University of Southeastern Philippines’ Team E-Pursuers is now closer in realizing their startup dream after being hailed Grand Winner of the DICT-led Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC) 4 National Finals held last 6 April 2018 at Green Sun Hotel, Makati City.

The trio of Mariah Nicole Perez de Tagle, Daniella Javilles, and Annie Marrise Insong bested nine other entries with their startup pitch presentation on Centsilyo, a mobile wallet application that digitally pays items and also store changes up until the last cent.

“Our startup idea was actually inspired by the No Shortchanging Act of 2016 (RA 10909),” shared de Tagle, who tapped her classmates Javilles and Insong to develop their innovative project.

With the help of their mobile app Centsilyo, a play on the word sensilyo, a Bisaya term for change, Team E-Pursuers envisions in reinforcing Republic Act 10909, which prohibits business establishments from giving insufficient or no change to consumers.

Team E-Pursuers also received the Huawei Philippines Special Award, earning them an invite to join the Seeds for the Future Program in October for a two-week immersion in startup hubs in Beijing and Shenzhen, China.

While waiting for their China trip, the lady innovators of USeP vowed to continue developing the app with the support they gained from the competition. “We will (pursue it), and we already talked to the people here that are willing to mentor us or invest in our app,” said Javilles.

Team Technogeeks’ Taptrack of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines and Team Rocket’s Venturepal of the University of Cebu (UC) emerged second and third place, respectively, while The Elaborators’ myMDLab of Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation won the Social Media Award.

Taptrack is a portable RFID-based attendance management system with SMS transmission for field workers while Venturepal is an online investment pooling platform for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). myMDLab, on the other hand, is  a digital application which lets patients request for laboratory services at the comfort of their homes.

Ms. Rosario Gruet, Spring.PH co-founder and PSC 4 head judge, noted how the judges had a difficult time determining the winners. “The scores of the teams were close because we were quite happy with the teams’ (pitches) this year,” shared Gruet.

DICT Undersecretary Monchito B. Ibrahim, Mr. Jojo Flores (Launchgarage), Mr. Butch Meily (Ideaspace Foundation Inc.), and Mr. Wellington Liu (Huawei Philippines) constitute the board of judges.

In his keynote speech, OIC Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. expressed his elation on the growth of PSC, which received a total of 202 entries on its fourth edition.

“This is what the DICT is all about: cultivating a culture of innovation,” said OIC Secretary Rio.

During the event, startup innovators Dann Angelo De Guzman of Cloudswyft and PSC 2016 winner and Milktrack founder Kevin Facun also gave the participants inspirational messages on their respective startup journeys.

Bigger on its fourth run, the PSC 4 was conducted with the support of the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), Huawei Philippines, Ideaspace, Launchgarage, and Philippine Society of IT Educators (PSITE).