QUEZON CITY, Philippines (December 16, 2014)- Five student teams were granted mentorship in pursuing their tech startup ideas last December 12, 2014 during the Philippine startup Challenge National Finals, a project initiated by the Department of Science and Technology- Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST- ICT Office) and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA).
Organized in collaboration with Ideaspace, Vibal Publishing House Inc., Microsoft, and HP Philippines, the competition aimed to promote digital entrepreneurship among university students and to encourage them to jumpstart their innovative technology ideas. These initiatives are geared towards developing the Philippine Startup ecosystem and community.
Mr. Monchito Ibrahim, Deputy Executive Director of DOST- ICT Office said that while the Startup Challenge aimed to inspire the students, the organizers were more inspired with the passion and ideas of the students who aspire to be young technopreneurs.
A total of 51 entries were received for the Challenge. From this number, the top 20 teams were given the chance to pitch their product ideas in front of the judges. The judging panel during the National Finals included Earl Martin Valencia of Ideaspace, Allan Tan of PSIA, Earljohn Hidalgo of Vibal Publishing House Inc., and Allan de Jesus of HP Philippines.
The winning teams consist of three teams from Ateneo de Davao University (NoSemicolon, Gecko, and WiseGeeks), one from University of San Jose–Recoletos in Cebu (Technovators), and lastly, one from the University of the East in Manila (Pag Hinabol Mo Lalong Lalayo). The winners pitched the following startup ideas:
- Intern Ship (Pag Hinabol Mo Lalong Lalayo) – an application that allows students to use geolocational search for finding companies, which are looking for new interns. Students
can also use resume and application letter templates through this internship portal.
- Tweeva (Technovators) – is a mobile/web application that analyzes Twitter data to provide sentiment analysis of a given hashtag keyword. Aside from the sentiment analysis, the application will also generate demographics. The application will also provide rankings for specific topics like restaurants, hotels, public figures, and others.
- POD (NoSemicolon) – is a cross-platform mobile application that provides suggestions for students or individuals who wish to study or work away from their hometown and needs to find a dormitory or apartment where they can stay. This features all dormitories/apartments that are around the vicinity of the entered school or university.
- CareStarter (Gecko) – is an application that assists scholars in finding the right donor for them and for donors to find deserving scholarship beneficiaries. This application is an avenue for scholars and donors to interact with each other. Donors will also be given the privilege to see the transcript of records of the students they are funding so that they will be able to check on the accomplishments of their scholars.
- Escape Plan (WiseGeeks) – is an augmented reality game that will change the way of
building teams. It addresses issues on inconveniences before, during, and after team
building activities, such as going to far-flung areas, spending too much money, getting in harm’s way and destroying the shared vision of the company because of irrelevant
competition. This game promotes basic principles of building effective teams – effective
communication, shared purpose, dynamic team design and balance orientation. The objective of the game is to escape the room, where teams get to escape an environment by
solving puzzles and finishing the challenges.
For the remaining 15 teams who did not make it to the top 5, Ms. Maria Rosario Gruet, Director of PSIA Software Product Incubation Group (SPRING.ph), assured that they are more than willing to help them develop their startup ideas if they decide to pursue their business plans after graduation.
Now on its pilot run, the Philippine Startup Challenge 2014 was launched last August 14. Prior to the formal launch of the Competition, startup bootcamps were conducted for IT instructors and professions of various academic institutions across the country to equip them with startup knowledge and skills necessary in mentoring their participating students.
About DOST-ICT Office – The Information and Communications Technology Office of the
Department of Science and Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernance, ICT policy development, Internet for all, and Cybersecurity.
About PSIA – The Philippine Software Industry Association is a nonstock and nonprofit
organization dedicated to promote the growth and development of the software industry in the Philippines and increase its over-all competitiveness in the global scene. For 26 years now, it has been closely working with the government, the academe, and the IT community, to further the country’s success in this rapidly expanding industry.
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