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Philippine startup ecosystem is maturing, says IdeaSpace exec

Founders of startups now see a clearer path from their ideas, an indication that the Philippines’ startup ecosystem is maturing.

At a press conference to announce the 10 new startups that will join IdeaSpace Foundation’s acceleration program this year, Diane Eustaquio, Executive Director at IdeaSpace, says this year’s batch of IdeaSpace startups are “a testament to how the Philippine startup ecosystem is maturing, where founders now see a clearer path from their ideas to executing them in the real world and bringing their products to customers.”

The 10 startups, which will receive equity-free funding of P500,000 each and other prizes, will join IdeaSpace’s growing portfolio of 38 startups over the last four years as part of its half a billion-peso funding that was instituted in 2012.

Aside from equity-free funding, they are also rewarded with non-cash benefits such as housing, transportation, incorporation, office space, communication, software support, trainings and classes, as well as mentoring from executives of companies under First Pacific.

The equity-free funding is given to 10 most socially relevant innovations that can help solve pressing problems, particularly in the Philippines. With this structure, IdeaSpace will not take any equity from startups that they will be funding this year, and lets founders take full ownership of their ideas and businesses, allowing them to collaborate and bring these early-stage ideas to reality and, eventually to commercial viability.

From left Cleaning Lady's Okie King; Cropital's Ruel Amparo; Investagrams' JC Bisnar; Tarkie's Rio Ilao; and Tralulu's Andrew Cua

Some of the 10 Startups: Cleaning Lady’s Okie King; Cropital’s Ruel Amparo; Investagrams’ JC Bisnar; Tarkie’s Rio Ilao; and Tralulu’s Andrew Cua

This year’s 10 new startups are:

Banyera – an online marketplace for wholesale farmed fish products;

Cleaning Lady – a mobile app that lets a user specify his/her cleaning services needs, hire a cleaner, book a schedule, get an upfront service quote and get the cleaning done;

Cropital – a crowdfunding platform that connects anyone to help finance our farmers;

E.A.R.S. – a wearable device for the deaf/hearing-impaired: an early warning, detection, reaction device that protects users while outdoors from accidents/collision/threats;

Investagrams – a web site and app that provide education, analytic tools and information, everything you need in the stock market from start-to-profits;

InvestED – a microfinancing platform for student loans;

Populi – an analytics platform that utilizes big data for politicians to visualize public pulse in real time by aggregating social media and news engagements online;

Tarkie – a field employee tracking and productivity tool;

Taxumo – a mobile and web app that helps SMEs, professionals, freelancers, and corporations with their taxes; and

Tralulu – a digital platform that connects travelers and local guides by allowing travelers to book guides and customize their itineraries with them.

These 10 startups were part of the 20 finalists which underwent six weeks of incubation where they validated their initial startup ideas; learned the ropes of establishing and running a business; and developed prototypes for their startups.

“We’re quite proud of this year’s batch of IdeaSpace startups,” said Eustaquio.  “We are glad to support Filipino startup entrepreneurs as they begin to make a dent in helping the growth of the Philippines.”

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