Filipino Social Good Startups Win At IdeaSpace Competition

The results are in for Filipino accelerator IdeaSpace’s startup competition, and the top ten picks have a heavy focus on social projects.

A glance at the list reveals a strong emphasis on environmental and health-related projects, especially those that will likely benefit the developing nation’s poorer regions.

  • Armtech – affordable water purification machine for households
  • DateCola – natural date-enriched beverages, a healthy alternative to soft drinks
  • Mirand – low-cost and high-quality total joint implants for the Asian market
  • PGRS – produces electricity via rumble strips installed on high traffic roads
  • PinoyTravel – provincial bus seat reservation system using mobile technologies
  • PortfolioMNL – online marketplace for creative professionals
  • Prodigo – a solution for highly targeted promotions for merchants using Big Data analytics
  • Tech4Health – solution for health monitoring of chronic conditions, including diabetes
  • TimeFree – SMS-based automated queuing system
  • WeGen – new design of wind turbine that is more efficient than current technology

When the top 20 were picked, many of them were mobile-phone dependent and appeared to center around developing smartphone apps for urban cities. But it seems that many of those didn’t make the cut for the top ten.

One of IdeaSpace’s co-founders, Earl Martin Valencia, said: “All winners are viable business ideas based on science and technology, not just IT. They reflect the market needs of emerging markets such as the Philippines and we believe that it’s a big market also globally.”

Jojo Flores, co-founder and vice president of Silicon Valley-based incubator Plug and PlayTech Center, was present at the pitching event all day. He said he is keen to invest in some of them and take them to the global stage as well.

The top ten have each won six months incubation support (such as business operations covering accounting and legal services) and funding of up to $120,000 (PHP 5 million). IdeaSpace is a non-profit and was launched a little over a year ago. It has the support of various large Filipino conglomerates, and these are expected to provide mentorship to incubated companies. Some academic partners like the Asian Institute of Management and the University of the Philippines-Open University, as well as corporates like Microsoft and Amazon, will come onboard to mentor the winners of this competition.