_COLLAB: Startup Weekend takes startup ideas to the next level

– by Joshua Sorreda

We’ve all had our fair share of Eureka moments in life. A great idea is born and all of a sudden, we feel like geniuses. But the problem is, we don’t have the time to foster it and make it into a sustainable business. Startup Weekend proves this notion to be false.

Startup Weekend is a three-day event that brings together some of the most creative entrepreneurial minds and empowers them to breathe life to an idea that can potentially catapult them to greater heights.

Last March 16 to 18, 2018 in ASPACE STUDIO Fort, Taguig, would-be entrepreneurs from different industries gathered to connect, collaborate and, pitch their brilliant business ideas.

One by one, they were asked to craft a minute-long elevator pitch and present them in front of their colleagues and seasoned tech advisers. Each of them came up with a creative solution that has the potential to be a breakthrough innovation. There was a downpour of astounding ideas, which flooded the room with excitement and anticipation.

Out of all the initial pitches, six ideas stood out and struck a chord with the people in the room. Team formed around the top ideas and collaboratively helped each other out. Through Techstars, organizers of the said event, founders and their teams were given the opportunity to take expert advice from mentors and community leaders to further develop the ideas.

KindApp Ph
In maintaining high morale, we need an employee recognition. And that is what KindApp is all about. This app is designed to help MSMEs or Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises retain top talents through a rewards and recognitions program. With this app, employees can reward points amongst themselves for specific actions that can be redeemed for gifts. By cultivating a culture of appreciation, top employees will then have better reasons to stay.

According to Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Well, it’s pretty much the same with our country. We have so much stories to tell that every place you visit, you never know what you’re gonna get. But the sad thing is, a lot of these stories remain untold. This is where Curatour comes in. As a location-based audio tour application, it helps promote the history, the culture and places in the country. It functions like Waze, but instead of instructing you where to go next, it narrates stories about that specific location.

Course Your Passion
Course Your Passion is a virtual mentoring platform that targets highschool students who do not yet have a fully informed decision on what course to take before making such an impactful decision. The problem with most students is that they don’t realize the degree of impact of not having a fully informed decision it has to them until they realize that they are in the wrong path. With this app, students will be steered in the direction that they really want to take.

Filipinos have difficulty in finding jobs yearly because of the difference between the experiences and the skills they have as compared to the skills required by businesses. To prevent the number of Filipinos who face job misalignment, TrainLink provides a solution. An app designed like a student loan, enabling people to enroll among the list of training courses, which are tied to the career option they want to go for. This app gives people the opportunity to level the playing field and to flourish in the job they are pursuing.

An app that lets pet owners have premium, affordable pet food delivered to their door step in just a click. It comes with a nifty pet feeder that enables pet owners to feed their pets anytime, anywhere. All they have to do is use the remote tool in the app to activate it. Really innovative and badass or in Tagalog slang, petmalu.

Artists experience a lot of double-dealing producers who do not compensate them for their services. On the other hand, producers often get stood up by the artists or the artists come in really late. With InTalent, both artists and producers can connect and transact easily and safely.

Of the 6 ideas presented on the culminating day, only three were chosen as winners. These were judged by an esteemed panel of local entrepreneurs and investors including: Natasha Bautista of QBO, Nina Keizer of NXTLVL Academy, Diane Eustaquio of IdeaSpace, Winston Damarillo of Amihan Global Strategies and Anderson Tan, enterpriser and Angel Investor.

The Petmaloo team, composed of Miguel Carlo Trinidad, Xyza Vada Maree Rivera, Ralph Kenneth Lorenzo, together with their mentors Monica Labbao and Ely Apao, was named 2nd Runner-up.

InTalent, the brainchild of Xavi Aguilar, supported by Leif Santelices was named 1st Runner-up.

While Curatour, headed by Mark Colentava, Calix Enggay, Miguel Ilagan, together with their mentors Baptiste Leroux, Danilo Alcoseba II and Phil Smithson, was named the winner of the event.

When asked about the entire Startup Weekend journey, the winners all agreed that it was a pretty nerve-wracking yet fun experience.

“Ironically, the most fun thing was the work. This entire startup thing was so much fun. Just working on the product and learning how to figure out stuff, that was great,” said Xavi Aguilar of InTalent. “The whole point of creating a minimum viable product is to have the most basic function that solves a certain problem. More than that, have a very clear problem, have a very clear solution. The more condense it is, the better.”

For Miguel Trinidad of Petmaloo, the most fun thing in the entire event was the most challenging thing as well, which is to pitch their petmalu idea to the judges.

Mark Colentava of Curatour, the winning idea, also provided tips for those who might want to participate in the future. “Number one, look for a deep-rooted, existing problem. Looking for an existing problem in the community that you have to address, I think is important. And two, if you have an initial assumption already, don’t forget to talk to potential customers, to people. Get out of the building because they will help you build and improve your product.”

Startup Weekend was organized by Techstars and co-presented by ASpace Philippines. The event was also made possible by the following sponsors and partners: Amihan, PLDT Innolab, Kambi, Startup Oasis, MyPhone, Brown & Proud, Bbulletin, Brainsparks, Ideaspace, Phildev, QBO, Nescafe Gold, Coffeemate, The Office Project, Power Mac Center, Drupal Philippines, Devcon, GDG Philippines, Women Who Code Manila, Product PH, Digital Ocean, WordPress User Group Philippines.

To know more about Startup Weekend and Techstars’ future events, visit www.techstars.com/startup-weekend


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