PLDT, Microsoft join as partner for Cohort 10 Tracks
As it commemorates its first decade of propelling innovation forward, IdeaSpace Foundation, the MVP Group’s startup accelerator, partnered with Microsoft and PLDT in launching 10 high-potential tech startups from its 10th Cohort for its in-person Demo Day in Makati.
The 10 startups who completed the IdeaSpace Accelerator Program, this year with the theme of “Igniting Innovat10n,” as a nod to IdeaSpace’s 10th anniversary, are: Aiah.ai, an artificial intelligence (AI) digital assistance platform that automates customer and employee interactions for sales and HR teams; Britana, an enterprise resource planning software that digitalizes SMEs by automating and integrating all business functions from procurement, sales, warehousing, finance, and accounting; Payday Today, an impact fintech that enables low-income households to get their accrued wages before payday; Hier Payroll, a payroll system that provides companies the flexibility to configure their system according to their respective HR policies without additional cost; Ignite Careers, a hiring platform that trains Filipino talents and provides career-matching services in the business process outsourcing industry; KargaX, a service that connects inter-island/region shippers & truckers by making use of the underutilized miles; Kwik.insure, an insurance platform that enables businesses to buy and offer insurance digitally; On Demand Deals, a social commerce company that empowers people to earn extra income by franchising online convenience stores that deliver in minutes; Revastaff, a platform that creates augmented virtual reality content for real estate sellers to help buyers visualize properties; and Smile API, a software that provides credit platforms with different employment data from various sources to provide the underbanked better access to credit.
The Demo Day marked the culmination of IdeaSpace’s Accelerator Program, which is designed to support startups in rapidly scaling their ventures by providing resources and mentorship on product development, sales, and fund raising.
As the Philippines’ premier startup enabler, IdeaSpace has graduated some of the country’s most successful ventures through its flagship Accelerator Program. IdeaSpace Foundation is also behind IdeaSpace Investments, its venture capital arm that provides funding to pre-seed to Series A startups; as well as QBO Innovation Hub, a public-private initiative that operates incubation and acceleration initiatives for startups across multiple stages and industries, and conducts an array of startup ecosystem and community activities.
As IdeaSpace continues to evolve its flagship program, the 10th Accelerator Program also featured two specialized tracks led alongside its program partners, PLDT Enterprise and Microsoft.
Together with IdeaSpace, Microsoft worked with the startups to co-pilot and co-develop tech solutions in the realm of business-to-business enterprise solutions, while PLDT Enterprise did the same in the realm of Internet of Things (IoT), smart city, AI, and blockchain technology.
“This Demo Day showcases some of the most promising startups in the country. Today we showcased Artificial Intelligence, Future of Work, Fintech, Logistics and e-commerce solutions that could redefine the landscape not just locally but in Southeast Asia and beyond,” said Katrina Rausa Chan, executive director of IdeaSpace.
“The Philippine startup scene is definitely on the rise. We received tremendous support from partners this year, and we can see from today’s turnout that many more want in on the action,” Ms. Chan added.
Among the key ecosystem stakeholders present at the Demo Day were representatives from large corporations such as Microsoft, PLDT-Smart, Unionbank and JG Dev; investor and venture capital firms such as Kickstart Ventures, Gentree, Kaya Ventures, Endeavor, 917Ventures, AHG, Manila Angels Investor Network and Accion Ventures; as well as government representatives from the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology along with several local government units and international agencies.
“We know that the IdeaSpace Accelerator Program is highly regarded within the startup ecosystem because of the industry role models it has helped cultivate. It is aspirational precisely because of the opportunities it has afforded those that have taken part in it,” Abid Zaidi, chief marketing and operations officer of Microsoft, shared.
Niko Peralta, head for Innovations and Product Development of PLDT Enterprise, also discussed the company’s thrust in partnering with IdeaSpace.
“At PLDT Enterprise, we strive to ideate, scout, and develop solutions across the areas of 5G, AI, and IoT to drive the digital transformation of our enterprise customers. We recognize the key role our young, agile, and ingenious startups play in this ecosystem. PLDT Enterprise is one with IdeaSpace in helping enable, empower, and strengthen the local startup community,” Mr. Peralta shared.
“For the last ten years, IdeaSpace has graduated a cohort of startups and launched them into the world. This time, we have one of our very best cohorts ever,” IdeaSpace Foundation President Rene “Butch” Meily said.
As it continues its mission to scale and invest in homegrown startups and pave the way towards a tech-forward future for the Philippines, IdeaSpace is set to open applications for its 11th Accelerator Program soon.