Winning Youth Leadership Academy 2015

The team I was mentoring for this year’s Youth Leadership Academy (organised by McKinsey & Company) won first place!

I had a lot of high hopes but it was a bit unexpected because the team had to change their idea several times. But I’m glad eventually they settled on one, and then focused hard on really good execution. I remembered sitting down with them at Starbucks, and was explaining to them what they needed to do to show that the project had a huge potential, and to show traction.

mckinsey youth leadership academyI supposed whatever I learned from my little experience in the startup scene helped. I thought to myself “I know this is part of the Youth Leadership Academy, and not an actual startup, but what would an investor want to be able to see for them to conclude that this project was some real potential and is feasible?”.

They were also asking about how the project could be funded, and part of me wanted to just tell them I would help fund it because it was very little money, but in the end I thought it would have been a bigger lesson if they learned how to generate money by creating value. That would have led to a more sustainable project, and ultimately, the fact that people are willing to pay, makes traction more meaningful.

I thought it would have been a bigger lesson if they learned how to generate money by creating value

If you’ve never heard of this before, McKinsey and Company’s Youth Leadership Academy brings some of the brightest young talent across Malaysia every year, and coaches them to run social projects that hopefully make an impact in the country. It has been a great way for me to connect to some of our youth, and experience first hand what they consider important, and how they see their careers.

AgriTravels aims to promote AgriTourism in Malaysia, which creates a second income for many potentially struggling farms, and helps create awareness with the public on where their food comes from. Perhaps they can even learn how to eat and live healthy.

Really proud of these guys! Check out their website: