MANILA, Philippines — Six budding technopreneurs and their respective start-up companies are on their way to Silicon Valley, the hotbed of technology innovation in the world, after winning the recently concluded national finals for ON3, a local technology pitching competition.
The six Filipino start-up firms that bagged the top prize are Guestlist.ph, Group Jump, miimove, Payroll Hero, SpellDial, and X2Wave.
They bested nine other budding technology firms that participated in the ON3 2012 competition, which pooled aspiring technology start-ups from around the country in local and regional competitions in the past few months.
The three-month immersion in Silicon Valley, sponsored by the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, California, will expose the companies to at least five venture capital firms and angel investors in the area.
The exposure could lead to full-fledged funding by investors in these companies as they attempt to carve a niche in the rapidly expanding world of technology entrepreneurship.
Minette Navarrete, president of Globe Telecom-backed incubation initiative Kickstart Ventures, said the country’s large pool of talented software developers will sure benefit from exposure to possible funding and larger markets.
“ON3 is one way to lend a hand to the entrepreneurs who want to go beyond talking about new ideas, and get started actually doing stuff, creating market innovations,” added Navarette, who was also a judge in the pitching competition.
Plug and Play Co-Founder and Vice President Jojo Flores, meanwhile, lamented the fact that no Filipino company has benefited from the institutional funding that it provides.
“It is my hope that a couple of our deserving startups are able to raise institutional funding and accelerate their success in the global marketplace,” Flores said.
“At the very least, their three-month immersion experience in Silicon Valley contributes to make them smarter technopreneurs,” he added.
The ON3 pitching competition began in the Philippines in 2011 with an aim to “provide a venue” where people can work together and collaborate across different kinds of technology projects.
In April, it conducted four regional events in Cebu, Davao, Pangasinan, and Manila participated in by 40 tech-related startups that involved in areas such as consumer Web, Internet, mobile, wireless, social media, gaming, software, clean technology, and biotechnology.
The national competition is backed by the two new technology incubation firms today — KickStart Ventures and the MVP Group’s IdeaSpace Foundation.
It was organized by The Science and Technology Advisory Council – Silicon Valley (STAC-SV), a collective group of successful Filipino executives based in Silicon Valley hoping to foster innovation and economic development in the Philippines.