Startup founders, representatives from government agencies and private corporations, top executives and consultants, and hackathon participating teams hailing from 13 cities across the Philippines came together as Impact Hub Manila concludes the Impact Hackathon at the 2050fest – the ultimate pitching event held at The Eye, Green Sun Hotel in Makati City on November 19, 2019.
Mounting the biggest hackathon in the Philippines is no small feat, but not only did Impact Hub Manila successfully executed it, they were able to tap the best coders and IT-professionals in the country as they create new solutions to the social problems of the world. In the same event, the leadership of Impact Hub Manila also announced Impact Hackathon 2020, this time, spanning beyond the Philippines and extending throughout Asia Pacific.
“Start re-imagining the work we could do with our hands,” says Impact Hub Manila founder and CEO Ces Rondario as she opened the Impact 2050 fest event, and asks, “What world do you want to see in 2050?”
The event also featured talks from industry experts, where several guest speakers including Asec. Kristian Ablan of the Presidential Communications and Operations Office, DTI Division Chief – Rosanna Aligaya, Arne Barcelo, Co-Founder of the National Association of Data Privacy Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP), and Mr. Aleem Guiapal, an economic zone manager from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) representing his native Mindanao, gave “budding innovators” insights to the startup landscape.
Chris Morris, head of the NGO and Civil Society Center of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), who pointed out the curious disparity between the Philippine GDP and connectivity rankings made PLDT’s first vice president and Head of Enterprise Core Business Research & Development, Andy Santos, hint at the goal to “fiberize the country.” Community-building was also part of the agenda, with 18-year-old technologist Audrey Pe of WiTech (Women in Technology, Andrew Wong of E3 Entrepreneur Hub, Robert Reyes of Mozilla Philippines, and Eah Antonio sharing actual experience straight from the field.
Following the lineup of panel is in the event is the actual pitching of the top 15 finalists that created the MVP projects of the Impact Hackathon: Herbal Plant (Vigan), Kugel Tech (Baguio), Dashwerq (Iligan), Crimera (Bacolod), UPark (Iloilo), MedFind(Batangas), NutriScan(Manila), Help Aid(Davao), iServe (Catbalogan), Hemria (Catbalogan), Agua Meter (Bacolod), Transfarm (Manila), Ayamica (Iloilo), Asboc (Batangas), and Transcash (Metro Manila) along with an actual presentation before an esteemed panel of jurors – who eventually named Transfarm as the National Impact Hackathon winner.
Transfarm, an end-to-end solution made in a bid to bridge the gap between local producers and commercial consumers, walked away with 170,000 php (70,000 of which was from winning the Manila leg of the hackathon) in cash prize and a year-long incubation program (valued at 1.5M pesos) translating to global membership access to the Impact Hub network, intensive training, access to vast pool of expert mentors, network, and coworking.
Impact Hub’s newest community members, which includes all 15 finalists and the rest of the top 50 teams will also receive varying degrees of support. Those in the top 15, apart from receiving the prizes from winning the student (15,000 php) and professional (20,000 php) categories will receive a full year of incubation support while those who made it to top 16 to 30 and the rest of the top 50 will get six and three months’ worth of support, respectively. A total of over 30-M is committed to this multi-year incubation program which will kick-off in January 2020.
After acknowledging the support and presence of this year’s event sponsors including Quezon City Government under the leadership of Mayor Joy Belmonte, the Araneta Group, Asian Development Bank, PLDT, Smart, NutriAsia, Unilab, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology PCIEERD, Department of Information and Communication Technology, the Tourism Promotion Board of the DOT, Freidrich Neuman Foundation, Dentsu Aegis Network, The PhilStar Group, Businessworld SparkUp, Microsoft Philippines, ClinkIT, Green Sun Hotel, KMC Solutions, ASEANHR, GIZ Philippines, Forest Foundation Philippines,Mozilla Philippines Community, DevCon Philippines, 2030 Youth Force Philippines, Edukasyon, Canva, Manila WordPress, Women In Technology, Women Who Code, When In Manila, Alfox Printing Services, Google Developers Philippines, Girls Who Code, Deskera, Pantheon, Manila Angel Investors Network, JobStream Philippines, Global Entrepreneurship Network, Veer Philippines, PhilRobotics, PCI Tech Innovation Center and many more, Rondario also extended an invitation for partnerships for the Impact Hackathon 2020, as they prepare to launch a regional hackathon next year. She also reminded the hackathon participants about the lessons from the event by saying,
“This is how startups are born. You change everything on the fly. This event is not the end. This is the beginning. It is Day 0 and real work starts tomorrow.”