Saturday, September 22, 2018

Women-only ‘Startup Weekend Cebu’ to raise profitable ideas, leaders

“STARTUP WEEKEND CEBU WOMEN EDITION” organizing committee members (from left) Ashley Uy, facilitator; Nicole Padin, communication head; Maryanne Apale, co-lead/co-facilitator; Rhiz Herrero, finance lead; Leni Tuhoy, marketing lead and Gee Quidet, lead organizer, promote the “Startup Weekend Cebu Women Edition” to be held on Sept. 28 to 30 at the Cebu IT Park. (SunStar photo/Alex Badayos)

CEBUANO women in business have united to organize a women empowerment program.

For this year’s Startup Weekend Cebu, dubbed “Startup Weekend Cebu Women Edition,” women are urged to participate to be inspired and empowered.

The event will be held on Sept. 28 to 30 at The Inspire Team Space, Level 8, Mabuhay Towers in the Cebu IT Park.

This three-day event will have a competition-workshop format, focusing on ideation, mentorship and presentation. The expected number of participants is 40 to 50 women professionals such as designers, developers, marketers and startup enthusiasts.

Mary Grace Quidet, lead organizer of Startup Weekend Cebu Women Edition, said this event is special because this is focused on women, with the goal of inspiring female leaders to develop an interest in technology, design thinking and entrepreneurship toward transformational change.

On the first day of the event, the participants are going to meet the people they will be working with, choose a project they will work on over the weekend, pitch an idea for a minute and create a cross-functional team to work with.

The next day, local mentors such as Frances Teves, Desiree Roxas, Ezra Gayon, Lorna Bondoc, Timmy de Jesus, Laurice Chiongbian, Dan Allen Pantinople and Rochel Abrasaldo, will meet the participants to coach them through the hard problems they might encounter while working; participants will be responsible for everything from finding customers to building their product.

For the last day, participants will be given five minutes to present the product or service they created in front of the panel of judges.

“The goal at the end of the event is for them to present a prototype of their idea,” said Ashley Uy, overall facilitator of Startup Weekend Cebu Women Edition.

“They have to prove that their idea can be profitable,” Uy said.

The chosen winners will be invited to present their work during the APAC Finals + Demo Day on Oct. 20 to 21 in Bali, Indonesia.

“The emphasis of the event is always on the experience,” said Uy.

Although the event is dedicated to women, men are also welcome to join. But they are not allowed to pitch and lead the teams.

Uy said that internationally, many women are making a lot of noise. However, when it comes to quantity, the number of leading women founders are still few, especially in the Philippines.

“Programs like this exist to hopefully raise that number so that those women who are shy will have role models to look up to,” said Uy.

“With this event, maybe, we don’t know, Filipina leaders will be the role models for our neighboring Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, right?” she continued.

The registration fee for the event is P1,000, inclusive of six meals, an event shirt and event goodie bags.

“Currently, there is a lack of female role models in the tech field, gender bias in the workplace, unequal growth opportunities and unequal pay for the same skills. We are hoping to help promote a culture that does not make women feel like they have to prove themselves,” said Quidet. (Mary Ruth Malinao, USJ-R intern)