The winners of the SLINGSHOT x Venture Pilipinas Pitch Competition with the organizers and judges. From L-R, RJ Ledesma (host of the competition), Artie Lopez (co-Founder of Brainsparks), Dir. Lilian Salonga (DTI-Competitiveness Bureau), Katrina Rausa Chan (Exec Director, QBO Philippines), Usec. Rafaelita Aldaba (DTI-Competitiveness and Innovation Group), Sergius Santos (Co-Founder and CEO, SolX), Norman Curato (CEO, Xeleqt AI), Bo Discarga (Founder and CEO, Betterteem), April Ong Vaño (Head of ESG, Quest Ventures), Franco Varona (Managing Partner, Foxmont Capital Partners), and John Aguilar (Host, The Final Pitch). Photo courtesy of Brainsparks 

Makati, Philippines – An all-star lineup of startups unveiled their game-changing solutions and showed their entrepreneurial prowess at the SLINGSHOT x Venture Pilipinas Pitch Competition, held as part of the Opening Celebrations of the Philippine Startup Week (PHSW) 2023 on 20 November 2023, at the Makati Diamond Residences. 

SLINGSHOT is a DTI-initiated platform for public dialogue and partnership to build and nurture the innovation ecosystem as an enabling environment with policies and programs for startups and innovation. Since its inception in 2015, SLINGSHOT has evolved to sustain the continuous growth of the startup ecosystem, showcasing its economic advantages on an international scale. 

With the assistance of the National Development Company, and partner enablers Brainsparks and Quest Ventures, this year marked a collaboration between SLINGSHOT and Venture Pilipinas programs, setting the stage for an exceptional showcase of Filipino ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. The initiative aimed to highlight the remarkable capabilities of homegrown startups, showcasing cutting-edge solutions deserving of global recognition. 

The winners of the competition were Solx Technologies Inc., a startup that provides a centralized eco-system driven by data, experts, and energy professionals, Betterteem, a predictive analytics platform empowering business to anticipate unwanted employee resignations using AI, and, Xeleqt AI, a Cebu-based startup that specializes in collecting and organizing data from remote worksites using a 4G/5G-enabled generative AI-of-things. 

The three (3) startup winners were awarded the exclusive opportunity to be part of the SLINGSHOT x Venture Pilipinas Business Mission to Singapore in the first quarter of 2024. This curated business mission, in collaboration with Quest Ventures and Brainsparks, includes sponsorship for air travel and accommodation. 

The DTI continues its unwavering dedication to supporting startups in their journey to scale and internationalize through an array of targeted programs, all made possible by collaborative support from stakeholders across diverse sectors. As underscored by Competitiveness and Innovation Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba, “As we [DTI] move forward, we pledge to develop more initiatives and programs that elevate our startups and help them reach their maximum potential.  We affirm our steadfast commitment and this commitment is an open invitation to our stakeholders to partake in a collective journey characterized by collaboration, innovation, and an unwavering pursuit of entrepreneurial excellence.” 

Competitiveness Bureau Director Lilian G. Salonga added, “We [DTI] remain steadfast to the pursuit of support from our stakeholders for upcoming projects and programs, understanding that continuous collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and expertise are essential for effectively delivering the support startups need at every stage of their development.” 

DTI’s SLINGSHOT is seamlessly integrated into the framework of the Philippine Startup Week, aligning with this year’s theme, “Investing in Filipino Homegrown Heroes as Global Game Changers.” The focus of PHSW2023 is to provide opportunities and means for Philippine startups to grow and scale up, reinforcing their position as global game-changers.  

Included in the roster of startups that participated in the pitch competition with their innovative offerings were Bizkit Technologies, Cerebro, Cocotel International, Dali Innovative Solutions, Farmvocacy, Kahero, and Mylo Speech Buddy. ♦

Date of release: 23 November 2023