SkyEye, a tech startup offering alternative solutions in surveying various land and properties, bagged the Fellowship in Innovation in Mobility by Impact Hub Manila and listed Philippine logistics firm LBC Express Inc.
SkyEye was awarded with up to $23,100 (P1.70 million) cash and incubation packages to further scale and propagate its enterprise.
Two other startups also competed in the championship round, community-based ride-sharing service Wave, and post-harvest food processing initiative, Food Planner. Both companies were awarded with the three-month Cohort Phase of the fellowship, and they also participated in Impact Hub’s KICK Incubation Programme. The latter is based on the best practices of TechStars, and the experiences operating Fledge, the “conscious company” accelerator. It is held in 29 countries, including San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Dubai.
A total of P320,000 of the P1.70 million cash prize shall serve as SkyEye’s seed fund. However, they will receive continued support and development with LBC and Impact Hub Manila for the next nine months which includes access to collaborative workspace, valuable local and global network, focused mentoring, and continued skill development worth more than P430,000.
All three teams pitched their business ideas before a panel of judges composed of industry experts and investors led by LBC chief strategy and innovation officer Dino Araneta.
Araneta said SkyEye was chosen because of their innovative approach, combining hardware, software, and highly talented people to create services to benefit the customers and the country.
“We believe their pioneering use of drone technology has a huge potential to bring positive change to the Philippines and abroad. Through further development, we anticipate a diverse range of solutions and applications in the subject of mobility,” Araneta said.
Listed as LBC Express Inc, LBC is a major courier and money remittance service company in the Philippines with a network of 6,400 locations worldwide. It has presence in over 30 countries in Asia-Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe.
SkyEye was started by a group of researchers and engineers gathering weather data and producing maps with UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or drone) technology. It grew into a technically skilled enterprise dedicated to maximizing UAV technology in various applications from land surveying, to deed titling, infrastructure planning and construction, to humanitarian response.
SkyEye co-founder Matthew Cua said that as engineers, thinking about business models and sales was foreign to them but the Fellowship program enabled them to better communicate their value proposition and make it more compelling.
“Our team was able to grow really fast over the last three months,” Cua said. “We were able to make our tool sets as entrepreneurs even stronger and gain valuable insights from industry experts and other start-ups. Overall, we are a stronger company now.”
The Fellowship served as Impact Hub Manila’s first fellowship programme. They launched last June 2015 not only as incubator, but also as co-working and events space for membership community of entrepreneurs, activists, creatives, and professionals.