Pinoy start-ups vie for Silicon Valley stintSunday, July 15, 2012 12:00 AM Views : 1123Newsbytes Philippines
Members of Xamun, a finalist for the ON3 tech start-up competition, answer questions from judges during the final round.
Local start-ups engaged in an intense pitching competition on Thursday, July 12, at the SMX Convention Center when a US-based organization held a competition, with the winners getting the opportunity to vie for funding in Silicon Valley.
The contest, dubbed ON3, was organized by the Science and Technology Advisory Council – Silicon Valley (STAC-SV) and held in conjunction with the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).
"We would employ best practices and offer to the regional runner-ups and grand prize winners of ON3 an experience like no other including access to experts and professionals both domestic and international that could help accelerate their initiatives," said Christina Laskowski, the Fil-Am president of STAC-SV.
ON3 was first held in the Philippines. In April, it conducted four regional events in Cebu, Davao, Pangasinan, and Manila participated in by 40 tech-related startups that involved in areas such as consumer Web, Internet, mobile, wireless, social media, gaming, software, clean technology, and biotechnology.
Of the number, 15 advanced to the final competition and competed for the grand prize — a three-month immersion in Silicon Valley.
The finalists included GroupJump, iVeamcast, LS, Guestlist.ph, X2Wave, Segworks, Straps, Technominds Easco, Xamun, MiiMove, SpellDial, PayrollHero, Surebooked, Braille G4, and Udrics.
The immersion program will be conducted at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, California and involves introduction to at least five top tier venture capital firms and angel investors in Silicon Valley.
The cost of living allowance of the grand winners, on the other hand, will be subsidized by the US Department of Science and Technology.
"We've helped many tech startups at Plug and Play over the last six years. Our community of companies have raised in excess of $1 billion. However, none of them are Filipinos yet. It is my hope that a couple of our deserving start-ups are able to raise institutional funding and accelerate their success in the global marketplace. At the very least, their three-month immersion experience in Silicon Valley contributes to make them smarter technopreneurs," said Jojo Flores, co-founder and vice-president of Plug and Play, and vice-president at STAC-SV.
Incidentally, STAC-SV has also joined the US State Department's Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) as an official partner. The alliance will both elevate GEP's efforts to spur entrepreneurship around the world and strengthen STAC's private sector leadership position in fostering science and technology entrepreneurial growth in the Philippines.
STAC-SV said the new alliance not only strengthens the entrepreneurial platform taking form in the Philippines, it promotes a welcome collaboration with Asian neighbors and US partners to promote entrepreneurship and the resulting economic development in the Philippines and globally.
Both Kickstart Ventures and IdeaSpace – the incubator subsidiaries of telco giants Globe Telecom and Smart Communications – lent their support to the pitching competition.