The Department of Information and Communications Technology and the Philippine Software Industry Association announced the winners of the 2016 Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC) last April 21, 2017 in Roxas City Capiz.

Philippine Startup Challenge is a national startup competition which aims to encourage the youth to create innovative solutions to real-life problems. Mr.Joey Gurango, PSC’s  head coach, admits that the competition became tougher this year, “This is not just a competition or academic exercise. We treat each of the teams the same way we treat the people in the startup industry. We expect the same from these kids because we know they are really up to something.”

Ten teams in the software track and 3 teams in the Internet of Things (IoT) track presented their startup idea among startup industry leaders namely Mr. Jojo Flores (Launchgarage), Mr. Joey Gurango (Philippine Software Industry Association), Ms. Diane Eustaquio (Ideaspace Philippines), Mr. Arnie Locsin (Microsoft Philippines), Mr. Allan de Jesus (DXC Technology), Mr. Randy Gamboa (Philippine Society of IT Educators) and Ms. Karrie Buenafe of (Huawei Technologies Philippines).

Of the 13 finalists, four teams were declared winners. Three teams in the software track and 1 team in the IoT track.

FIRST PLACE: Milktrack (Team Juan Piece, Bulacan State University) – a mobile application that connects lactating mothers to babies who have no access to breastmilk.

SECOND PLACE: Sea2go (A-Team, Ateneo de Davao University) – Fish market in your pocket.

THIRD PLACE: Trase Mobile App (Team Trasean, Bulacan State University) – Bridging Trainings and Seminars Providers and Seekers.

SOLE WINNER (IoT Category): Hushtag (Team Hushtag, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology) – a pet tracking device.

According to Kevin Facun, hustler of the winning team behind the startup “Milktrack”, PSC had been of big help to them especially on the business and the social aspect of their startup idea. “The Philippine Startup Challenge helped our group improve exponentially. Not only did we become more aware of the possibilities it can bring to our future but it also helped us understand the consumers’ pain points in a deeper manner. For us, this is no longer a business platform. As we go through this journey, we realized how powerful we are in changing this nation. That we are one step closer to becoming heroes ourselves to help empower other Filipinos.”

The four winning teams will get one year mentorship opportunities through Philippine Software Industry’s Launchpad program. Each of them will also receive Bizspark packages from Microsoft and mentorship opportunities from DICT partners including DXC Technology and Microsoft.  Team Juan Piece (Milktrack) was also chosen by Huawei Philippines to be part of their Seeds for the future program, a two-week immersion in China which aims to develop local talent, transfer knowledge, promote a greater understanding of and interest in the telecommunications sector.

For DICT, the Philippine Startup Challenge has been a good avenue for the youth to showcase ingenuity.

“It is the Department of Information and Communication (DICT)’s mandate to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset that is both technology driven and socially relevant and we see that every year in the Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC). DICT is amazed by what these kids can do with the right guidance and mentoring from their professors and from the startup community as their ideas help make lives better for their community. With all island regions being represented, we believe that the Philippines has no shortage in ingenuity and that meaningful innovation can come from anywhere in the country. We will continue pushing for innovation by challenging the youth to solve real life problems thru the PSC,” says Ms. Emmy Lou Delfin, Program Manager of the eInnovation Group of DICT.

PSC is done in collaboration with the Philippine Society of IT Educators, Huawei Philippines, Ideaspace Foundation, Microsoft Philippines, and DXC Technology.

With the help of the industry partners and Philippine startup community leaders, DICT through the Philippine Startup Challenge, will continue with its mission to inspire creation of innovative solutions to real life problems for the betterment of the society and the country.

About DICT – The Department of Information and Communications Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.