Filipino, French startups pitch novel business ideas to solve salient issues amid ‘Covid’

NINE new business players in the Philippines and France presented their innovative concepts from health, fitness, real estate and machine-learning solutions to potential investors at the virtual Startup Pitch Competition launched recently by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, in partnership with La French Tech Philippines and Digital Pilipinas.

The competition aims to provide an avenue for Filipino and French startups to propose ways on solving many of the main issues now confronting the country, in the backdrop of the health crisis.

“This pitching contest is an illustration of a continuous action of the French chamber to link Filipino and French businesses,” said Ambassador of France to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz.

“Amid the…pandemic, it is the best time for us to see what [areas need] our attention, and how businesses can help. Innovation and creativity brought by startups are crucial,” she added.

During the competition, startups were able to pitch to multiple investors, which provided them valuable exposure and invaluable feedback.

The chamber’s managing director Marie-Maylis Charlat expected that the contest could provide a platform for early-stage startups to network with investors and, eventually, secure funding to accelerate their business.

“We hope to create a platform for startups and investors to meet, [while] the audience can also engage themselves by meeting each other,” Charlat said.

The contest proved the way the Philippines, like France, is endowed with innovative business ideas that need further support from investors.

Turning these concepts into realities will further strengthen the local startup ecosystem. Boccoz noted it has been experiencing notable growth in recent years.

In fact, the envoy cited Core Venture Capital’s study that revealed $858 million-worth of funds raised from January to October 2021, or 97.83 percent of the total equity raised from 2017 to 2020.

“The Philippines ended 2021 as the fastest-growing Internet economy in Southeast Asia, posting a gain of 93 percent from 2020,” the envoy confirmed.

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