MANILA – IGNITE, the premier innovation conference staged by TechShake in partnership with dentsu X Philippines and IGPI Singapore came to a hugely successful close with “QWIKWIRE, secure cross-border billing and payment platform,” being declared as “the start-up company of the year. The group won in the pitch competition, the highlight of the one-day event. They brought home five thousand US dollars.
Ray Edison Refundo, CEO of QWIKWIRE said, “Winning was definitely a good thing. We’re in the middle of raising money so exposure will be very useful in getting more investors. Thank you to the organizers of Ignite. The event was great. There were a lot of investors and start-ups. It was a great place to network. Even without the win, it was well worth it.”
Qwikwire topped the list of 10 finalists from over 100 pitchers, and was selected by a panel of eight prominent judges from the digital community that comprised Arnaud Bonzom, Director in Corporate Innovation, 500 Startups; Yashuhiro Seo, Partner, Spiral Ventures; Naohiko Hatae, Vice President, Cyber Agent Ventures; Alex Alabiso, Director in Corporate Innovation, Kickstart Ventures, Inc.; Kazuo Koike, Executive Director, dentsu X Philippines; Retno Diwati, SEA Regional Manager, Fenox Venture Capital; and Kentaro Hashimoto, Co-Founder & CEO, GNB Acceleration, and Ryan Dominic Sy, Business Development Officer, Venture Capital Holdings Corp(Ph).
“All the pitchers were great. Even if Qwikwire was the sole winner in this event, I’m pretty sure most of them can easily bag a deal with the investors who were present. Our country needs more events like this. Anything that ignites a tech-driven revolution that’ll change the way we do things, we will fully support,” declared Ryan Dominic Sy, one of the judges.
Ignite, which was held last July 1, 2017 at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City, and attended by over a five hundred people also included a conference, and an exhibit. The conference featured renowned speakers in the field of innovation like Donald Lim, Country CEO Dentsu Aegis Network Philippines, Arnold Bonzom, Kei Shimada, Chief Lab Officer, dXlab; and Willy Kuhne, Agency Business Lead, Google PH. The panel discussants included Jennifer Alcabao, Director ICCP SBI Venture Partners; Paul Rivera, Co-Founder & CEO, Kalibrr; Vikram Bharati, Investment Lead, Reapra & Coent Ventures; Mario Berta, Founder & CEO, Flyspaces; Manny Ayala, Managing Director, Endeavor Philippines; and Yuma Tanaka, Associate, Draper Nexus.
The exhibit featured 20 local and international startups. Each participant had an interactive booth that highlighted new technologies and products for all attendees to see, experience and collaborate with.
Kazuo Koike, executive director of dentsu X commented, “It was a huge success due to the close cooperation of all stakeholders. I am extremely confident that the event was able to contribute in sparked the interest of local and international investors towards the growing startup community in the Philippines, and gathered first-hand information about the quality of startups and investors in the country. I felt the power of start-ups and would love to see them grow. I see a lot of opportunities here.”