By Edd K. Usman
Impact Hub Manila, a startup incubator co-founded by Filipino-Swiss LizAn Kuster, is staging a startup competition, this time for a fellowship program focused on sustainable energy solutions.
For its second offering, Kuster, in an email to Newsbytes.PH, said they are partnering with the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature and the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF).
Previously, Impact Hub Manila partnered with courier and logistics company LBC for its first startup tilt called ?Fellowship Program on Innovation and Mobility.” Startup firm SkyEye emerged as the first ever winner of that event. It received a cash prize of P320,000, as well as continued mentorship and training worth over P430,000, for a total of P730,000 startup support.
Participants to the second fellowship program will have the chance to win over P2.5-million worth of fellowship prizes, inclusive of P1.5 million seed funding, skill development training, mentorship, access to work space at Impact Hub Manila and valuable networks, said Kuster.
Kuster said the solutions may address any of the following areas: energy efficiency; access to energy (off-grid solutions); energy systems; energy reduction; and basically anything which has to with energy.
She said they crafted the fellowship program to get the attention of impact-oriented entrepreneurs and help them realize their innovations for a more sustainable world. “Being topic focused in our delivery of fellowship program is unique in incubator/accelerator space and ensures that we are targeting the key pressing issue or concern,” she said.
Kuster revealed that unlike in the first competition, they hiked the number of fellows to three they will support for 2016.
Impact Hub cited the historic Paris climate agreement forged by 195 countries in November 2015 as the rationale behind the fellowship program’s focus on innovative solutions for sustainable energy.
The group pointed to sustainable energy as the driving force for reducing poverty, promoting social progress, equity, enhanced resilience, economic growth and environmental sustainability.
PEF chairperson Benjamin Abadiano cited the importance of supporting entrepreneurs who are into the energy sector. “We believe that by supporting entrepreneurs in the energy sector, we can slow down climate change,” he said.
For his part, WWF Philippines president and CEO Joel Palma said the partnership gives excitement in looking for “innovative ideas and enterprises which are aligned with our core values and objectives.”
Application for the fellowship program is open to aspiring entrepreneurs or early-stage startups. One of the requirements is that every startup teams wishing to apply must register their business in the Philippines as well as live and work in the country.
Interested parties have until July 24, 2016 to send submit their application at http://www.impacthub.ph.