SaaScon PH 2023: Sprout Solutions and Kaya Founders hold the country’s first-ever SaaS conference


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SaaScon PH 2023: Sprout Solutions and Kaya Founders hold the country’s first-ever SaaS conference
But first, what is “Software as a Service”?

Editor’s note: This content is sponsored by Sprout Solutions and was produced by BrandRap, the sales and marketing arm of Rappler. No member of the news and editorial team participated in the publishing of this piece.

The Philippines is in for a new wave of digital transformation – and you might already be a part of it.

Sprout Solutions and Kaya Founders have launched the first Software as a Service (SaaS) conference in the Philippines: SaaScon PH held at the Marriott Grand Ballroom on March 28, 2023.

The bustling afternoon saw the likes of Ayala Corporation’s Jaime Alfonso Zobel de Ayala, Komunidad’s Felix Ayuze, Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, and Amazon’s Naveen Asrani have mind-enriching discussions on the overalls state of SaaS – as over 700 entrepreneurs eagerly watched on to learn how to elevate their businesses. 

Now, you might be asking yourself…

Wait, what’s SaaS?

SaaS is an abbreviation of the term “software as a service.” It encompasses the companies that provide licensed cloud software on a subscription. Think Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, Zoom, and even Netflix. 

Although it’s not a household name just yet, we all have used SaaS in the digital age, and will likely continue to in the years to come.

With their latest collaboration, Sprout Solutions and Kaya Founders ushered in a new wave of SaaS in the country by bringing together startup founders, investors, and enterprise leaders during the one-day conference to share insights on the growing B2B (business-to-business) SaaS landscape.

“We need the ecosystem to grow,” said Sprout Solutions CEO and co-founder, Patrick Gentry. “Gatherings such as SaaScon PH will allow us to empower not only startups in developing their businesses but also potential investors who could benefit from these groundbreaking digital platforms.”

True enough, Marriott Grand Ballroom was packed with over 700 people ready with their big ideas (and calling cards) as industry leaders held discussions on game-changing solutions for business transformation, building a climate for digital innovation, SMEs in software, and more. 

Impact ‘23 Accelerator Program

As a treat to the SaaScon crowd, the event also brought in the three winning startups of the prestigious Impact ‘23 to pitch their winning ideas.

Impact ’23 is an eight-week accelerator challenge organized by Sprout and Kaya Founders. The program gathered budding Filipino innovators in a sandbox environment to collaborate and pitch their next big SaaS idea.

They were then handpicked by industry leaders based on what would potentially bring huge digital changes to the country. Think The Apprentice, but with software ideas and in a lot more modern backdrop. No “you’re fired” lines, either.

The second-runner up, Umwelt.AI, pitched the all-in-one AI HR officer named Nikki. Nikki is a chatbot that employees can consult with 24/7. It can offer answers and solutions to employees’ inquiries just like how a human HR officer can.  

Smile API nabbed the first-runner-up prize with their digital platform that can facilitate fast and reliable background checks of applicants. The platform will get employment and income data from gig platforms, commerce platforms, and government databases to give businesses an all-in-one employee information sheet.

With a grand prize of  $100,000 (around P5.5 million), Olivia Technology Group Inc. won this year’s accelerator program with an app that can scan and digitize receipts to make the reimbursement and liquidation process easier for HR and employees. It is also optimized for Philippine receipts to recognize local brand invoices.

Meanwhile, the top 10 finalists of the Impact ‘23 program also had booths present outside the grand ballroom.

Events like SaaScon PH prove that there’s a growing market for new and fresh ideas in tech, we just need more events to serve as a melting pot for the industry to come together and create something new. 

If SaaS is still a foreign word for you, remember that AI and cryptocurrency were lost on us before too, but they now serve as a real livelihood to many in this age of new careers and innovations. After all, big ideas are needed to cause a little disruption. – Rappler.com

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Sprout Solutions

Sprout Solutions is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that aims to transform human resources in the Philippines.