Philippine News

Three startups awarded at Impact Hub Fellowship on sustainable energy solutions with WWF and PEF Incubation Program, supported by ADB

MAKATI – Impact Hub Manila, one of the country’s leading innovation labs and startup incubator and accelerator, joins the energy conversation with its second fellowship program focusing on Sustainable Energy Solutions. In partnership with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), and supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Impact Hub looks for the best and most innovative ideas and business enterprises designed to address the need for sustainable energy solutions in the country today.

Impact Hub’s fellowship program is unique in the startup incubator space as we are topic-centered. When we started this program last year, we focused on innovations in mobility and logistics in partnership with LBC Express, which SkyEye Inc won. This year, we are looking for more highly-scalable and impact-oriented disruptive ideas geared towards finding sustainable ways of producing and consuming energy,” LizAn Kuster, one of Impact Hub’s co-founder states.



Brian Tan Seng, King Kurl Seroje of Cleverheat

After receiving over fifty applications, the fellowship announced on a high note the three startups getting the unanimous nod of the selection jury during the awarding ceremony held on October 18, 2016. These are Cleverheat, a solar-powered refrigeration system; HiGi, makers of environment-friendly briquettes for cooking; and Solar Sari-Sari Store, portable solar energy stations for lighting, water purification, mobile phone charging, and refrigeration. These 3 Fellows will now enter the incubation phase, where they receive prizes valued at PHP800,000 each team.

Another uniqueness is that we do not take shares, to really support the start-ups,” Kuster says.

Haze Pajotagana and Zherluck Rodriguez of HiGi Energy

Coy Navarro, Cleantech Expert and ADB consultant stated, “We are excited to partner on the endeavor of harnessing awareness in the cleantech sector and promoting sustainable energy solutions that will benefit the country. We are delighted about the quality of the startups.”

All the partners are aligned and Roberto R. Calingo, Executive Director of PEF says, “PEF is always on the lookout to finding ways and means to really give the underserved communities access to solutions. We believe it is in encouraging entrepreneurship that we can maximize our impact.”

Rey Guerrero of Solar Solutions

Representatives from the program’s partners compose the board of judges who chose the winners, namely: Jose Angelito Palma, President and CEO of WWF-Philippines; Dr. Ria Adoracion Lambino, VP for Sustainable Production and Market Engagement of WWF-Philippines; Ferdinand “Ding” Fuellos, Senior Portfolio Officer at PEF; Coy Navarro, Cleantech Venture Capital Expert (Consultant) of Asian Development Bank; Michael McCullough, Managing Director of KMC MAG Group; Jaime Ayala, Founder and CEO of Hybrid Social Solar; and Mathias Jaeggi, Impact Hub Manila Co-Founder.

Energy is a pressing issue not just in the Philippines, but globally. Especially after the historic Paris agreement, there is more knowledge and growing interest about climate change and clean technology. And WWF is honored to be taking an active part in the discussion together with esteemed institutions like PEF, Impact Hub and ADB,” Ria Lambino from WWF states.


Prior to the announcement of winners, eight finalists went through an intensive 2-month accelerator program called Kick. Kick is the ultimate startup boot camp intended to develop business models and other necessary key entrepreneurial competencies and skills. It culminated in a final pitch day on October 6, 2016.

Only the winning enterprises move on to the next and final phase of the program – the incubator stage, as part of their fellowship prize. Apart from a substantial seed funding of PHP500,000.00 each, Cleverheat, HiGi, and Solar Sari-Sari Store also get access to the collaborative co-working community of Impact Hub, facilitated introductions and connections to like-minded peers, investors, and experts on energy and entrepreneurship, and continuous training, mentoring, and coaching over the course of six months, all in the hopes of making their individual enterprises successfully thrive and impact the industry.


Besides incubation support, they will be also exposed to a greater audience, to inspire more entrepreneurs. The first exposure will happen this October 22, 2016 at Green Sun, Makati at Bootstrap Manila, where they will be pitching in front of the international audience.

Bootstrap is an initiative of the City Senate of Berlin and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) revolving around the startup ecosystems of Berlin, Bangalore, Manila, and Jakarta. 30+ delegates from each ecosystem visits on the StartHubs Asia Berlin Roadtrip each other’s cities to immerse themselves in the network, share their best practices and experiences, and establish relationships that will mutually benefit their respective startup cities. Manila is represented by Impact Hub Manila and Launchgarage. Slots are available here:

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