MANILA — Fenox Venture Capital successfully staged its first Startup World Cup (SWC) Philippines Regional event last Friday, October 20th, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center. The regional event co-organized by Ignite with TechShake and dentsu X, was in a partnership with Slingshot ASEAN, supported by Brainspark, and sponsored by two government agencies: the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) as the main sponsors.
STORM, a benefits and incentives-based technological company came out as the big winner, with a concept that can change current benefit and incentive schemes using STORM’s enrolment and awards modules. The group will represent the Philippines in the Startup World Cup 2018 grand finale to be held in San Francisco on May 2018, and will compete with thirty regional champions from all over the world and battle for USD 1 Million in investment.
STORM won against 9 other local startups from various industries that include healthcare and financial operations, among many others. The company, which got US $4.5 million of funding in 2014, claims to have served more than 100,000 employees and clients from all over Philippines, generating over P100 million in revenue.
Retno Dewati, Fenox Venture Capital SEA Regional Manager said, “The Startup World Cup is a global platform that provides an opportunity for all pioneering tech starters to show their business ideas to investors. Through SWC, we are looking for the best startup that would really solve the problems in the world. We bring SWC to the Philippines due to its potential market and investment opportunity in recent years. And we are really thankful to DTI and DOST for their support to give Philippines’ startups an access to global investors through this project.”
Benedict Uy, Trade Service Officer and Program Director of the ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotion added “We were pleasantly surprised to see and listen to the finalists. I’m very happy and excited for the future of the Philippine start-up ecosystem knowing that there is indeed a growing number of very high quality start-ups that can compete in a global platform such as the Startup World Cup. Rest assured that we in DTI will be supportive of this sector.”
Ms. Russell M. Pili, Chief Science Research Specialist/ Chief Technology Transfer Officer, Research Information and Technology Transfer Division (RITTD) & DOST Patent Agent declared, “I think the Manila leg of the Startup World Cup, being the first time in the country, brought out the best startups of the Philippines to the fore. Knowing that our young entrepreneurs and trailblazers contend with a lot challenges in our ecosystem, their resolve and resourcefulness were displayed clearly during the competition. As part of this initiative, the DOST-PCIEERD is proud to bring them to the main event in San Francisco, hopefully to win but mostly to learn from the community there and their fellow founders, and bring back a good experience where they gained more than just winning. We hope the competition inspired other startups as well so that we can continue to send Philippine startups to this world arena from now on.”
DTI and DOST confirmed that four other winners of Philippines regional competition will also be sent to San Francisco, to join the global conference and get access to millions of dollars of investment opportunities, and the broad network of investors, startups and corporations. They are Ayannah, a financial technology startup which provides digital payment platform for remittance market; Qwikwire, another fintech startup which offers a cross-border billing and invoicing platform for firms to connect clients to international banking facilities with tools to manage clients payment; Zennya, an AI-assisted, on-demand platform that delivers high-touch home and personal care service providers, and BeamAndGo, a platform that allows overseas workers to purchase supermarket gift certificates and send it through mobile for their family in the Philippines to redeem at participating store.
“Ignite, together with TechShake and dentsu X, aim to raise the position of the Philippine Startup industry regionally and globally. SWC presented a great opportunity for people to know more about the Filipino Startup community, and we expect an acceleration of growth with more and more involvement coming from the regional and global players,” Kazuo Koike, Executive Director of dentsu X pronounced.