospitality, government department, investment, education, training and insurance. Her wide exposure begins from the bottom as she developed her communication skills through dealing a various behaviour of clients and people internal and externally. Her Managerial position in her past employment complements her qualification as a Master in Business Administration (MBA) holder from Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Her training areas are inclusive of communication, management, sales and marketing, human resource and motivation. She is a mother of 3, a mother of a special child with Autism brings out the best character out of her in dealing with difficult participants. As a strong believer in fun learning, she practically lives by a quote “THE ONLY WAY TO DO GREAT WORK IS TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO” by Steve Jobs. Her ability to speak in English, Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin and local Dusun dialect allow her communication becomes more engaging and interactive with her client(s). 

Caroline R. Dawayan
Training Manager, Inspiring Ahead Sdn Bhd

Caroline is certified HRDF trainer has 8 years of experience as a HR Practitioner in several capacities, inclusive of managerial duties in the hotel industry and a combined 4 years of lecturing in higher learning institutions as well as training. She recently also completed her Masters in Human Capital Management (MHCM) from University Malaysia Sabah at the top of her programme with honours.  She is currently the Training Manager for Inspiring Ahead Sdn. Bhd. She trains on subjects relating to the Human Resource function and trains fresh graduates on how to prepare for interviews as well as how to write effective resumes and cover letters. She lectures on Business Communications (Communications at Work) for both Business Students and Technical Students (Oil & Gas).

Ophelia Domingo

Ophelia is an audiologist by profession. In 1994, her father started Kinabalu Hearing Aid Centre Sdn Bhd, dealing with hearing aids, medical & safety supplies. In 2010, the family business expended and Ophelia took over the hearing care unit and re-branded it to Ophelia Hearing Specialist. Apart from running the family business, she is actively involved in various NGOs in the areas of women empowerment, leadership, communication and public speaking.

Cynthia Robert Dawayan

Having spent almost 15 years in the education industry, Cynthia is currently employed in one of the local public university in Sabah, Malaysia, under the Faculty of Business Management, where she holds the post as a senior lecturer. Her area of expertise includes tourism management, marketing, public relations, social media marketing and entrepreneurship. Presently pursuing her PhD in Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Cynthia’s research area focuses on social media marketing competencies among small tourism entrepreneurs.

Selvestone Junit
Founder / Managing Director, The Panorama Paradise Resort

Selvestone started his entrepreneur career at a young age by owning his own oil palm plantation in 2008, and later expanding into the tourism business in 2012 with Panorama Paradise Resort in Kota Marudu, Sabah. He provides his expertise in entrepreneurship, business modeling and strategic development, creative marketing engagement, market access and entrepreneur development for startups, SMEs and innovative SMEs.

Detailed bio:

Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Kota Kinabalu is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Lorna
  • Lalitha


Farah Fauzi
Customer Success

Regional Manager at Techstars

Event Staff

Ricardo Unto
Media Strategy Advisor

Ricardo is an Editor for Sabah's premier daily newspaper, Daily Express ( and is the go-to person for press coverage of important events throughout Kota Kinabalu and Sabah.

Rachel Sibangun Joseph

Ian Goh
Lead, DrinkEntrepreneurs in KK

He does things.

Event Blog

See Full Blog

We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!