Cebu start-up?s IT employment app wins incubator tilt

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[/caption] The Visayan team, Codetoki, was recently proclaimed winner of the Ideas portion of the 1st Ideas & Apps Challenge, a competition initiated by AppBridge of the US in partnership with Globe Telecom and its wholly-owned subsidiary, start-up incubator Kickstart Ventures. Through its mobile application service, Codetoki seeks to provide early exposure to IT students by giving them a chance to join tech events, test their skills and work on real projects, and find opportunities for internship or even employment in well-respected corporations. About 50,000 information technology and computer science students graduate from Philippine schools every year. Yet, only eight percent are employable. ?We are very happy to win the first AppBridge Ideas Philippines Challenge and thrilled to make Codetoki real. Our mission is to help IT and computer science students become employable by giving them a free platform to learn mobile and Web application development. We want to increase the opportunity for young Filipinos to be globally competitive in the IT world,? said Honeylyn Balingcasag, Codetoki spokesperson. Other members of the team are Ademar Tutor, Gerda Decio, Arnelle Balane, Gretchen Abenoja, and Donna Limoran. Incidentally, Codetoki also placed third at the recently held Start-up Weekend Cebu. Start-up Weekend is an intense 54-hour event that brings together people with different skill sets — primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people — to build applications and develop a commercial case around them. Entries for the Ideas and Apps Challenge need to satisfy at least one of the five key themes, namely: education; health, wellness, and humanitarian relief; job skills enhancement and employability; entrepreneurship; and active citizenship and good governance. The second part of the competition will focus on building mobile or Web-based applications to improve the lives of people who are in poverty or at risk. Contestants? Apps will be distributed through the Globe Telecom network, and submission of apps will continue through August 2012. Kickstart president Minette Navarrete has also called on more participants to the Apps Phase of the competition. Online submission of entries can be done through www.appbridge.org/Philippines. The Philippines was chosen by AppBridge for the pilot launch due to the country?s high mobile penetration rate of 91 percent, familiarity of the residents with the English language, and the opportunity for the ideas and apps to have an impact on those living in poverty. Results will be known on September 10 in time for the World Economic Forum Summit in China and the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York. Cash and other prizes will be given to winners of both the Ideas Challenge and the Apps Challenge; and winners will be selected by a panel of judges, as well as a people?s vote. Judges for the two challenges are Drakos, Navarrete, Cu, Morphlabs CEO and co-founder Winston Damarillo, PhilDev chairman of the board of trustees Dado Banatao, broadcast journalist Karen Davila, and pesident of Microventures Paolo ?Bam? Aquino. ]]>

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