Silicon Valley dreams-A A +A
Saturday, April 14, 2012
APPS that allow users to reach sports coaches anywhere in the world or to search for the names of friends and businesses, using text rather than numbers, will compete in the national level of the ON3 Business Plan Pitching Competition.
Out of nine teams, six made it to the national level of the competition, which will be held in Manila on July 10-15 this year. They competed yesterday at the University of the Philippines in Cebu.
Startups presented a three-minute “elevator pitch” to introduce their technology-driven ideas and products to the panel. The panel included vice president for operations Jojo Flores of Plug and PlayTech Center of Silicon Valley, managing editor Denny Roja of ValueQuest International and Christina Lawskowski of the Science and Technology Assistance Center of Silicon Valley.
The products or groups that advanced to the national round are: Group Jump, a social platform that makes use of a social mobile card to provide unified communication among contacts; MiiMove, a motion sports app that allows users to be coached by experts abroad; Levitan Software, an Aklan-based software company that provides game applications available for download; Surebooked, software for a universal booking system, particularly hotels; Xekyn, a software that allows video sharing and attachments through email addresses; and SpellDial, an app that allows users to search for the names of friends and businesses using only text, instead of numbers.
The SpellDial team, under Albert Padin and Nicole Macarasig, earned the top spot in the competition.
The criteria included overall concept, market opportunity, competitive landscape, product execution, business execution, team, and the business model.
The panel intended to pick only five teams to compete in the national round but two of them, Levitan Software and Surebooked, shared the fourth place.
The Visayas round winners will compete with other startups from Luzon and Mindanao during the National Sciences and Technology Week in July.
The national winner will get the chance to present to at least five top-tier venture capitalists and angel investors in Silicon Valley, as well as an immersion in Silicon Valley for three months. There will also be funding missions and participation at Plug and Play’s EXPO series.
“One start-up from the Philippines will change the Philippines. That startup can create more jobs for other Filipinos; more jobs means fewer poor people; fewer poor people means you can walk on the streets holding your iPhone and I would love for that day to come,” said Padin of SpellDial.
Flores said he hopes to see the government, private sector, potential investors, and the entrepreneurial community in the Philippines create a large ecosystem of technology and entrepreneurship.
“My hope for Cebu is for it to become a microcosm of Silicon Valley,” he said. (Maria Jeandie Galolo, UP Intern)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 14, 2012.