Startup weekend: Investors want profitable ideas

PROFITABLE ideas that help women in their daily struggles whether at home or in the workplace are what judges expect in this year’s Startup Weekend Cebu Women Edition.

Laurice Chiongbian, chief executive officer of Qavalo, a homecare firm and one of the judges of this year’s event, said they are looking for startup ideas whose focus are on female consumers.

“The thing that really struck me in the women edition of the Startup Weekend is that it is great for uplifting women founders and leaders. What really struck me is that business ideas are now focused on women. Now, you see the impact of these founders who are out there to solve unaddressed problems for 50 percent of the consumer population,” she said.

Happening on Sept. 27 to 29, 2019 at the KMC Solutions in Cebu IT Park, the Startup Weekend will gather designers, developers, marketers and startup enthusiasts to pitch, build a prototype, present to a panel of judges and possibly launch startups within 54 hours.

Chiongbian said startup ideas like a nanny app, a hire hero app and applications on fertility technology that freezes eggs were some of the highlights in last year’s competition.

“Investors are bullish about anything if you have traction and they want to have a founder that knows how to bootstrap, knows how to be accountable and just put earnings out there,” she said.

“We see a lot of ideas right now getting funding but they are not really profitable. Lately people are getting sensitive on their investments because of the global market,” she added.

Women startup mentors Elaine Bernice, Chiongbian, Timmy de Jesus, Patricia Kyle Mendoza and Bon Louie Gimarino will be helping the teams.

Going global

For this year, the organizers said participants will get the chance to compete in an international arena as the business pitch event goes global.

“In last year’s women edition, the winning team had the chance to fly to Bali, Indonesia and present their winning idea to the participating countries in the Asia Pacific. This year, the event is done simultaneously worldwide and the final pitch will be in Singapore,” said Maryanne Apale, lead organizer of Startup Weekend Cebu Women Edition.

A representative of the winning team will be flying to Singapore for free to compete with other teams.

“The idea of the program is to simulate how it is in real life for people to start their own business or join a startup without actually spending millions in capital,” Ashley Uy, event facilitator, said.

Boosting entrepreneurship

Startup Weekend Cebu is part of the Startup Weekend events by Techstars held across cities around the world during the month of September.

The event was established with the belief that boosting entrepreneurship can sow the seeds for a better future and encouraging local initiatives can have a huge global impact and foster more diversity and inclusion.

Over 4,000 Startup Weekends have been hosted in more than 1,400 cities in 140 countries all over the world with more than 234,000 global participants to date. (JOB)


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