PHSW23’s Slingshot and Venture Pilipinas to bring 3 startups from the Philippines to Singapore

MANILA, PHILIPPINES —  The Philippine startup community aims to provide technological and systematic answers to day-to-day problems of not just Filipinos, but people all over the world. This is the resounding cry of the Philippine Startup Week’s (PHSW) 2023 lineup of programs from November 20 to 24, 2023, kicking off with the Slingshot x Venture Pilipinas Pitch Competition on the first day. The week-long celebration is a collective effort by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to drive innovation in the Philippines, and encourage entrepreneurs to think of new and better ways to drive the country forward. 

The Pitch Competition, held at Makati Diamond Residences, set the stage for 10 startups to pitch their concepts to a panel of judges in the hope of being among the three teams to win an opportunity to be part of Slingshot x Venture Pilipinas’ Business Mission to Singapore in Q1 2024. The prize includes flights and accommodations, and a chance to learn from one of the region’s most thriving startup environments. 

DTI – Competitiveness and Innovation Group Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba opened the program by encouraging startups and Filipino entrepreneurs to continue bolstering the Philippine economy through their ingenuity. “[Today is] a  celebration of the Filipino startup ecosystem, a showcase of our aspirations. Slingshot is committed to provide a platform for startups to connect and build on their innovations. May the concepts shared today ignite inspiration among all of us to contribute greatly to the prosperous development of the Philippine startup ecosystem,” she remarked. 


Hosted by RJ Ledesma, the competition was judged by a panel made up of some of the most prominent names in the startup ecosystem across the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region: Alewijn Ong, Assistant General Manager for Investments (Business Development) at National Development Company; April Ong Vaño, Head of Environmental, Social & Governance at Quest Ventures; Arun Pai, Principal at Monk’s Hill Ventures; Franco Varona, Managing Partner at Foxmont Capital Partners; John Aguilar, Host of The Final Pitch; and Katrina Rausa Chan, Executive Director at QBO Philippines. 

The participating startups were the following:

From cashier solutions for businesses to speech development systems for children with autism, the concepts shared at the Pitch Competition zoomed in on a diverse set of issues to tackle with technology and innovation. Notably, a lot of the startups’ origin stories come from real social causes such as providing support for Filipino farmers, lightening the load for teachers, championing kids with speech delay, and more. 

The winning pitches, though, were that of Betterteem, Solx Technologies Inc., and Xeleqt AI. Betterteem is a platform that leverages on AI and data to predict and prevent unwanted employee resignations amidst rising burnout complaints; Solx Technologies Inc. makes use of a centralized ecosystem to help businesses and enterprises to select their energy supplier, making it more accessible and affordable outside Metro Manila; while Xeleqt AI helps businesses collect and organize data from remote worksites with the promise to augment workforce operations. In Q1 of 2024, these top three teams will fly to Singapore to share and expand their knowledge with other startup founders in the region as the prize to the competition. 

The kick-off event for Philippine Startup Week 2023 proved to be a success, with a spotlight on the country’s booming ecosystem of startups and entrepreneur communities.

An inspiring showcase of Filipino creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness, the Pitch Competition emphasized the pool of minds that fuel the country’s robust startup industry. With unique concepts and technological innovations, it goes to show how much potential local businesses have so long as they receive the needed support from government programs such as this, and from Filipino consumers’ patronage. Thankfully, programs such as the Slingshot x Venture Pilipinas Pitch Competition lay down the needed groundwork to elevate the Philippine startup ecosystem to meet more needs, and fill in the gaps in our systems.

For more information about the ongoing Philippine Startup Week 2023 and its future events, please visit

adobo Magazine is an official media partner of PHSW23. 

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