PH startups win international youth competition
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine representatives LawKo, AroogaHealth, and Phinix emerged as top prize winners at the Youth Co:Lab Regional Social Innovation Challenge 2018 held in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday, March 28.
Grand champion #HackSociety team LawKo and runner-up AroogaHealth won in the competition's Startup Track. Phinix, meanwhile, won the Scale-up Track, together with China's team Hands On. Maldives' Project Blue Hearts bagged the social media award.
LawKo, founded by Alex Austria and Keisha Mayuga, is a social media initiative that aims to empower Filipinos in making informed decisions about legal and government process. (READ: Standout solutions: The winning ideas from #HackSociety 2017)
AroogaHealth, founded by Nina Samantha Sanchez and Dominique de Leon, is a platform that matches individuals with trusted healthcare providers for their emotional and mental wellness. (READ: #HackSociety 2017: Ways technology can improve public health)
Phinix, founded by Pamela Nicole Mejia, is a textile upcycling social enterprise that creates high-value products such as designer shoes and accessories. (READ: #HackSociety 2017: Ideas to manage waste, sustain food production)
The 3 startups bested 1,750 teams from 9 countries within the Asia Pacific region. A total of 21 teams qualified to present for the regional competition in Bangkok.
In December, AroogaHealth won MaGIC Malaysia's Pre-Accelerator Bootcamp. Meanwhile Phinix also bagged the United Nations Environment Asia Pacific's Low Carbon Business Challenge in March.
Launched in 2017 by United Nations Development Programme with support from Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab is a regional program that aims to tackle social and unemployment challenges by harnessing youth leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation. (READ: UNDP, Citi Foundation launch youth innovation program)
HackSociety, the Youth Co:Lab qualifiers competition in the Philippines, is an ideathon that crowdsources "hacks" to society's problems – a spin-off of the Social Good Summit, jointly organized by Rappler and the United Nations Development Programme Philippines. – Rappler.com