Promising Future for Asian Entrepreneurship as the Winners of the 14th Annual FedEx / JA International Trade Challenge Competition are Announced
Hong Kong SAR, China, Mar 4, 2021 — FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and one of the world’s largest express transportation companies, together with Junior Achievement (JA) Asia Pacific, announced the student winners of the 2020-2021 edition of its annual FedEx Express / JA International Trade Challenge (ITC) Asia Pacific Competition. The students presented their ideas during three days of intense competition in front of a panel of the region’s business leaders. This year, student teams of two were tasked with creating a market entry strategy for a mental wellbeing product in South Africa. The winning team was The Breakfast Club comprising Chloe Jazzy Lau from Hong Kong SAR and Aljo Benedicto from the Philippines for their idea to create a biometrics sensor powered by a smart app to detect anxiety attacks.
The winners won out of a group of 52 high school student finalists representing nine Asia Pacific markets (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam) competing in the event. The FedEx / JA ITC competition was held entirely virtually for the first time in its 14-year history due to the ongoing pandemic. The finalists had already won through local market competitions fending off more than 2,900 other aspiring student innovators.
“We are both honored to be named the winners of the competition. It’s so exciting! Every stage of the competition has been a fantastic challenge for us, especially in the finals. All of the ideas were so strong and we learnt volumes from this experience,” said The Breakfast Club team members. “We really feel inspired to follow a career in business right now.”
Team Lumos comprising Sakthivell Ahrumugam from Singapore and Chaeyoon Park from South Korea were named first runners-up for their idea of a smart-bike that helps track the user’s mental wellbeing.
The Viennese Medicos comprising Raine Santiago Nakpil from the Philippines and Theethad Thipsoda from Thailand were second runners-up. Their idea was a smart lamp with a sleep monitoring function.
“The creativity and enthusiasm that the students have shown during the competition is truly inspiring. Each team demonstrated innovative thinking to solving real world business challenges all of which are directly applicable to the post-COVID world,” said Kawal Preet, president, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region, FedEx Express. “As a supporter of youth entrepreneurship and a proponent of small businesses in Asia Pacific, we believe that empowering the next generation will help the region prepare for what’s next and help bring the global marketplace to our doorstep.”
“I am very grateful that in the face of a global pandemic we were able to once again provide a stage for our students and complete another very successful iteration of the ITC competition, doing so virtually for the first time ever” said Maziar Sabet, President and CEO of JA Asia Pacific. “Our students showed a great deal of resilience and remained undaunted by the changes posed by a virtual format. Entrepreneurship is about leadership, and our ITC participants displayed it in abundance!”
The FedEx Express / JA International Trade Challenge program is jointly organized by FedEx Express and JA Asia Pacific, a member of JA Worldwide. More information about the program can be found here. In addition to supporting young entrepreneurs through JA ITC, FedEx Express is an advocate for and supporter of small-and-medium-enterprises (SMEs) around the Asia Pacific region.
Judges of the competition were impressed by the organization of the virtual competition and the efforts made by the students.
“Despite the challenges presented in a virtual format, the event was very well organized and was filled with passionate young adults from almost every country in Asia with concrete business plans that aimed to solve a specific social problem. Congratulations!”
Darius Yuen, Founder, Zhong Yi Investment Managers.
“It was really good to see these aspiring young entrepreneurs rise up to the occasion pitching digitally, full of commitment regardless of the global pandemic. This bodes well for our Asia Pacific region with such talented youngsters bringing our nations forward.”
Naysan Munusamy, Co-Founder, MoneyMatch.
“I am really impressed with the output of all the student participants. Despite the virtual format and limited time for their activities and interactions, they were able to come up with a good product and market entry strategy. I am looking forward to seeing these aspiring entrepreneurs do well once they decide to pursue their goals.”
Neptune Factor, Founder and CEO, ECFulfill Inc.
“You are never too young to start your own business. So start now! There is nothing you will learn more from than by building your own business. The learning experience is valuable for the rest of your life, no matter if your business ends ups being a success or not.”
Robin Teurlings, CEO, The Startup Buddy.
About JA Asia Pacific
JA Asia Pacific is a member of JA Worldwide, one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. With teams across 17 countries and territories, the JA Asia Pacific network is comprised of nearly 50,000 volunteers, mentors, and teachers from all sectors of society with a reach of more than 1.2 million students. As a member of JA Worldwide, our global network is comprised of more than 465,000 volunteers, serving more than 10 million students in over 100 countries each year.