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  • Writer's pictureAteneo Intellectual Property Office [AIPO]

Ateneo celebrates Philippine Startup Week 2023

In celebration of the Philippine Startup Week (PHSW) 2023, the Ateneo Intellectual Property Office (AIPO) together with valued partners, held a series of onsite community events last 22-24 November 2023 at the Ateneo Blue Nest, Areté, Sandbox Zone, Ateneo de Manila University. 

Photo: Posters of the two PHSW 2023 community events in Ateneo

The PHSW 2023 is an annual conference designed to bring together various stakeholders in the Philippine startup ecosystem, including founders, investors, corporates, academia, media, and government agencies. This nationwide event established in 2019* aims to foster innovation and highlight the extensive support systems in place to facilitate the ongoing development of the startup scene in the Philippines. Under this year’s theme, "Investing in Filipino Homegrown Heroes as Global Game Changers," the PHSW is strategically positioned as a platform focused on supporting and showcasing Filipino-led startups.

A Panel Discussion on Community-driven Innovations (22 November)

On the afternoon of 22 November 2023, a community event titled, “It Takes a Village: Community-driven Innovations” was held in collaboration with Reactor School Philippines, and the Strengthening University-Enterprise Collaboration for Resilient Communities in Asia (SECRA) Project, aimed to put a spotlight on the critical role of a ‘Bayanihan’ (community-spirit) innovation in supporting startups through sustainable and resilient entrepreneurship. The event served as a platform for engaging and thought-provoking discussions where esteemed speakers shared their insights, expertise, and experiences related to their startup experience in the Philippines.

The event started with an opening message from Dr Jon Fernandez, Director of the AIPO and one of the project heads of SECRA** in the Philippines. He emphasized the importance of university-enterprise collaborations in building disaster-resilient communities through innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Photo: Dr Proceso “Jon” Fernandez Jr opening the 22 November event with a talk on university-enterprise collaboration for sustainability and disaster resilience

Dr Fernandez’ message was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Prof John Luis Lagdameo PhD, Chair of the Department of Leadership and Strategy of the John Gokongwei School of Management, Ateneo de Manila University. Members of the panel of speakers were Mr Jeremy De Leon, CEO and founder of Jeremake; Mr Harold Laborte, CEO, Vice Chairman, and founder of Capilli Trading; and Mr Christian Pulmano, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of TQHQ. A common insight derived was that collaboration between startups, academe, government, and the beneficiary community itself helped during their innovation process. 

Photo: (from L-R) Mr Steve Chaves - Emcee, Dr John Luis Lagdameo - Moderator, Mr Christian Pulmano - TQHQ, Mr Harold Laborte - Capilli Trading, Mr Jeremy De Leon - Jeremake

The afternoon event concluded with a dynamic networking session, creating a conducive environment for meaningful interactions and collaborations. Startup founders and participants had the chance to exchange ideas, share experiences, and establish valuable connections that may lead to potential partnerships, mentorships, and mutual support within the ever-evolving landscape of the Philippine startup ecosystem.

A 2-day Hackathon (23-24 November)

A 2-day onsite hackathon event was held on 23-24 November 2023 organized by New Energy Nexus Philippines in collaboration with AIPO and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). The event titled, “Ready, Spark, Charge: Hacking the Future of Energy” is an annual clean energy hackathon that aims to accelerate energy ventures, ideas, and technologies that address the energy and climate challenges in the Philippines. In addition to fostering technological innovation, the event cultivates a collaborative ecosystem by bringing together diverse stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, technologists, industry experts, and environmental advocates. Participants not only engage in hands-on problem-solving but also benefit from mentorship, networking opportunities, and exposure to industry trends.

The first day of RSC 2023 was marked by a dynamic series of speed-dating style mentoring sessions. These sessions delved into various crucial aspects of startup development, offering participants targeted guidance on key areas. The focus areas included business model and market entry, technology prototyping, pitching or storytelling, sustainability, impact, and team composition. By incorporating these multifaceted aspects, the first day of RSC 2023 aimed to provide comprehensive support to startups, ensuring they received targeted guidance across various crucial dimensions of their entrepreneurial journey. 

Photo: Keynote speech from Dr Ruby Raterta of DOST-PCIEERD (from New Energy Nexus Philippines Facebook page)

The second day involved a keynote speech from Dr Ruby Raterta, Chief of the Research Development and Management Division in PCIEERD, who highlighted government initiatives in supporting startups and energy innovations in the country. Her speech was followed by the actual pitching sessions, where participants who were split into two categories: students and professionals, had the opportunity to demonstrate their clean energy ideas to a panel of judges coming from the industry, academe, and government. New Energy Nexus Philippines, AIPO, and DOST-PCIEERD would like to congratulate the winners of the hackathon:

Professional Category

🏅 Champion: Project SPARC

🥈 1st Runner Up: Sustain@sense

🥉 2nd Runner Up: RainWatter

People's Choice Award: Sustain@sense

Best Pitcher Award: WaveWrap

Participation Dynamo Award: Sustain@sense

Green Innovation Excellence Award: Project SPARC

Student Category

⚡️Future Energy Igniters (in no particular order): 

      Solar Island



      Nano-teck Solutions

      NextEvo Energy 

People's Choice Award: Agweys

Best Pitcher Award: Hyfoam

Participation Dynamo Award: Solar Island

Green Innovation Excellence Award: Agweys

Photo: RSC 2023 Participants (from New Energy Nexus Philippines Facebook page)

As the curtain falls on this year’s PHSW, the collaborative efforts of AIPO, its partners, and participants contribute a resonating testament to the overall success of another engaging and fruitful celebration of innovative startups in the Philippines. The commitment to advancing sustainable, impactful, and community-driven entrepreneurship showcased during the two events paints an inspiring picture of the future landscape for the startup community in the country.

*In previous years, Ateneo through AIPO has participated in the PHSW by organizing community events like the Inventors & Investors (i&i) Technology Fair in 2019, Sustainability Connect, and Scaling Up Innovation in 2022.

**SECRA is a 3-year collaborative project funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union which includes a consortium of thirteen partners with nine universities in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. SECRA aims to contribute to resilient communities in Asia by improving disaster risk reduction through stronger collaborations among universities, public authorities, non-government organizations (NGOs), and industries.


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