Source: Digital News Asia

  • Tap wisdom of crowds around challenges Carsome, Dropee and Travelio face
  • Creativity and the free flow of thoughts will be the name of the day

#VynnHack is a virtual hackathon by Kuala Lumpur based, Southeast Asian venture firm, Vynn Capital to provide an opportunity for promising talent in the region to work with three of the top startups in its portfolio.

The unique approach to the hackathon sees the participation of three startups from Vynn Capital’s portfolio, namely Carsome, Dropee and Travelio. Because each of the startups are from different verticals, the competition does not have an overiding theme.

Neither is there a technology theme. Instead, each of the three startups will be sharing two business opportunities that they see, which hackathon participants have to help them tap by proposing solutions. Winners will be the ones (be they individuals/teams/startups) who come up with the best ideas/proposals to help Dropee, Carsome or Travelio.

“We are not looking at a full MVP (minimum viable product). Just ideas and proposals. But of course, if they already have a real product, that will be a real bonus,” says Victor Chua (pic, top), founding and managing partner of Vynn Capital.

He explains that #VynnHack, is his firm’s attempt to look at encouraging more talent to be interested in the New Economy. “We are providing a platform for people to work with promising startups that could be the success stories that the next few generations will talk about,” he explains

Creativity and the free flow of thoughts will be the name of the day, says Victor. Only the finalists identified by the three companies get to engage with them.

Participants can be from any country within Southeast Asia. #VynnHack welcomes youths and entrepreneurs, from university students to working professionals or startups and companies, to pitch their best ideas. From solo participants upwards, Vynn Capital is opting for a very light touch with regards to who is eligible with the goal of encouraging participation.

Winners will have the opportunity to be hired by the companies or to work on building the proposed solutions/product together with the companies.

Above that, two of the winners will also be picked by Vynn Capital to be placed under its mentorship program, with the further possibility that one will also be considered as a potential investee which would entail a US$250,000 (RM1.03 million) investment.

Offering some advice, Eric Cheng, CEO and cofounder of Carsome highlights that “It is important to be in the right ecosystem or partnership environment as you will gain valuable insights and learnings, which is crucial for growing or scaling one’s business. I urge Southeast Asia’s young entrepreneurs to be very clear of the solutions they are building or offering, gather a capable team who believe in the same vision right from the start, set realistic goals and pace everyone.”

“Young entrepreneurs should start normalising failure, view them as a form of feedback, and indoctrinate the growth mindset. Incorporating a business and calling yourself as an entrepreneur is easy. But when your business starts scaling fast, you are no longer just an entrepreneur – you’re now a leader. And being a leader in a scale-up means you have to scale as fast (if not faster) than your company. That way, you have earned the right to lead the said company,” said Lennise Ng, CEO and cofounder of Dropee.

Beyond Malaysia, Hendry Rusli, CEO and cofounder of Travelio, comments “Southeast Asia has a lot of potential and young entrepreneurs have numerous opportunities in identifying pain points in the markets. With perseverance and staying on the forefront in adapting to new changes, young entrepreneurs will be able to grow and stay nimble in a competitive market.”

With no limit to the number of submissions, Victor is expecting more people talking to the companies. “This will lead to more ideas more creativity,” he explains.

Vynn Capital is organizing its inaugural portfolio focused virtual hackathon with support from the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, Malaysian Global Innovation & Creative Centre, Fundnel and Malaysian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association.

For more information about #VynnHack, please visit Vynn Capital’s website or contact the firm at