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Innovative digital solutions from college students recognised at Philippine Startup Challenge finals

Innovative digital solutions from college students recognised at Philippine Startup Challenge finals

Team E-Pursuers from the University of Southeastern
Philippines was declared
the Grand Winner of the Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC) 4 National Finals
held last 6 April 2018 at Green Sun Hotel, Makati City.

The Philippine Startup Challenge is a national startup
competition which aims to encourage the youth to create innovative solutions to
real life problems. The Department of Information and Communications
Technology (DICT) organised the Challenge, with support from the Philippine
Software Industry Association (PSIA), Huawei Philippines, Ideaspace,
Launchgarage, and Philippine Society of IT Educators (PSITE).

This year’s edition of the Startup Challenge received 202
entries – a 25% increase from the previous year. The ten national
finalists were announced
in March 2018

The all-female winning team, comprised of Mariah Nicole
Perez de Tagle, Daniella Javilles, and Annie Marrise Insong, developed a mobile
wallet application, called Centsilyo, that digitally pays for items and also
stores changes up until the last cent.

Centsilyo, a play on the word sensilyo, Bisaya term
for change, Team E-Pursuers envisions in reinforcing Republic Act 10909 (No
Shortchanging Act of 2016), which prohibits business establishments from giving
insufficient or no change to consumers.

Team E-Pursuers also received the Huawei Philippines Special
Award, earning them an invite to join the Seeds for the Future Program in
October for a two-week immersion in startup hubs in Beijing and Shenzhen,

The team will continue to develop the app with the support
they gained from the competition.

“We will (pursue it), and we already talked to the people
here that are willing to mentor us or invest in our app,” said Daniella

Team Technogeeks’ Taptrack of the University of Science and
Technology of Southern Philippines and Team Rocket’s Venturepal of the
University of Cebu (UC) were in the second and third place, respectively. The
Elaborators’ myMDLab of Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation won the Social
Media Award.

Taptrack is a portable RFID-based attendance management
system with SMS transmission for field workers, while Venturepal is an online
investment pooling platform for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
myMDLab is a digital application which lets patients request for
laboratory services at the comfort of their homes.

DICT Undersecretary Monchito B. Ibrahim, Mr Jojo Flores
(Launchgarage), Mr Butch Meily (Ideaspace Foundation Inc.), and Mr Wellington
Liu (Huawei Philippines) constituted the board of judges.

Ms Rosario Gruet, co-founder of Spring.PH
(Software Products Incubation Group [1])
and PSC 4 head judge, noted how the judges had a difficult time determining the

“The scores of the teams were close because we were quite
happy with the teams’ (pitches) this year,” said Ms Gruet.

In his keynote speech, OIC Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. said,
“This is what the DICT is all about: cultivating a culture of innovation.”

 [1] Launched by PSIA, SPRING.ph aims to be the
industry platform to nurture, encourage, educate, and support the needs of
Filipino software startups. To date, close to 50 companies (representing PSIA
member and non-member companies) and 24 product teams have joined SPRING.ph.

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