By Rafi Koteh
Tension and excitement pervaded the air in Meralco?s Lighthouse on Monday night, June 16, as nonprofit incubator and accelerator IdeaSpace Foundation selected the six winners of its 2018 annual tech-startup competition, all of which will join the foundation?s acceleration program.
?We are encouraged at the range and quality of the entries in this year?s contest,? said IdeaSpace president Rene ?Butch? Meily. ?The founders have fresh ideas and we look forward to working closely with them to build viable businesses that will spark innovation and jobs for our country.?
This year?s winners are:
Impactville — A business solution aiming to help organizations measure outputs and outcomes for CSR programs.
Zestagram — An online resume builder that aids students and fresh graduates in acquiring relevant work experience while still in school through an internship to employment program.
WizherApp — A software for routers that facilitates accessing and controlling WiFi.
1export — A platform where buyers are matched with local sellers.
CreatorsPub — An online publishing platform for content creators.
ECFulfill — A business solution to help local MSMEs sell on Amazon.
Besides the classes involved in the acceleration program, the six promising tech businesses chosen will receive at least P1 million worth in equity-free funding, training, mentorship, legal services, and office space located in Makati City. IdeaSpace will also be linking them to companies supporting the foundation.
The startups that attain their business metrics within the program will be qualified for follow-through benefits and will display their product on the Demo Day occurring later this year.
Diane Eustaquio, executive director of IdeaSpace, said the six other finalists who joined the competition also exhibited novel technology solutions.
Meily agreed: ?You were all great, and I mean this honestly. The judges loved each and every single one of you and as a token, each startup tonight will not walk away empty-handed.?
He announced that each of the top 12 finalists, whether or not they were part of this year?s winning six startups, received a cash prize of P100,000.
This year?s finalists beat hundreds of other fledgling businesses from all around the country during the six-week incubation period. They then pitched their ideas to a panel of judges.
From when it started in 2012 and hosted its first competition in 2013, IdeaSpace now supports a total of 74 startups and is the largest private sector commitment for technology entrepreneurship in the Philippines.