In collaboration with the Local Government Unit of Nabunturan, Davao de Oro, the UP Growing and Developing Enterprises (UPGrADE) Mindanao conducted the LIHOK Startup Roadshow in Nabunturan Davao, de Oro on September 5, 2020 virtually. The roadshow is a program of UPGrADE that aims to strengthen the innovation and startup environment in Davao Region. It aims to discover local talents and develop impact-driven innovative ideas by spearheading Bootcamps and Mentoring Sessions to different areas in the Region XI.
From 33 startup entries who heed the call for submission, only six teams made it through the shortlisting process and moved on to the bootcamp, mentoring session, all the way to the Virtual Demo Day to pitch their impact-driven technology ideas. The teams were namely D-Cloud Balloon, Alabanya Co., Smart Bin, Pesocall, Wendy App, and SHWAP-BOT.
The event formally kicked-off last August 30, 2020 with a two-day virtual bootcamp. Members of the UPGrADE advisory board served as resource speakers for the activity and discussed important inputs for the startup founders. On the First day of the bootcamp Engr. Jason Occidental (Co-founder of Sureplus) discussed Design Thinking and Startup Ideation while Mr. Mark “Sultan” Gersava (CEO and Founder of Bambuhay) shared on Building an impact-driven startup using the lens of Sustainable Development Goals. Day 2 speakers were Ms. Cherryanne Lee Angoy (COO, Streetby) who discussed Business Model Canvas and Ms. Jessica Madrazo (Co-Founder, Coffeebot Solutions) who lectured on Pitching Your Startup Idea.
Despite of holding the event online, UPGrADE and LGU Nabunturan ensured that the startup founders are more than engaged to participate by giving them the chance to also share their ideas on the topics presented and acknowledged the questions they raised. The bootcamp was streamed live via Facebook and was definitely capped with success.
Shortly after, the 3-day virtual mentoring session which happened last September 1-3, 2020 for the six (6) startup teams began. Almost all the members of the UPGrADE advisory board attended to closely assist the founders on the different facets in validating and accelerating their business ideas. Day 1 mentors were Mr. Jan Koichi Dayanan, Mr. Efrhaim Pajota, and Engr. Jason Occidental who explained about Startup Idea Validation. On the next day, the mentors were Cherryanne Lee Angoy, Ms. Keren Happuch Lacadin, and Mr. Mark Gersava who discussed about Market Feasibility Validation. And finally, during the last day of the mentoring session, mentors Ms. Jessica Madrazo, Regina Evangelista and Cherryanne Lee Angoy emphasized their lecture on Pitch Deck and Pitch Script Review which shall serve as their preparation for the most anticipated Virtual Demo Day.
On the 5th of September 2020 the Pitching Showdown of the six (6) startup teams transpired. Their presentations were evaluated by the high-caliber panel of judges led by the Prof. Miguel Carlo S. Guillermo (UPGrADE Project Leader) along with Engr. Franch Maverick Lorilla (Project Lead of Agilab – UseP TBI) and Mr. John Michael Ferraris (Product Manager of mClinca). During the interpellation, the panel carefully gave their critique and suggestions as to how the teams could further develop their app.
Vividly, the business ideas were all commendable, but 3 winners had to be selected. The founder of SHWAP-BOT, Mr. Rav Evan Vigilla, emerged to be the champion for the LIHOK Startup Roadshow Virtual Demo Day. Mr. Vigilla pitched his winning technology, SHWAP-BOT, a wireless radio remote-controlled, sensor-guided robot that helps calamity responders conduct search and rescue operations, disaster area surveillance, and mapping. The technology also assists police enforcers or military units in doing safer bomb disposal, reconnaissance, and hostage rescue operations.
The team brought home 15, 000.00 as a cash prize, UPGrADE Merchandise, and an invitation to be part of UPGrADE’s Online Pre-Incubation Program (OPIP). Founders of Smartbin and Alabanya Co. also won 2nd and third on the Virtual Demo Day with Cash Prizes of 10,000.00 and 5, 000.00, sponsored by the LGU of Nabunturan. The team also received UPGrADE Merchandise and an invitation to the OPIP. The non-winning startup teams received consolation prizes as well courtesy of Nabunturan LGU.
Overall, the LIHOK Startup Roadshow only lifted the bar higher for local innovators to step their game up. In the new normal, pivoting to the technological industry is no longer an advantage but a necessity. Like the mission of UPGrADE of accelerating startups in Davao Region, there is no other way but moving forward and going higher.
Demo Day Link: https://web.facebook.com/upgradetbi/videos/1144987869218386