Ten startups awarded P1-M cash prize in Covid-19 competition

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Startup accelerator QBO Innovation Hub, in partnership with Youth Business International (YBI) and supported by Google.org, recently unveiled the winning startups of the “RESQUE: Startups vs. Covid-19 Competition” — a nationwide startup competition that aims to help scale startups with Covid-19 initiatives.

Finalists join QBO’s first-ever Virtual Demo Day where startup founders pitch their ideas to make it to the Top 10

The winners were announced at QBO’s first-ever Virtual Demo Day last July 30, taking home P100,000 each to further amplify their Covid-19 initiatives.

“We believe that Filipino startups will play a key role in the Philippines’ post-pandemic recovery, and ultimately, our goal with this program is to deliver the immediate support our startups need to navigate the crisis and thrive. We’re thrilled to showcase the top 20 finalists and unveil the 10 winners, who are all demonstrating incredible solutions and pivots, proving that Filipino innovation and resilience can triumph,” said Katrina Rausa Chan, director of QBO.

“The selection process was very competitive. We received an overwhelming response of over 100 entries in a few weeks, but in the end, we’re extremely proud of the startups making it through. I hope Demo Day brought a glimmer of optimism and hope in these challenging times.”

The following startups were hailed as winners:

Agro-DigitalPH (Agriculture)

A startup that aggregates groups of farmers by consolidating their assets and capabilities to enable a sustainable business. It aims to monetize produce of farmers and provides consumers certain benefits including better prices over prevailing market prices.

Eskwelabs (EdTech)

An online learning platform that upskills learners and teams for success in a data-driven future. Eskwelabs provides an experience for workers designed with the Covid-19 situation in mind by offering self-paced concept reviews and a web-based learning platform.

Filipina Homebased Moms (Education and Job Matching)

A support group that aims to support and help parents, mothers especially, to find jobs suitable to their lifestyle through freelancing. The platform provides home-based moms the tools for e-commerce, job matching, e-learning, and market research among others.

Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise, Inc. (Tech)

Providing reliable, secure, easily deployable, and affordable solutions to connect devices for real-time intelligent monitoring and management of resources. To help with the Covid-19 pandemic, FAME Inc. helped develop Ruwah 2.0 Oxygen concentrator, a kind of respirator for patients while waiting for a ventilator to be available. It also rolled out a mobile app for remote monitoring of patience and organized specimen collection booths with the Department of Science and Technology.

NextPay (Finance)

An all-in-one payment platform especially built for SMEs and entrepreneurs. NextPay gives business owners the capability to manage their finances online through features like salary disbursements, supplier payments, digital invoices, payment link integrations, and accurate tracking and tools that can be connected to payrolls.

Rumarocket (Recruitment and Tech)

Enabling businesses to find and retain the right people to help steer their company in the right direction through their platform. When Covid-19 hit, people needed help to make sense of how they felt. Through an AI model that can look at benchmarked depression and anxiety scores, Rumarocket aims to start a mental health initiative for everybody by providing free assessment and results to individuals.

SeeYouDoc (Health and Medical Care)

Find a doctor and book medical appointments whenever and wherever you are. The influx of patients in hospitals due to Covid-19 left many medical workers and hospitals with limited resources to deal with non-Covid-19 situations. With SeeYouDoc, medical facilities and practitioners are able to increase their capacity to provided basic healthcare on both online and clinical services through its integrated telemedicine platform. Here, doctors can provide medical certificates or e-prescription integrated with an individual’s electronic health record.

SukiPlus (Finance and Lending)

A platform that connects micro-entrepreneurs to mainstream financial institutions, using alternative data & retail solutions to get access to working capital loans. It aims to make lending to sari-sari stores more efficient and less risky and provides online tools and financing to their customers as well as monitors payments and loans.

Twala (Tech)

A digital tool designed to allow people to sign contracts and documents online with a legally-binding electronic signature via smart contracts in Ethereum blockchain. Twala aims to make the contract cycle safer, simpler, and faster and help companies ensure compliance and manage risk as they shift to the new normal.

Zagana (e-Commerce and Agriculture)

An online marketplace for fresh vegetables and fruits direct from local farmers in the Philippines. The platform sources from partner farmers, fishermen, and poultry farmers, among others and helps bridge the gap from the farm straight to one’s home or workplace.

QBO also gave AccessiWheels the Social Impact Award and a grant of P50,000. AccessiWheels is a startup which connects people with mobility problems and those from the vulnerable sector to well-trained drivers and accessible vehicles to ensure convenient and safe travels. The Social Impact Award recognizes startups that promote a socially inclusive solution at the time of the pandemic.

Apart from the 10 winners, the other 10 finalists also showcased their Covid-19 solutions and strategic pivots. They will also take part in a two-month support program which includes learning and feedback sessions, business clinics, and consultation sessions with seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts.

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