Tech community honors 'rebels' at Rice Bowl startup awards
MANILA, Philippines – The local tech community came together to honor the achievements of its best and brightest as they prepare to take on the rest of Southeast Asia.
The occasion was the first-ever Rice Bowl Startup Awards organized by co-working venue and local tech crossroads of sorts A Space on July 15. It honored tech startups in the country, an event organizers hope will be a platform to drive awareness on the industry.
“For these awards, we wanted to recognize the startups in the Philippines as it helps the community recognize that there is something going on in the country that is going to be big,” said Micah Asistores, A Space’s employee number 1 and mission lead.
"We also wanted to show students and professionals to see that their career options are not limited to joining conglomerates or multinationals. That startups can be a great choice as well and that there is community here that can really help them make their ideas happen," she added.
Asistores explained that they "call these startups rebels, because they are staring their own businesses against the giants and breaking down barriers."
The winning rebels
Skyeye was adjudged best startup. It uses drones to carry out surveys to provide financial inclusion and better disaster preparedness.
The awards also honored the entrepreneurs behind the startups with Gabby Dizon, founder of Altitude games chosen as founder of the year. The other nominees include Mario Berta, founder of FlySpaces; David Margendorff of Pawnhero, and Chow Paredes of ZipMatch.
Counting local tech giant Xurpas as a backer, Altitude’s latest mobile game Zodiac Pop! is now being featured on Google Play.
Technology is also known for its capacity to upend traditional industries and push social causes.
In that spirit, Zalora Philippines, which is changing how retail is done in the countr, took home the disruptor of the year award, while Cropital, a service that allows people to invest in farmers, was recognized as the social enterprise of the year.
The awards recognized all facets of the community, not just the startups. Hatch Digital won the best professional investor of the year award while Endeavor Philippines won Best startup enabler of the year.
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa was also recognized as the community’s social media influencer of the year.
Other winners on the night were:
- Best campaign of the year – iVolunteer Philippines
- Developer hero of the year – Jason Torres
- Best newcomer award – Wifi Interactive Network
- Startup journalist of the year – Oliver Segovia of Harvard Business review
Taking on ASEAN
One common thread running through the winners is that they have all failed at some point but they kept at it while learning from their mistakes, to get where they are now, Assitores pointed out.
Having reached this point, the winners will now represent the Philippines in a region-wide event. The 9 other ASEAN member-nations – Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam – are all holding their own respective events.
Those chosen from each country will come together for a culminating event to pick out who among them stands alone in the region. This will happen at the Rebellion Manila conference in September. – Rappler.com