[By: Zebun Nesa Bristy, Sydney Gan, Raysa Orin]
[Interviewed by: Fiona Kiung, Sarah Lau Xiao Hui, Esabel Roncon, and Elaine Shak Xin Yinn]
InnoFest, where talents, ideas, and passion constellate in a three-day event, kicked off on the 25th of November and concluded on the 27th. Students from different schools convened together in the Grand Hall to witness the stunning displays.
An abundance of booths was set up in the hall showcasing the talents of the students, one of which was the School of Engineering’s creation of a new and improved version of coconut deshelling machines. This project provided a safer alternative to ordinary machines, which require hands to close the plates of the machine. The design allows less direct human contact with the machine, which decreases the risk of harm. This machine was specifically commissioned and costs around RM 500, including the cost of the materials. The group found that the most difficult aspect was to figure out the defects of the machine and getting it to work properly – a challenge they’ve ultimately risen above, victorious.
Another shocking idea presented by the students was a condom vending machine. This unique idea was proposed by Taylor’s Business School’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator Project, whose purpose was to promote safe sex and broaden consumer choice as they’ve noted that stores only offer limited brands to choose from. They have ambitious goals for the future regarding this project – starting with placing vending machines in areas where there is nightlife. Once they become well known, the group plans to expand this to private institutions. The machine also sells other products like lubes and after each purchase, the screen on the machine will display educational information regarding correct usage of the item, thus encouraging responsible sex practice just as intended.
“Snack Wise”- another brilliant idea displayed at the exhibition. It incorporates nutritious food into the lives of youth in Malaysia to tackle childhood obesity. This concept utilizes vegetables from local farmers in order to make healthy food more affordable to all school children. Students from the Taylor’s Business School have worked to perfect this product by surveying the target audience to address their needs precisely. “The product has a market price of RM 2. With the average pocket money for children in Malaysia at RM 5, this can be purchased by most children during school hours”- commented Helen Chia, the exhibitor of the project. She also added that the team plans to begin with Selangor, but eventually spread their product to rural areas.
Students from Banking and Finance have worked for almost 2 months to create a subscription box containing items made by refugees residing in Malaysia. At the booth, Ahmad Thabet, from the School of Banking and Finance, explained, “The rate of the refugees coming to Malaysia has been growing since 2016. Our aim is to help these refugees to build a safer environment for themselves by giving them an opportunity to be our supplier”. The subscription box comes in three different types and contains items used in daily life. This product stands out due to its highly affordable prices compared to similar products prepared by others.
While all the innovators surprised us with their inventions and ideas, the school of business also made sure they imprint their ideas into the visitors’ minds. One such idea was everyone’s favourite: “Your tea, your choice”. A vending machine that serves freshly made tea and bubble tea. The exhibitor, Pravena Rameswaran mentioned, “This will help the students who rush to classes or assignments, staying up late at night to get a drink anytime they want.” These vending machines allow students to buy their favourite drink, at their preferred temperature and sugar level only at RM 6.50. You can order in less than 3 minutes, making it more convenient, because we students are always in a rush.
The students from International Business and Marketing introduced Agroics fertilizers, which can be available to people for a cheap price and is made from fruit and vegetable peels. It’s not only affordable, but also a great approach to reduce waste disposal across Malaysia.
Sarwind A/L Sangar, the exhibitor, stated, “I would say it is a household necessity because currently, it’s necessary to plant a tree in every house. I think it is very affordable because we only sell it for RM22.90 for 5kg, so it’s like a 2-in-1 kind of product”. He added, “When we make a business plan, rather than just earning profits, why can’t we just help the environment at the same time?”
What a delight it was to have these brilliant minds storming with their ideas and inventions under one single roof right at the heart of our own campus! Such an enlightening and inspiring event hosted professionally by the students themselves. We look forward to the next InnoFest to delve into fresh and innovative ideas once again.
Photographer & Videographer: Theodore Lee Soon Hur