Multimedia Reporter

For the participants of IdeaSpace’s 7th Demo Day held last October 22 at Whitespace Manila, the event was a conclusion that opens the door to a promising beginning.

After months of intensive training and mentoring, the latest cohort of IdeaSpace’s Accelerator Program presented their respective product offerings and business models. The 12 tech-based startups all have a common hyperlocal focus, whether it’s through partnering with other businesses or empowering other members of the community:

Airship Logistics: An end-to-end solution for courier companies to manage operations
Automart: An online car auction platform that ensures the best price for used vehicles
BukidFresh: A platform that provides customers with fresh, fair-trade greens from local farmers
Brooky: An AI-enabled marketing assistant for real estate developers and brokers
Cocotel: A hotel aggregator that also assists smaller chains in upscaling their services
Contrack: A platform that connects home and business owners to accredited local improvement services providers
DCLA: An end-to-end computer learning scheme for basic education
ExperiencePH: A community travel platform that offers themed and gamified experiences
IOL: A gamified e-learning platform for business education
Olivia: A gamified app for women to help track expenses and decide on the best investment options
Omnibus: A cloud-based platform to help legal practitioners manage their daily operations
Pandalivery: A food delivery solution designed for the Philippine market

“We’ve high hopes for this cohort. They’re more mature,” said Butch Meily, president of IdeaSpace. “In the past we would take prototypes, but we’re no longer doing that. We’re looking for more mature startups that have a business model, revenues, and that are going for the long run.”

As new members of the IdeaSpace’s alumni program, the 12 startups will be granted access to additional resources such as mentors, office space, business matching, and funding. They will also be able to compete for the chance of receiving a P1 million equity investment from IdeaSpace.

Learning from one’s battle scars

For the cohort’s graduates, much had changed for their startups since the beginning of the program. Olivia, for instance, was supposed to start off solely as an investing app.

“The program really helped us validate the market and understand what the real pain points are,” said Jocs Pantastico, Olivia’s CEO and founder. “So after going through weeks of marketing validation… we found out that while investing was aspirational, the need was more basic than that. It was understanding where money was going first, and then eventually investing.”

For some of the founders, change started on a more personal level. “As an IT student, I really didn’t know how business worked,” said Jude Salvador Buelva, CEO and founder of Pandalivery. “[The program] really honed me to become an entrepreneur, and to become the best startup founder that I can be.”

[Read more about Jude’s journey putting up Pandalivery here.]

A safe space for growth is one of the key benefits of any incubation or acceleration program. But now that these startups have graduated, it’s important that they keep on learning- even if it means earning a few more battle scars along the way.

“Just keep on failing,” said Buelva. “Pandalivery failed a lot in terms of implementation. And that’s where we learned that we should focus on this and that. It really gave us the path on where we should go.”