Team UBE-Tech emerged as the winner of the first Tech Planter startup competition in the Philippines, organised by Japanese bio venture firm Leave a Nest Co Ltd.
The Japanese firm operates a knowledge-based platform focused on deep science technology.
Team UBE-Tech beat 11 other teams in the startup pitching contest held at the QBO Innovation Hub in Makati City. All 12 finalists were chosen out of 29 local startups.
UBE-Tech was awarded with up to $2,000 (JPY200,000) cash and an all-expense paid travel and accommodation in Singapore to represent the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific finals on July 29.
The team introduced a novel powdering technology of purple yam, a native dessert made from the purple sweet potato plant or popularly called “Ube”. Its technology facilitates commercial use of the lightly pigmented ube.
Leave a Nest managing director and president Yukihiro Maru said, UBE-Tech’s technology can be applied to other food materials to solve unnecessary disposal of crops.
Four other Philippine finalists received awards from Japanese companies JT Group, THK, Hamano, and Leave a Nest. The awarded teams were MiBAS for its mind-based alert system for paralysed patients, Fablab Bohor for its waste plastic up-cycling, MVM who came up with a vending machine for over the counter medicines and other first aid needs, and the Smart Lab team which uses nano particle coated kapok to filter waste water.
Launched in 2014 by Leave a Nest, Tech Planter recently completed its competitions in India and Malaysia, and will conduct the next series of competitions in Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, United Kingdom, and the US.
Tech Planter is not only aimed at identifying and nurturing startups engaged in deep science technology, but also connecting them with major companies, venture capital, and the Japanese super factories that are engaged in high precision manufacturing and know-how.
Founded in 2002, Leave a Nest is a science communication firm with a knowledge based platform in Japan. Its projects support education, research, providing also services such as capacity building seminars, business development support, revitalizing local area, among others.