Forest Interactive Foundation Teams Up With CIMB Foundation to Cultivate Future Malaysian Tech Leaders With #seKODlah TecHive

April 3, 2024

Kuala Lumpur, April 3, 2024: In partnership with CIMB Foundation, Forest Interactive Foundation (FIF) commenced the third edition of its tech career preparedness #seKODlah program, the #SeKODlah TecHive. This initiative is designed to prepare young and talented Malaysians with a keen interest in technology for success in 21st-century digital career landscapes.

This month-long program, held from January 8th to February 6th 2024, featured an intensive tech boot camp and workshops to enhance participants' employability in the modern era, along with industry sharing by leading technology companies and a visit to the Google Malaysia Office.  

The program concluded with a Hackathon pitching competition, where participants applied their acquired skills over 36 hours, crafting and presenting projects addressing real-world problems to industry experts.  

A total of RM 12,000 was awarded to the winning groups.  

Intelli-FinTech secured the top spot in the #SeKODlah TecHive hackathon with its personalized generative AI-powered financial wallet advisor app.

Johary Mustapha, CEO and founder of FIF expressed his appreciation, stating, "We extend our sincere gratitude to CIMB Foundation for their steadfast support in this collaboration , marking the third cohort of #seKODlah. This follows the successful completion of the first and second cohort in 2021 and 2022, where all 37 individuals secured employment. This year, we aim to cultivate the potential of our youth in Malaysia in the technology landscape. We perceive it as our privilege to empower the younger generation with the necessary skills and knowledge, envisioning them as impactful contributors to the future global economy."

programAhmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff, Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Foundation said, "CIMB Foundation is pleased to continue our meaningful collaboration with Forest Interactive Foundation for the third cohort of the #seKODlah programme, a commendable initiative that aims to cultivate young tech talent, equipping them with essential skills needed to thrive in an ever-changing tech-centric economy. This aligns with our core impact areas of Education and Economic Empowerment, where we firmly believe that equitable access to knowledge of emerging technologies coupled with relevant soft skills will strengthen the employability of Malaysian youths, giving them a competitive advantage to enter the high-demand tech workforce. We hope the invaluable experiences gained through #seKODlah will foster a lifelong interest in technology and innovation among participants, inspiring them to become future leaders and trailblazers in the booming tech industry both in the nation and beyond.”

Bootcamp and Workshops  

Sponsored by CIMB Foundation, FIF facilitated 17 days of a tech bootcamp for in-demand tech skills such as coding and AI, and 21st-century skills workshops led by industry experts.

Expert speakers from Forest Interactive, CIMB, Cradle, Agensi Kaunseling & Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK), Google and IBM were also part of the program to provide support and enrich the learning experience.  

The Tech bootcamp session included:  

  • Introduction to AI, Copyright and App Monetization by Ajay Gunasekaran, UI/UX Lead at Forest Interactive
  • Robotic Process Automation by Jenny Khuc, APAC Technical Lead-Business Automation at IBM
  • Introduction to Machine Learning by Syamim Saifuddin, Data Analyst at Forest Interactive
  • A Hands-On Approach to Node.Js by Hainum Hameed, Development Operations Lead at Forest Interactive

The 21st-century skills workshops and industry sharing included:  

  • Investment 101 by CIMB
  • Scam & Fraud Prevention by CIMB
  • Funding for Start Ups by Cradle
  • Pinjam Jangan Sampai Pitam (Borrow Responsibly, and Prevent Any Adverse Consequences) by AKPK
  • Product Marketing by Elfo

The sessions aimed to furnish students with indispensable skills and insights from industry professionals, enabling them to navigate the dynamic intersections of technology and business.  

Hackathon pitch competition

The final component of the #seKODlah TecHive program, the Hackathon pitch competition served as a platform for participants to demonstrate the skills acquired during the initiative’s immersive sessions.

The 27 participants were strategically organized into nine distinct groups. Each group was assigned the task of developing a project aimed at addressing prevalent issues in Malaysia, including topics such as financial inclusion, fraud detection, and personal banking.  

The projects were designed to provide innovative solutions to these ongoing challenges. Taking inspiration from the "Shark Tank" TV program, the three judges, Johary Mustapha, founder of Forest Interactive Foundation, Rositah Mariam Sulaiman, Head of Corporate Responsibility, CIMB Group and Mohd Noor Hisham Bin Abdul Bari, Assistant Vice President, Ecosystem Development, Cradle were each allocated with RM 4,000 (Four Thousand Malaysian Ringgit) to 'invest' in selected groups.

The competition had no predetermined number of winners or fixed prize amounts; the outcomes were solely at the discretion of the judges. Graciously, Cradle, a pivotal agency supporting early-stage startups in Malaysia, additionally allocated RM 15,000 , distributed among 6 groups.  

Group 5, having emerged as the first place winner, introduced their app named Intelli FinTech, a personalized generative AI-powered financial wallet advisor. The team, consisting of Arinn Danish Bin Abdullah, Nur Fatihah Binti Zainal Abidin, and Vimal Raj A/L Nagarajan, delved into the crucial issue of bankruptcy in personal banking management during the 36-hour hackathon. Their solution directly addressed the persistent global challenges associated with maintaining financial stability, showcasing a keen understanding of the complexities involved. Recognizing their efforts, the judges rewarded them with a total of RM 6,550, establishing them as the winner among the nine participating teams.

The members from the top winning group 5, shared that “Victory isn't just about crossing the finish line; it's about pushing forward with deep passion, trusting in each team member's abilities aided by continuous learning and the agility for improvissation.”

The partnership between Forest Interactive Foundation (FIF) and CIMB Foundation for the third #seKODlah initiative, the #seKODlah TecHive signifies a joint commitment to cultivating the potential of young Malaysian talents, preparing them to be impactful contributors to the future success of the nation's technology sector.

For more information on Forest Interactive Foundation, visit  

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