2016 Philippine Startup Challenge launched focused on IoT

The 2016 Philippine Startup Challenge launched with Internet-of-Things or IoT as new track.

The 2016 Philippine Startup Challenge was launched Friday with Internet-of-Things (IoT) as its new track.

The IoT challenge is an initiative developed in collaboration between the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICT Office), Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), and in cooperation with Intel Philippines.

Other private companies supporting the competition are Microsoft, Huawei, and Hewlett Packard.

Support from the academe is coming from Philippine Society of IT Educators (PSITE).

Now on its third year, the Philippine Startup Challenge’s new track on IoT touches on hardware and connectivity, inclusive of software, electronics, sensors, the internet, among others. The first two years of the startup challenge were solely focused on software innovation.

ICTO deputy executive director for eInnovation Monchito Ibrahim said they see IoT as an emerging trend in the industry that innovators, especially the youth can explore to create relevant technology.

“We believe that the evolution of this competition – from mostly software innovation to now exploring robotics and hardware – is a great step in welcoming a wider talent base to the community and will create more exciting use for technology and connectivity,” Ibrahim said.

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Intel Philippines country manager Calum Chisholm said this year’s contest will be augmented with the hardware element to which teams can create interesting solutions.

“IoT presents a huge opportunity for aspiring inventors as it touches almost everything in our lives,” Chisholm said. “Intel is committed to supporting innovation in this space and look forward to the entries that have the potential to transform experiences across industries and society.

In preparation for the Challenge, the organizers will be hosting a bootcamp series together with Intel Philippines to guide college instructors and professors, who act as mentors of participating student teams in the competition.

Lean Startup 101 and IoT Bootcamps will be conducted in various locations across the Philippines. This two-day bootcamp will cover topics on developing startup ideas, creating viable business models, best practices in effectively operating a tech startup as well as basics on building IoT solutions.

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College educators who participate in the bootcamp will then be encouraged to form student teams that will represent their respective academic institutions. The teams will include four members; three students and one faculty adviser.

The upcoming bootcamps will be in Bacolod City (May 20-21), Metro Manila (May 27-28), Baguio City (June 10-11), and General Santos City (June 24-25).

To join the competition, teams should submit a five-minute video pitch presentation about their startup idea. From the overall number of entries, Top 10 teams will be selected for further mentoring sessions.

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The finalists will be given a chance to pitch their startup ideas to a panel of judges consisting of local startup experts during the Philippine Startup National Finals. For IoT Entries, Intel Philippines will be selecting 20 entries who will be receiving Intel boards which they can use in developing their innovations.

Winners of the Challenge will get a chance to be part of PSIA-SPRING.ph’s LaunchPad mentoring and incubation program. Winners will also be given access to valuable networks within the country’s startup ecosystem, which could lead them to future partnerships and collaborations. IoT winners will receive mentoring opportunities supported by Intel Philippines.

Under the seedPH initiative of DOST-ICT Office, the Philippine Startup Challenge aims to cultivate the Philippine Startup Ecosystem by conducting advocacy campaigns, capability development programs, and research initiatives.

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