Two (2) Ateneo Blue Nest Incubatees Receive ₱1-M Grant from StartUp QC Program
In a bid to make the city an innovation hub, the Quezon City Government awarded five startup finalists under the first cohort of StartUp QC with financial grants amounting to PhP1 million each. Launched last October 2022, StartUp QC is a Quezon City Government-led initiative to support existing early-stage startups through various training and mentoring sessions, industry exposure, and networking events.
During their Demo Day last August 11, the first cohort of StartUp QC showcased their final pitch to key stakeholders of the startup ecosystem which included officials from the local and national government, executive-level corporate representatives, and investors.
Among the finalists are two (2) Ateneo Blue Nest incubatees: Bamboo Impact Lab, a company that produces high-quality bamboo-derived products; and Wika Media, an accessibility service provider that offers an array of tech-enabled solutions, such as provision of sign language, captions, and audio descriptions for the deaf and visually impaired.
Photo: Bamboo Impact Lab receiving the 1-M grant during the StartUp QC Demo Day
Photo: Wika Media receiving the 1-M grant during the Start-Up QC Demo Day
(screen captured from QC StartUp Demo Livestream via QC StartUp Facebook page)
Co-founded in 2018 by Roland Benzon, Vic Icasas, and Cynthia Dayco, Wika Media got its start as a language enabler, offering the ability to watch content in any language of choice, including sign language. Co-founded in 2018 by Roland Benzon, Vic Icasas, and Cynthia Dayco, Wika got its start as a language enabler, offering the ability to watch content in any language of choice, including sign language. Particularly noteworthy is Wika’s work providing content in Filipino Sign Language, the first language of many deaf Filipinos.
Wika’s AI platform allows anyone to upload their sign language videos, their own captions, and their own audio descriptions to help deaf and visually impaired people enjoy more content. With Wika having built up a substantial database of sign language videos, AI functions similarly to YouTube but content is exclusively accessible through their app and devices.
Wika has also produced patented enabling technology such as its augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets. These devices enable the startup’s three unique solutions: GlassSign, which overlays sign language onto content; DubHub that syncs available foreign dialogue dubs in perfect sync with video; and SubHub that overlays captions onto content in a wide variety of languages.
Bamboo Impact Lab, on the other hand, is a game-changing startup that is shaking up the cosmetics industry by producing high-quality bamboo-derived products, starting with bamboo leaf extract. Led by Dr. Anneth Rigon and her team, Bamboo Impact Lab is on a mission to provide eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to harmful chemicals. This underutilized and abundant source of silica is highly sought after in cosmetics, allowing the company to address both environmental and health concerns. But that's not all - they also have a Bambusetum, a dazzling collection of over 80 species of bamboo that are constantly studied and researched to identify unique qualities. It truly is an exciting and sustainable beauty journey for Bamboo Impact Lab!
With this generous grant given by the program, these startups are on their way to greater heights, impacting and beautifying more lives - in a sustainable way.
Congratulations to Bamboo Impact Lab and Wika Media!
For more details about the program, visit the official StartUp QC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/startupquezoncity or contact the StartUp QC Team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to learn more about the Ateneo Blue Nest Incubator, please visit their website at https://www.aipo.ateneo.edu/bluenest or email them at email@example.com. You may also check their Facebook and LinkedIn pages for the latest updates and announcements.