Social Innovation Camp Asia – the first of many?







On 11th-13th November 2012 at Taylor’s University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was Social Innovation Camp Asia.

They had a massive 160 ideas submitted from 12 countries, and brought participants in from 16 countries with the help of an astounding list of sponsors and partners from around the region. 85 participants came in and worked straight through the weekend, and here’s what they built.

Winner: That App

ThatApp helps young people find out the real story about sex by making a game out of it. You can challenge other users with the questions and, if you get the answer wrong, you can look up the true answer immediately. Sexual health education is a big problem for young people all over the world, with potentially life-changing or life-threatening consequences – this app takes a new stance towards it.

ThatApp will get RM5,000 to make their idea a reality and up to USD$12,000 hosting over a year from Softlayer, as well as a free membership at the Hub Singapore.



The Philippines has a shortage of over 60M textbooks in its public schools – Bookbag is encouraging private schools and members of the public to help out their local, less fortunate school neighbours by passing over used or unwanted books to them. They’ve built a shopping platform that allows books to be grouped and handed out in-country.


Rare Genomics Asia

Rare Genomics Asia helps people with rare genetic diseases get access to gene sequencing services, allowing patients to get a diagnosis, and also giving researchers access to these genes for research. They are partnering with the Rare Genomics Institute and Johns Hopkins. Asian and Malay genes are under-represented in research literature, so this is a win for both researchers and patients. Often, patients just need a diagnosis.

Blood Donors Network

In the Philippines, when a patient needs blood and the hospital doesn’t have it there & ready, the family is responsible for finding donors. The Blood Donors Network is the beginning of a web & mobile framework for blood donors which can work with country-specific needs. The Philippines launch will focus first on helping families reach out to their networks, through email, SMS, and other methods in emergency situations. This will build a network of blood donors who hospitals can then target with marketing campaigns.



Civic Ticket

Civic Ticket is a location-based mobile app that lets users take a photo of a piece of broken civic infrastructure and report it. The Civic Ticket team plan to build traction with citizen users of their mobile app – including giving out awards to KL’s favourite pothole each month, and then begin to sell the data to local authorities as a way to effectively get broken infrastructure into their ticketing system.

Find Art

Finally, Find Art allows you as a user to find something creative and interesting and share it – this could be street art, public art, or pop-up shops. The Find Art app will hand out a bit of the photo to other nearby users and crowdsource clues, allowing users to have automatically made creative scavenger hunts built for them. They plan to partner with local art festivals and events for sponsorship and customised tours as well.

What else?

The standard of these ideas and participants was really high. The Social Innovation Camp team in London would like to give a big hand to Tan Andrew, Li Szu, and Wyeth Yoon, who worked tirelessly over the past 5 months to make this a reality. Their journey has only just begun.

Social Innovation Camp is not just about the weekend – we heard from little birds that several of the teams got quite a bit of extra help moving forward – from prominent national and international doctors, partnerships, further sponsorship, and at least one team has been accepted on an incubation programme.

We’ve had a couple of blog posts as well, one from a participant and one from a mentor Sue Kim, founder of Libbler.

Update: Softlayer has agreed to extend the winning sponsorship of hosting plans for a year – a value up to USD$1000/month for 12 months.

What next?

We’re hoping to go big in Southeast Asia – running a few Social Innovation Camps next year, building strong teams and a strong regional Social Innovation Camp body. If you’d like to help us out, do get in touch.

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