• Bacolod shows potential for technopreneurship

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    Kickstart Ventures Inc., a fully owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, and the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) Inc. have helped jumpstart technopreneurship in Bacolod City.

    In a statement, Pia Angeli Bernal, Social Enterprise Investments manager of Kickstart, said that, “Bacolod has been waiting a long time for this kind of opportunity so it is exciting to witness many people showing interest in technopreneurship and participating in competitions like Startup Weekend.”

    Forty-five teams with innovative ideas for web and mobile competed at the first Startup Weekend held recently in Negros Occidental.

    iRate, a mobile platform for consumer complaints, emerged as the unanimous choice among the judges followed by Parental Guidance’s PTA 101, an app which aims to establish a clear line of communication between parents and teachers via text messaging. Landing in third place is Hermes, a hospital charting application.

    The three winners will each be provided a 50-square-meter office space at the soon-to-be-opened Negros 1st Cyber Center, complete with work stations, printers and high-speed Internet connection. They will also receive a three-month mentorship from the UP Cebu Technology Business Incubator, which is set to establish the first incubation course in the province in partnership with the Negros Occidental local government.

    The 13 other teams which made it to the final leg of the competition were also offered space in the facility at a very affordable cost.

    Startup Weekend was first brought to Manila by Kickstart and its partner ProudCloud in 2011. Since then, the 54-hour pitching competition for developers, designers, marketers, and product managers has been held in Cebu and Davao, and recently, Bacolod.

    First place winner iRate saw the need to address customer service complaints better.

    On the other hand, PTA 101 promotes parent engagement in the studies of their children, as the app allows up-to-date information about a student’s academic performance, school activities, among others.

    Hermes may have ended third but only due to the immaturity of the Philippine market. Although electronic medical charting for hospitals is already being implemented in more advanced countries, Philippine laws have yet to mandate its use.

    “This year’s entries have a lot potential, thus, we look forward to seeing more Negrenses who would form startup companies and use current technology to come out with new and innovative products for mobile and the web,” Bernal said.

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