Organized by New Entrepreneurs Foundation in collaboration with ASPACE Manila, the Philippine circuit of the ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards (Rice Bowl) slated this October 25 is causing the country’s leading start-ups to up the ante.
There’s no shortage of fighting spirit among the country’s tech start-ups as they work towards winning the coveted top spots in Rice Bowl, the Global Startup Awards’ ASEAN circuit, which celebrates the resilient spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Southeast Asian start-up ecosystem.
Now on its third year, Rice Bowl rewards innovation, excellence, and best practice in start-ups across the region, recognizing the excitement, risk and hard work involved in developing a start-up and the influence founders have on driving their success.
The Philippines, with its vibrant ecosystem of investors, angels, and government support, is seeing a top-notch list of finalists across 11 categories.
1. Honesty Worldwide is all about making applications where people can meet and have an honest connection. As a company, they started enabling people to meet globally and locally through dating apps, eventually realizing that people in smaller communities also want to meet to start business relationships. Their dream? To become a one-stop-shop for anybody looking to make social and business connections.
2. Pushkart.ph lets its users avoid the hassle of going to the supermarket. Pushkart.ph is an on-demand grocery delivery service developed by young Filipino engineers who aim to provide fast, convenient, and safe grocery deliveries within the same day in Metro Manila. They’re also helping local producers grow their business and bringing technology into the billion-dollar supermarket industry.
3. AIDE (developed by APPPPS Partners, Inc.) is the Philippines’ first-ever app to allow users to search, choose, and book medical professionals for quality care. In the Philippines, it can be a struggle to get the right medical treatment—AIDE addresses that pain point by connecting users to medical professionals ready to address their need.
Best Social Impact Startup
1. Empleo is a big-data social recruitment platform that aggregates job listings and automatically endorses them to match with poorly-marketed gray-collar laborers. There’s a high availability of jobs in the gray-collar industry, a high number of qualified and about-to-be qualified contractors, and a huge number of under/unemployment due to lack of access to information and industry mismatch. Through big data and partnerships, Empleo seeks to connect its listed contractors to the job/project most suited to their skills.
2. GenerationHope, Inc. is all about being a “business for good.” In a country with a high poverty rate, their goal is to create a more inclusive and engaged Philippines. GenerationHope intends to lead by example by selling HOPE branded and co-branded products across the Philippines, all of which they reinvest in initiatives that create educational and professional opportunities for Filipinos.
3. iVolunteer believes that nation-building entails partnerships among individuals, groups, and organizations to make the change. iVolunteer is a culture change empowered by volunteers to spread the passion of volunteerism. It thrives with small contributions by many passionate individuals. They spread the culture of volunteerism one person at a time.
Best Smart City Solution
1. SkyEye Analytics, Inc. believes in the power of using drones for good. SkyEye developed a software that runs an online system called VEDA where clients can access SkyEye’s images and data easily through their devices. Now the company caters to both the public and private sectors, offering services like land surveying, disaster mitigation, precision agriculture and forest protection, among others.
2. Sunny Sonny Story is a safe, clean, and cost-efficient alternative to candles or kerosene lamps. Each purchase makes a recipient community brighter and better. Sunny Sonny’s goal is to give light to poor communities in the Philippines that do not have access to electricity.
3. Grab is Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand transportation and mobile payment platform. Grab solves critical transportation challenges to make transport freedom a reality for 620 million people in Southeast Asia. Grab’s core product platform includes transport solutions for drivers and passengers with an emphasis on convenience, safety, and reliability. Grab also offers GrabPay, a proprietary mobile payments platform, that helps in deepening financial inclusion in the region.
1. FlySpaces is a digital marketplace that provides short-term workspace solutions to entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs, and mobile professionals. Whether the need is for an hour, a day, a week, or a few months, FlySpaces has got you covered.
2. iSend Delivery Service provides multiple in-land logistics to start-ups, SMEs, and Corporate clients. They alleviate their clients’ day-to-day trouble of being able to provide multiple deliveries on a daily basis.
3. Spingine Corporation provides cloud-based application services to help companies manage field assets and the transactions they create. It’s a cost-effective, easy-to-deploy unified service platform that enables businesses to accelerate order capture, mobilization, and fulfillment, using advanced sharing technologies to minimize idling capacity and provide faster delivery models.
Best LifeSciences/Med Tech
1. Lifetrack’s LifeSys platform aims to replace traditional on-premise radiology software with a hybrid cloud SaaS model that enables healthcare providers to connect radiologists to patients, wherever they are, at speed and at scale. LifeSys is engineered for consumer-grade hardware and low-bandwidth environments, offering up to 10x savings in upfront setup costs for customers. LifeSys enables a distributed radiology model that supports diagnostic healthcare in emerging markets at a fraction of the cost.
2. Stash is a healthcare + insurtech startup that provides a single health claim platform for patients, healthcare providers, and insurance companies. The start-up analyzes claims data to help health providers and insurance companies prevent fraud risk in claims processing and management, while also reducing administrative costs.
3. MaroonStudios is an innovations company focused on Healthcare IT, Cybersecurity and Data Science, with the vision of providing Affordable Innovations for Positive Change, most especially in developing and underserved communities. They founded HealthBlocks, a blockchain-based interoperability platform aimed at safeguarding health information exchange, ensuring patient safety, and enhancing overall process optimization + efficiency.
1. Qwikwire is a cross-border billing and payment solution. They empower enterprises in the Philippines to collect payments from abroad with tools such as invoicing platform, consumer and enterprise dashboard, and payments portal for their website.
2. Ayannah provides affordable and accessible digital financial services to the emerging middle class, many of whom remain unbanked in emerging markets and are migrants in developed markets. For the unbanked, they provide Sendah Direct™ and Sendah Remit™, their digital transaction platform that spurs financial inclusion and provides access to products and services improving quality of life. Their unique services benefit migrants and the unbanked, their beneficiaries, and our partner merchants and financial service providers.
3. JazzyPay enables customers to pay schools and hospitals directly from their mobile application and website using their credit card, debit card or PayPal account. With over 2.4 million OFWs and Distant Customers, payment transactions to these necessary institutions using JazzyPay becomes seamless and hassle-free.
Best Accelerator Program
1. QBO is a public-private initiative + innovation hub; a platform for the startup community to collaborate, develop talent, and grow. QBO nurtures Filipino startups to change the world by creating a globally competitive startup ecosystem in the Philippines. They connect the dots in our disjointed startup ecosystem and provide startups with everything they need to move forward, like capacity building programs, co-working spaces, all for free.
2. Startup Village is the newest program of LETS GO as it aims to help support and nurture the next wave of innovative entrepreneurial ventures. It aims to be the one-stop incubator services company that enables start-ups to bring their unique ideas and business concepts to reality.
3. IdeaSpace is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting innovation, technology development, and entrepreneurship as a path to nation-building. They believe that technopreneurship is a critical factor to the progress of the Philippine economy as a whole. Beyond just providing funding for startups, they offer a program that combines incubation and acceleration needed at the critical phases when ideas are being turned into actual commercial products.
Best Coworking Space
1. ASPACE, the leading Coworking Space in Manila and Cebu, caters to innovators across the country. With more coworking spaces than all other coworking spaces in Manila combined — in Makati, Taguig (BGC), and Cebu. That size means more options and power for the growing teams who locate with ASPACE. The ASPACE community is a global tribe of shapers: smart, innovative, and creative professionals.
2. Acceler8 is a hybrid instant office and co-working space with centers in Salcedo Village and Paseo de Roxas in Makati City. They offer Virtual Office Plans, Private Offices, Meeting Room Plans and Event Spaces. In an aim to redefine the way people work, Acceler8 fosters a community where all members get a chance to interact and build meaningful connections through community events, workshops, and more.
3. Brixton Xchange, Inc (Co.lab) is a proudly Filipino-owned leader in coworking in the Philippines. Established in 2012, it was a pioneer in the coworking movement in the Philippines and has been instrumental in its growth. Throughout the years, co.lab has built a robust and engaged community by facilitating discovered opportunities, shared learning, and accelerated serendipity.
Founder of the Year
1. Seabiscuit Films is a proudly Filipino, independent video production company that specializes in food, travel, and cultural content. Known as one of the pioneers of digital content creation in the country, they are always hungry for a challenge. The company offers its equally innovative clients a fresh perspective that aims to raise industry standards and start new conversations.
2. Taxumo is a software as a service web application that helps MSMEs, freelancers and professionals automatically prepare, file and pay their taxes. Taxumo has developed a better and more convenient way of tax preparation, filing, and payment. Even without an accounting background, users can leverage the system which automatically computes, fills out the form and payments sent via online channels.
3. Sprout Solutions provides an all-in-one HR platform for the Philippines and other developing countries: emerging markets with a robust economy and a growing need for localized software. They have three modules that are designed to work together and communicate with each other seamlessly, to make a completely automated, paperless solution to Payroll and HR + Timekeeping processes which reduces processing time by 90%.
Best Startup Ecosystem Initiative
1. Geeks On A Beach (GOAB) is an international conference for everyone who is passionate about start-ups, technology, design, and making the world a better place. GOAB has been called a jewel of a conference in Southeast Asia where key people have shared valuable insights on how to make the world a better place—Dave Mcclure, Khailee Ng, Maria Ressa, Techstars, Earl Valencia just to name a few. It’s geeks supporting geeks while taking place in paradise.
2. Slingshot, driven by the vision of a thriving innovation economy across the ASEAN region, aims to create a regional network of ASEAN ecosystem players including start-ups, angel investors, incubators, mentors, academe, co-working spaces, and industry experts. It showcases investment-ready startups for potential local and international investors as well as facilitate easy access of information between governments running startup development programs in the region.
3. Ignite is the first innovation conference by TechShake in collaboration with dentsu X and IGPI to support the young and flourishing start-up community in the Philippines. More than that, Ignite is also the first large-scale pitch competition squarely aimed at international investors to further support emerging local start-ups.
Start-up of the Year
1. Ayannah provides affordable and accessible digital financial services to the emerging middle class, many of whom remain unbanked in emerging markets and are migrants in developed markets. For the unbanked, they provide Sendah Direct™ and Sendah Remit™, their digital transaction platform that spurs financial inclusion and provides access to products and services improving quality of life. Their unique services benefit migrants and the unbanked, their beneficiaries, and our partner merchants and financial service providers.
2. Lenddo is a technology company that forged the idea of using non-traditional data to compute people’s credit scores. It was founded in 2011 and its main focus initially was to improve lives of the emerging middle class in developing countries by providing micro loans for specific purposes. Lenddo reinvents the consumer finance with life-changing services and gives companies the ability to create positive social impact.
3. Taxumo is a software as a service web application that helps MSMEs, freelancers and professionals automatically prepare, file and pay for their taxes. Taxumo has developed a better and more convenient way of tax preparation, filing and payment. Even without an accounting background, users can leverage the system which automatically computes, fills out the form and payments sent via online channels.
Who among these strong contenders will come out on top next week? Watch this space for the list of the Philippine start-up ecosystems’ rising stars.