MANILA – Two Filipino startups won in the first Rice Bowl Awards, capping off the 1 Asean Entrepreneurship Summit held in Kuala Lumpur.
A total of 376 entries were submitted from nine countries across South East Asia during the nomination phase from 1 June to 15 September 2015. A total of 33 finalists were identified and were awarded startup training worth USD15, 000, regional media engagements and investor matching.
Bringing home the Retail Startup of the Year is Poundit, a e-commerce site for consumer electronics founded by Kristian Salvo just last 2014. It attempts to standout from other providers in the fairly crowded e-commerce market in the Philippines by providing content alongside a curated selection of brands. Below is one its viral hits, a funny review from the witty and hilarious Pambansang Bayaw” Jun Sabayton.
Winning another trophy for the Philippines is Qwikwire, which won the Financial Technology (FinTech) Business Startup of the Year, a category sponsored by Maybank. It was founded Ray Refundo and is a platform that allows users to pay bills from anywhere in the world – an idea especially relevant to Filipinos living or working abroad.
The top prize, called the Golden Rice Bowl Award for Startup of the Year, was awarded to NeonRunner, a Malaysian-based startup that manages a fleet of over 100 motorcycle runners who will buy, pick up, deliver and run errands. It charges on a fair pricing model where consumers pay for actual time and distance in takes to complete the task.
“Cumulatively, USD82 million in funding has been pledged by investors to date to invest in the finalists, and we are confident that this figure will expand as more investors recognise the quality and innovation of these startups,” says Ashran Dato’ Ghazi, Chairman of New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF).