Personal finance app Breeze was judged as the grand winner of Startup Weekend Manila held over the weekend at Acceler8 by UnionSpace in Makati City.
The contest sought to gather the best local talents to launch a startup over the course of 54 hours. This year’s edition challenged participants with creating a tech-focused solution that addresses one of the major issues or problems facing the Philippines.
Participants were tasked with assembling into teams of co-founders, validating their business idea, and even creating a prototype. The co-founding teams then presented their solution during a final presentation on Sunday, where they were judged by a panel of leaders from the startup community.
The final pitches were aired on Kumu, a livestreaming and content platform that is one of the most successful tech companies in the Philippines with over 1 million users.
Kumu CEO and co-founder Roland Ros, who served as one of the judges, was impressed with the quality of solutions.
“The startups at Startup Weekend Manila were all very promising in how they proposed tackling different social issues. When they are ready, I welcome them to share their advocacy on Kumu, just as many other entrepreneurs already are. The country needs a more lively discussion on how tech-enabled businesses can serve the social good,” said Ros, who returned to the Philippines from the United States to create Kumu.
Breeze founder Scott Yu and team members Elross Pangue, Jianna Masmila and Je Radite were proclaimed winners of the competition. Along with the grand prize, Breeze was also judged Best in Business Model.
Coming in second was founder Maria Carla Mumar and teammates Angelo Timothy Dawa, Rock Cleo, MK Bertulfo, Monica Gonzales, Gary Viray and Ichiyo Eustaquio for Gigben, a platform for freelancer benefits. Gigben was also named Best in Design and Execution.
Rounding out the top three was Commune, a crowdfunding solution for cooperatives, led by founder Kyle Aquino and members Goldy Chu Yancha, Adriel Nisperos, Mico Alcanse and Yes Chavez.
The Best in Validation Award went to Upark, an IoT-based smart parking management solution created by founder Bryan Lam and his team, Angel Earl Gaab, Kim Lim, Zandro Vince Edejer, Anthony Basang, Jasper Allen Lam and Mujahid Ahmed
Many of the startups formed from Startup Weekend have gone on to be successful tech companies, including dish discovery app Foodspotting ($10 million acquisition), subscription box service Loot Crate ($100 million valuation), and pet care services platform Rover.com ($970 million valuation), among many others.
The grand prize winners were also given copies of The Finishers authored by journalist and Ambidextr managing partner Ezra Ferraz. The book documented the stories of the most successful technopreneurs in the Philippines, including Chito Bustamante and Dennis Mendiola of Chikka, RJ and Arianne David of Sulit, and Jay Fajardo of Airborne Access.