Startup Weekend Brunei hosting tourism edition this December

Fifth edition looking to develop innovative startups to push Brunei's tourism industry

Runner-up at the third edition of Startup Weekend Brunei Pen of Hope speaking to the media.

Startup Weekend Brunei is looking to birth new, innovative ideas for the Sultanate’s tourism industry with its upcoming fifth edition this December 7 to 9 at the Royal Brunei Recreational Club.

A global three-day event that brings together budding entrepreneurs to pitch, validate and market new ideas, Startup Weekend debuted in Brunei last year in July and has since held editions for women and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Co-organizer for SWB Afiq Mohammed said that the upcoming edition’s focus on tourism is in tandem with Brunei’s December Festival (BDF) – a month-long initiative by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) to boost inbound and outbound tourism by hosting over 60 events and holiday promotions.

“The upcoming SWB is a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to explore our own country and develop new startups that can drive our tourism industry forward,” said Afiq.

“And the timing is right – BDF is a big event in Brunei – and we’ve also received an endorsement from MPRT for SWB to be a part of it.”

Brunei recorded its highest number of tourists last year with 258,955 arrivals, presenting local businesses with the opportunity to tap into and further develop the newfound demand.

Startup Weekend’s model begins with participants pitching ideas, with teams then formed around the most voted ideas. The teams then develop business models – and ideally a prototype – over the course of the weekend with the help of mentors before pitching before a panel of judges to determine a top three.

This edition’s mentors include co-founder of Singapore-based tourism startup Zelia Leong, Dynamik Technologies’ tech support lead Lee Abdullah, the president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei Fatin Arifin and Associate Professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Dr. Doris Selvaratnam.

Startup Weekend was founded by US-based startup accelerator Techstars. The latest edition in Brunei is being organized by local startups based out of Anggerek Desa’s Technology Park: Creativate, InTurn, The Creative Core BN and EICO Enterprise.

Registration costs $50 and  can be done online at SWB’s eventbrite link.