Schmeiden shows off Spyk at Ideas Inc. Plug a smartphone into Spyk, and it instantly becomes a tablet.
Schmeiden emerged as the top startup at Ideas Inc. Business Challenge, winning SGD 200k (USD 163k) in equity funding and a SGD 10k (USD 8.15k) cash prize. The awards were given out at a ceremony on 22 September at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore.
Ideas Inc. is an annual elimination-style startup competition in Singapore that guides entrepreneurs under 35 from idea to execution. The top 15 startups would get SGD 15k to develop their prototypes while the top 6 would potentially get another SGD 50k. The event, started in 2010, is organized by the Nanyang Technopreneurship Center.
Schmeiden, which has developed a prototype device that converts a smartphone into a tablet, will enter into negotiations on the terms of the funding with Invention Capital and Jungle Ventures, each supplying SGD 100k. Read more
ON3, a first-of-its-kind nationwide startup pitching competition in the Philippines, recently concluded with the finals in Manila and the announcement of the six winners. Their prize: A three-month immersion and funding trip to Silicon Valley, sponsored by Plug and Play Tech Center.
The companies will be given five to six months of guidance and milestones to achieve in preparation for their trip to the Mecca of tech startups. While many of them are still in the early stages, you could very well be looking at the next wave of successful Philippine startups.
Dado Banatao is probably the most successful Silicon Valley technopreneur you’ve never heard of. Some say that 30 percent of every computer today carries technology and ideas that originated from this unassuming Filipino.
Many of his compatriots have left their mark on the technology world as well. There’s Peter Valdes, who started Tivoli Systems in 1989, then led the company to an IPO in 1994 and eventually sold it for US$743M. Another good example is Dennis Mendiola, who founded Chikka Asia, the creator of Chikka Messenger, an instant messenger with about 38 million users.
Raw talent is not lacking in the Philippines — many entrepreneurs have succeeded in spite of the lack of a startup ecosystem. But now, a concerted effort is made by the country and its people to replicate and localize the Silicon Valley model back home. The hope is that as more funding and support emerge in the Philippines, more of the nation’s talent will find success within its borders.
To fully understand the challenges of creating a successful startup ecosystem in the Philippines, one must start with this number: As of 2010, there are about 9 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), making up almost 10 percent of the local population.
It’s a brain drain on a unimaginable scale, big enough to become an industry, and, ironically, a market for saavy entrepreneurs to tackle.
The cause of this problem is the lack of work opportunities for educated Filipinos, said Christina Laskowski, president of STAC Silicon Valley, an organization that works with the government to encourage technological innovation in the Philippines. Read more
The competition provided an opportunity for young Philippines entrepreneurs to present their technology business ideas and be heard by the same group of venture capitalists who have funded global internet brands such as Google and Facebook, among others. Check out photos of the competition here.
Now, the final few companies have been selected and they will compete in the national final round on Thursday, 12th July during the DOST National Science Week.
First Meta, a Singapore startup that provides a web-based exchange for users to buy, sell, and trade virtual currencies for real money across multiple games and virtual worlds, has received SG$588k (US$466k) in growth capital. Read more