Here at BAWA Cane, we strongly believe it is our mission to revolutionize the way visually impaired perceive their environment. A standard white cane is unable to detect above knee level obstacles such as common household furniture. Thus, BAWA Cane is created to empower every visually impaired to do more.

If you have yet read our Microsoft Imagine Cup: Big Idea Challenge journey, click here.

In this post, we continued our humble journey to validate our idea and innovation in Microsoft Imagine Cup Malaysia 2016. This is part 2 of a 4-part series sharing our experience through the preliminaries all the way to Microsoft Imagine Cup Malaysia 2016 grand finale.

If you have yet read part 1 of our Journey through 2016 Microsoft Imagine Cup Malaysia, click here.

Results was announced on Microsoft Imagine Cup Malaysia Facebook Page.

Microsoft Imagine Cup Malaysia 2016 Finalists

Photo credits: Microsoft Imagine Cup Malaysia Facebook Page

Microsoft Imagine Cup Malaysia (National finals)

Day 1: Setting Up

Arriving at Dewan Seri Negeri, Malacca (12 April 2016), we checked out the competition ground and our booth.

It was not an exhibition booth we expected. It was a combination of 2 tables, 8 chairs, some AC sockets, and nothing else. Nevertheless, we powered through. With the booth setting as such, we came up with a solution to borrow a table cloth from the hall’s staff as part of our booth’s decoration. As per usual booth style, we would hang up A2 poster regarding our project on the wall. Since there was no wall or partition, many competitors were unable to hang up their posters as their backdrop. Lady luck was on our side as we prepared A2 poster with poster stand. Our booth’s decoration was modest; posters, laptops, brochures, and most importantly, our prototype.

Team BAWA at Microsoft Imagine Cup Malaysia 2016

Other than checking out the booth space, little setting up process, and getting to know other competitors, there was a short talk by Bikesh Lakhmichand from 1337 Ventures. The talk was fruitful as it gave us a preview of startup adventure. As the day goes by, with closing remarks from competition organisers, we were all invited to a networking session (dinner).

You may think dinner was simple and nothing special to it. Then, you have thought wrongly. There was an unexpected blackout at the restaurant we were in. The blackout caused some people to be frustrated and annoyed (well, just to be clear, we are not included in “some people” as we have BAWA Cane to guide us out of the dark restaurant avoiding obstacles; tables and chairs).

To make matters worse, the bus drivers were not in their buses as it was still long before our meeting time to go back to the hotel or hall. Malaysian weather as you may have guess is hot, we were standing at the five-foot way and roadside waiting for the bus drivers. After minutes of waiting, we were all sent back to the hotel for the night to rest. Although we were supposed to rest for a jammed packed Day 2 in which the real competition begins, we continued with our preparations for the competition; refining our presentation and ensuring our prototype is working.

Stay tuned for part 3 of this 4-part series where we things heat up on Day 2 of Microsoft Imagine Cup Malaysia 2016!

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