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PLDT champions startups, widens search for innovations

PLDT and Smart First Vice President and Group Head for Corporate Communications Cathy Yap-Yang shared her perspectives on the important role that technology and corporations play in forging a stronger startup ecosystem in the Philippines.

Empowering startups and championing innovations, PLDT recently took part in Philippine Start Up Week’s conversations on the future of corporate innovation.

PLDT and Smart First Vice President and Group Head for Corporate Communications Cathy Yap-Yang shared her perspectives on the important role that technology and corporations play in forging a stronger startup ecosystem in the Philippines. “The corporate-startup collaborations have become stronger, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With the unprecedented shift to digital, it gave everyone an opportunity to thrive and survive. It drove us all in the ecosystem to accelerate our innovations. There are more collaborations now because of the acceleration in digitalization,” Yap-Yang said.

Through a multi-sectoral approach, corporations are one of the greatest enablers of the startup innovations. They have the platform to create a more inclusive startup ecosystem where equal opportunities are accessible.

“It is mutually beneficial for both corporates and startups to work together. It’s a win-win opportunity for both. Startups help corporates gain early insights into experimental technologies and the new verticals. They have the agility and the novel ideas that corporates value. On the other hand, corporates possess the resources and legitimacy that startups aspire for,” Yap-Yang added.

PLDT reinforces their commitment in championing innovations by supporting startups with the most ingenious and creative ideas. PLDT launched the Startup Innovation Challenge where the top 10 finalists who underwent boot camp training received mentorship along with startup kits, and prototyping platforms.  The finalists had an opportunity to showcase their final products during the Demo Day on November 17 as part of Philippine Startup Week 2021.

Since 2015, PLDT has been a great enabler and champion of innovations within the startup ecosystem through several hackathon challenges. This included the PLDT Innolab Startup Studio Cebu in 2015, which aimed to boost up tourism enterprises and partners to enhance the industry through digital solutions. In 2016, PLDT conducted its first-ever hackathon challenge nationwide that invited aspiring innovators to develop digital customer service solutions as part of the celebration of PLDT’s 88th Anniversary.

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In 2018, the MVP Group launched the MVP Geek Olympics, which invited employees within the Group of companies to take part and share their innovative ideas. A group of PLDT employees won a ticket to Silicon Valley with their reverse vending machine, “LIKHA”, which became a vital tool for sustainability.

Most recently, amid the pandemic, PLDT continued to enable startups by partnering with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). The said hackathon challenge aimed to crowdsource digital solutions and ideas that would help in the battle against COVID-19.

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