Filipino startup emerged as the overall winner in the Wildfire Pitch Competition, held during the Ignite 2020 Cyber Conference on 13-15 and 20-22 October 2020. 

Receiving USD 5,000 equity-free cash, is an education technology platform that connects students to education opportunities. The startup was among the five startup finalists—four of which were founded in the Philippines. 

The six-day conference was organized by Brainsparks, Dentsu, and TechShake and was supported by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB). 

“DTI-EMB, as Ignite’s partner since their first conference in 2017, has always been a supporter of Ignite’s vision of bridging the gap between startups and corporates or non-tech industries, and at the same time promoting the PH startup ecosystem to the rest of the world,” said DTI-EMB Director Senen Perlada, during his opening remarks on 22 October. 

Dir. Senen Perlada delivering the opening remarks on the last day og IGNITE 2020 Innovation Conference.
Dir. Senen Perlada delivering the opening remarks on the last day og IGNITE 2020 Innovation Conference.

“This year’s edition of IGNITE is a perfect example of how technology and innovation can address the needs of today and the post-pandemic world,” he continued. 

The conference featured several international speakers and a pitch competition for startups in the education tech, health tech, fintech, e-commerce, and workplace tech sectors. Winners for each sector delivered their three-minute pitches on the final day to determine the overall winner. 

The other finalists were: 

  • MyGolana, a health tech startup providing affordable and accessible counseling solutions
  • Nextpay, a fintech startup providing an easy solution for small businesses to manage and track their finances.  
  • 1Export, an e-commerce startup that is a one-stop, end-to-end platform helping small businesses in the Philippines export, by addressing concerns in terms of compliance and market access.  
  • PEAK, a Thai workplace tech startup that offers online accounting software that allows businesses to track business information instantly. 

“Out of the five finalists, four of them are Philippine startups. It shows that the Philippines is not lacking in talent and potential as a startup ecosystem. The challenge now is creating an environment that will not only help startups survive but also thrive and take advantage of the new opportunities brought about by the pandemic,” said Perlada. 

DTI Undescretary Rafaelita Aldaba said during her opening remarks on 13 October that “as the virus is contained and as [physical support] bolster the economy, along with global recovery we will be able to take advantage of emerging opportunities and challenges from shifting trade and investment preferences and changing forms of international productions in the wake of COVID-19 by fast tracking innovation and adapting new technologies with greater focus on more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable industrial recovery toward the post pandemic future.” Since 2017, Ignite Philippines has gathered the stakeholders from the startup ecosystem under one roof. The online event was attended by more than 1,200 participants from 25 countries. ♦

Date of release: 27 October 2020