AS part of its Gender and Development Program and in support of scaling up local tech-based start-ups, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), in coordination with QBO Innovation Hub (QBO), sent a delegation of 12 female-founded and female-led start-ups to represent the Philippines at the recently concluded Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) Singapore.
SWITCH is a yearly celebration of tech and innovation, which brings together various partners and relevant stakeholders from around the world in technology, innovation and enterprise ecosystem for a series of tech exhibitions, conferences, workshops and other activities related to innovation.
This year SWITCH transpired from September 17 to 20 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre and was bigger than ever with over 11,000 attendees from 70 countries, 260 speakers, 350 exhibitors and 70 partners.
DTI-EMB and QBO, which both aim to develop local startups and grow the Philippine startup ecosystem and support female founders’ expansion into international markets, believed SWITCH was the perfect opportunity to empower local female entrepreneurs to forward their innovations. This is because Singapore is widely recognized as the Southeast Asian hub for technology start-ups and is often the launchpad for business expansion to the region.
SWITCH, co-organized by the Enterprise SG and the Singapore National Research Foundation, brought together investors, incubators and corporates from around the world and was marked by headline partner events, including TechInnovation, Deep Tech Summit by SG Innovate, ICMG Corporate Innovation Summit and the launch of Women In Tech Asia among others.
“Singapore is one of the region’s leading centers for tech and innovation, and home to many of Asean’s unicorn startups, with an unparalleled density of tech investors and companies,” said Katrina Rausa Chan, executive director of QBO.
Speaking about the significance of having the Philippine start-up community represented at SWITCH this year, Chan added, “We are happy to be able to showcase 12 of the most promising, scaling and female-founded Filipino start-ups to get this opportunity for international market access, exposure and support here at SWITCH. We hope this experience will inspire our female founders and pave the path for our start-ups to scale up and create impact in the global stage.”
The delegation’s startups represented female-led and female-founded companies, with a certain level of maturity and success in their technologies and business models, in disciplines ranging from artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, to financial technology, e-commerce and online marketplaces.
The 12 start-ups were:
Represented by its Founder and CEO Abigail Mendoza, StyleGenie is a fashion-tech company focused on boosting customers’ confidence through expertly curated outfits, one box at a time, while also helping brand flush out their excess or old-season inventory. They offer styling subscriptions of outfits curated by fashion experts based on individual’s Style Profiles.
Represented by its Cofounder and CEO Kim Lim, TripZeeker is an online bazaar of travel experiences. It is an aggregator web site that compares the prices of tours from different tour operators. This platform offers a venue for travel providers around the world to compete in the same space, which allows travelers to save and gives travel small medium enterprises exposure to global clients.
Represented by its Founder and CEO Jocelyn Pantastico, Olivia is the Filipino woman’s virtual financial advisor. They help women create financial goals, match them investment products via AI and allow them to allocate investments to goals so they can track their progress. Olivia makes investing simple and affordable so that women are empowered to invest at least 10 percent of their income.
- Valea Health
Represented by its Cofounder and CMO Lorraine Faeldon, Valea Health is a comprehensive solution that addresses the health, fitness and wellness needs of companies and organizations that offer long term benefits for employees and companies. It is a personal SMS and chat-based health assistant that helps users manage their overall health and wellness with the ultimate goal of preventing diseases, especially chronic, lifestyle-related illnesses.
Represented by its Cofounder and COO Kathleen Acosta, JazzyPay is a payment platform that enables customers to make online payments to educational facilities, health-care facilities and other establishments instantly—at any time and from anywhere. It is also one of the start-ups in the coveted Rakuten Acceleration program powered by Techstars, Singapore, in 2018.
Represented by its Cofounder Bonnie Factor, eCFulfill is an e-commerce local and global fulfillment and cross-border logistics service. It removes the guesswork in global e-commerce by using data analytics to determine product competitiveness. They provide recommendations to improve product/brand packaging and identify the correct price. And they are developing Web-based tools that use data and AI to guide sellers to success.
- Antipara Exploration
Represented by its Cofounder and CFO Cherry Murillon, Antipara Exploration is an underwater 3D visual mapping and analytics company that uses its own underwater platform with a camera and sonar system to produce maps and provide relevant information for marine management.
Represented by its Founder and CEO Aurora Mendoza Soriano, PinoyTravel is a company that aggregated provincial or long-distance bus and ferry companies into one site so customers get a single view of services available to a desired destination. They are currently the biggest service provider of this kind in the Philippines.
Represented by its Chief of Staff Denisse Banez, Edukasyon.ph is an education platform that seeks to improve access to education and employment by empowering students to make informed decisions leading to full employability postgraduation. They equip them with: (1) thousands of education options through their comprehensive database of schools, courses and scholarships; (2) relevant and accurate advice content; and (3) a strong community of parents, peers and educators to guide them through their education to employment journey.
- Husay Co.
Represented by its Cofounder and Managing Director Leah del Rosario, Husay Co. is a performing-arts solution outfit that enables productions, performers and advocates to connect for work and impact. They provide a platform for curated portfolio of performing artists to better market themselves as well as a collaboration of impact creators to better tell the stories behind their causes.
- Container Living PH
Represented by its Founder and CEO Mac Evagelista, Container Living PH provides a disaster-resilient expandable building system that has a modular design that is five times faster to build, three times stronger, 30-percent cheaper and twice as long-lasting as a regular home. They use decommissioned or Class B shipping containers, which also help address the rise in greenhouse-gas emissions.
Represented by its Cofounder Charibeth Cheng, Senti is a localized social-media platform that consolidates information from different social-media streams and uses it to provide analytics and data insights on responses to certain products, people, or events. Senti assists in analyzing market feedback that other tools cannot normally process because they only process English.