Top 2015 startups in the Philippines

Philippine-based technology incubator IdeaSpace Foundation (IdeaSpace) announced the top ten promising early-stage startups that will be part of its 2015 incubation and acceleration program, joining an esteemed pool of startups that would collectively help push the country’s digital economy rankings upwards.

Each of the ten startups for 2015 will receive P500,000 in seed funding, plus a  separate grant worth at least another P500,000 inclusive of business management classes, marketing and financial consulting, intellectual property consulting and incorporation, office space, and business registration costs, among others.

The success of this year’s startups, as well as the previous batches, will aid in pushing for technology growth in the country and help propel the Philippines toward being one of the world’s most promising digital economies, according to Earl Martin Valencia, President and Co-Founder at IdeaSpace.

The ten tech startups are:

1. Fame – a LoRa based transponder intended for general aviation aircrafts, fishing vessels and small boats.

2. Flextstrap – a flexible stainless steel strap that enables water utility companies to connect their customers’ piping system to the main water supply at faster service levels, lowered inventory costs and maximized storage space.

3. Frontlearners – an e-learning content developer and provider that enables blended learning classes to boost competency.

4. Halina’t Bumasa – From the Filipino phrase "Let's Read", the team is building educational apps that promote early literacy and love for local culture.

5. Heat Stress Analyzer – an electronic device that protects crops against irreversible effects of heat stress and provides data analysis for an improved harvest.

6. JustGo – a smart scheduling system for battery swapping powered by the Internet of Things that enables e-trikes to share with three battery packs instead of four.

7. Croo by Saffron Tech – a safety product composed of day-to-day accessories which enable users to trigger an application that will inform their loved ones via SMS if they are in emergency situations.

8. Stream energy – a system that generates electricity from the water consumption of buildings.

9. Vinteo – a one-stop shop customer analytics solution for brick and mortar stores that provides on-demand statistics and business tools for business growth.

10.Zinergi – an online application that enables partnerships between brands and events.

The Philippines is one of the so-called “break-out” nations in the recent global Digital Evolution Index (DEI) study conducted by the US-based Fletcher School at Tufts University, using data from 2008 to 2013. The country stands alongside China, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam as one of the “rapidly advancing countries” in the global digital topography.

“Today we’re part of the ‘break-out’ nations, but we need to keep the momentum going by taking significant steps toward elevating the digital readiness of each Filipino through various innovations with impact. That has been one of the cornerstones of IdeaSpace from the beginning, and we’re glad that more Filipinos are now adopting a mindset toward technopreneurship,” Valencia added.

The top ten startups were revealed by IdeaSpace chairman and First Pacific Managing Director and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan during the awarding ceremony held at the Meralco Lighthouse in Ortigas Ave., Pasig City.

Joining Pangilinan as judges for the final judging were Napoleon L. Nazareno, President of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart); Ricky P. Vargas, President of Maynilad Water Services; Orlando B. Vea, President of Voyager Innovations and Gavin Barfield, CTO of Meralco.

The semi-finalists were drawn from a record-breaking 1,028 applications received by IdeaSpace early this year, with innovative ideas coming from every region in the country and from 15 countries around the world.

“We’re glad that innovation and technopreneurship has taken a stronghold not just in the major urban areas of the country, but even in far-flung areas in the region. The participation of every Filipino all over the country is critical in developing a strong digital economy for the Philippines,” added Marthyn Cuan, IdeaSpace Co-Founder.

The winners emerged from a record-breaking 1,028 applications received by IdeaSpace early this year, with innovative ideas coming from every region in the Philippines and from 15 other countries around the world.

The 2015 pool saw a wide variety of ideas enter the semi-final phase, with a varied mix of hardware and software startups that answer key challenges in a range of industries.

To date, IdeaSpace has invested in 19 local startups through its annual competition, as well as nine startups outside the program, as part of its P500 million five-year commitment toward growing the local startup ecosystem. Of the previous IdeaSpace startups, seven have received follow-on funding from IdeaSpace and other investors.

A non-profit foundation, IdeaSpace is supported by the following companies: First Pacific, First Pacific Leadership Academy, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), MPIC hospital group, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Meralco, Smart Communications, Inc (Smart), Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) and its mobile brand Sun Cellular, SPI Global, ePLDT, Indofood, Philex Mining, Maynilad, MediaQuest, and TV5.

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