Pinoy HR firm tops regional startup tilt, qualifies for US finals

By Edd K. Usman

A local startup has secured a ticket to San Francisco, California and now has a chance to win the $1-million grand prize at the Startup World Cup (SWC) Global Competition in May 2018.

Human resources firm Storm Technologies gets the top plum at the first Philippine regional Startup World Cup held during the 2017 Slingshot Asean: Startup and Innovation Summit at the PICC in Pasay City on Oct. 20. (From Storm Technologies Facebook page)

Human resources firm Storm Technologies gets the top plum at the first Philippine regional Startup World Cup held during the 2017 Slingshot Asean: Startup and Innovation Summit at the PICC in Pasay City on Oct. 20. (From Storm Technologies Facebook page)

Storm Technologies won the grand prize in the SWC’s first Philippine regional edition conducted during the Slingshot Asean: Startup and Innovation Summit on Friday, Oct. 20, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Slingshot Asean gathered the region’s startups and innovators, investors, corporations, academe and government representatives from across the 10 member-states and partners from overseas.

Storm Technologies won for its solution where employees are given a chance to convert traditional benefits into points and use them to buy items in the firm’s exclusive and curated online marketplace. Through this scheme, employees may trade in their unused company benefits for something more relevant that suits their need.

With its triumph, Storm Technologies will compete with 20 other winners of regional SWC winners from across the world. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) organized the regional competition.

Four runners-up behind the grand winner also won tickets and an all-expense trip to San Francisco. The four startups are Ayannah, first runner-up; Qwikwire, second runner-up; Zennya, third runner-up; and Beam and Go, fourth runner-up.

As the five winners in the Philippine stage, they will represent the country in the SWC Global Competition in May 2018.

Meanwhile, FrontLearners startup won the “Startup to the Resque Competition” of QBO Philippines and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), also held during Slingshot Asean.

FrontLearners took the $10,000 equity-free prize. Its victory also comes with a chance to work with UNDP. The winners is “an eLearning content developer and customized eSchool solutions provider for K-12 schools.”

ChatBotPH placed first runner-up with $4,000 prize, while Billion Bricks was second runner-up and got $2,000 in the QBP and UNDP search for the best ‘Resque” startup.

Information from its Facebook page described Storm Technologies as “a leading benefits technology company.” It now serves more than 100,000 employees and services clients from diverse industries, among them BPO, insurance, consumer goods, and manufacturing.

Xurpass Inc., known as the largest publicly-listed consumer technology company in Southeast Asia, poured in $4.5 million in 2014 in Storm Technologies.

Cindy Burdette, the SWC winner’s head of sales and growth, cited the significance of their triumph. “We are proud to represent the Philippines in the global stage. The country now has a competitive startup ecosystem which shows strong potential in attracting global investors. This win also gives us a chance to showcase to the world our mission of bringing innovative benefits solutions to create happier, more productive employees.”

As a global conference and competition, the Startup World Cup gathers the planet’s top startups, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and world-class CEOs. Fenox Ventures organizes the SWC.

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