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The Final Pitch seeks post-pandemic solutions in new season

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BUSINESS reality TV show, The Final Pitch returns for a sixth season with the theme “Heroes Edition,” in search for ideas that promote “new solutions to address the economic and social impact of COVID-19.”

This season’s panel of judges — 917Ventures’ Managing Director Vince Yamat, FWD Insurance Philippines CEO Li Hao Zhuang, UBX Philippines Corp. President and CEO John Januszczak, and Thames International Business School President Joel Santos — will evaluate the pitches and mentor aspiring entrepreneurs.

Katrina Chan, Executive Director of QBO Innovation Hub, also joins as a mentor alongside QBO’s roster of startup ecosystem supporters and stakeholders.

“It is no secret that there have been a good number of entrepreneurs that have come out openly to be able to help solve the challenges that we are now facing in this pandemic world that we now live in,” show host and creator John Aguilar said during an online press launch on Feb. 16.

“These entrepreneurs, startups, [and] innovators need the help of the corporates, of people who are in a position to be able to extend the kind of resources, connections that will be able to take their businesses and what they’re doing to the next level,” Mr. Aguilar said.

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917Ventures’ Mr. Yamat said that the entrepreneur that they are looking for is someone who is a venture-builder and “obsessed with solving a big problem.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Zhuang of FWD Insurance focuses on four qualities: demonstrating a clear social mission, distinct business concept, a commercially viable plan, and passion and commitment.

“We’re very interested in investing in ideas, founders, and talent. We can invest in external or stand-alone ventures. We have a fund to do that and that’s obviously a possibility for someone on [the] Final Pitch who is looking to be supported that way,” said UBX’ Mr. Januszczak.

“We also have our venture studio. This could make sense for somebody who has a small team, but they need the resources of an incubator slash accelerator, to bring startups to market and we have the infrastructure for that,” Mr. Januszczak added.

This season, selected contestants will be invited to a one-time face-to-face pitch with the panel while observing health and safety protocols. The show, which will be aired on CNN Philippines, is scheduled to start production by the second week of March.

Thames International’s Mr. Santos, who had previously served as a mentor on the show, noted there is more to entrepreneurship than gaining funds.

“The value of investors is not just about the funds that they bring but also the network that they can open up, the partnerships that they can create for you, and then there’s advising them on how to fix their [business] model, and then lastly, the funds,” he said of his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Final Pitch is now accepting applications. Online entries and one-minute pitch videos can be submitted via TheFinalPitch.ph/application. Interested investors and corporate partners may also reach the show through submit@TheFinalPitch.ph or 0917-8136674. For more information, visit www.thefinalpitch.ph and follow its social media accounts at @TheFinalPitchPH on Facebook, @thefinalpitchph on Instagram, and @thefinalpitch on YouTube. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman

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