Villgro Philippines and Creatella Impact are pleased to announce the winners of the venture competition WE Rise x SheDisrupts Philippines 2022. The competition is supported by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Investing in Women (an initiative of the Australian Government) and UN Women. The 20 successful women-led social startups entered an intensive 3-week pre-acceleration, culminating in a virtual Demo Day on Friday, May 27.
“Advancing women’s entrepreneurship and inclusive ecosystem development is at the core of our work at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. The WE Rise-SDP initiative provides a robust platform for women entrepreneurs in the Philippines to get the financial and non-financial support they need to grow their businesses, while striving for the double bottom line of financial sustainability and social impact. As one of our first initiatives in the Philippines, we are thrilled to be a part of a consortium of like-minded, impact-driven investment and entrepreneurship support partners to co-design WE Rise-SDP 2022.
It was a sincere honour and pleasure to have the opportunity to work with an amazing group of talented, growth and impact-focused women Founders and their teams. You are an inspiration to us all! We believe and hope the strong community of mentors, investors, and corporate and public partners that have come together for WE Rise-SDP will continue to support all the women-led businesses to grow. These are exciting times, and we look forward to deepening our partnerships in the Philippines.” – said Ayaka Matsuno, Director, Gender Investment and Innovation Program, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
The 20 selected startups were selected after a 2-round, fully virtual venture competition during which 38 startups pitched in front of expert mentors and judges. All participating startups received 150 hours of mentorship with experienced entrepreneurs, digital specialists and investors from the Philippines, Southeast Asia, Europe and USA.
“The quality and diversity of the social impact startups from The Philippines have been remarkable. It’s an honour to be part of the mentoring journey. Witnessing the passion and tenacity of the women founders who dream big and execute daringly is empowering. There is no doubt these changemakers will positively impact the industry and ecosystem.” – said Donna Daritan, International Partner, World Business Angels Investment Forum, who was one of the mentors in the program.
These startups are pioneering a new wave of Philippine business ventures with the potential to make significant positive social impact. We believe that these businesses have the potential to change the face of Philippine industry and pave the way for a new generation of sustainable, responsible businesses. What sets them apart is their creativity, passion, and commitment to using technology for social good. These ventures are changing the landscape of the Philippines startup scene and we can’t wait to see what they do next.
“Our dual objectives are to cover the SDGs gap and to bridge the gender gap, to connect founders to the world of knowledge related to designing, building and running social impact businesses, enhancing leadership competencies of their leaders. We have been impressed with the quality of work of startups, problems they resolve and the impact they intend to achieve via their businesses in the Philippines and will continuously support this great cohort to raise funds and grow their businesses.” – said Antonio Vigilante, Chairperson, Board of Directors of Creatella Impact.
In addition to direct access to the pre-acceleration and the Demo Day, the 20 startups will receive perks such as a greenlane entry to Techstars, support and credits from AWS EdStart, fee-free processing with Stripe, a 2-hour design workshop with Styliff Tech, up to 82,000 USD savings with Hubspot, 50,000 USD worth of Segment credits, 10,000 USD worth of Freshwork credit, up to 20,000 USD credits from Creatella, and the opportunity to receive cash prizes of 10,000 USD.
“We are delighted that WE Rise x SheDisrupts Philippines 2022 has surfaced high potential women-led startups. The curriculum for the programme was designed to offer maximum support to the entrepreneurs and the intense mentoring sessions have been extremely fruitful in providing the 20 startups reassess their successes and strengthen their systems as they grow their enterprises. As we approach Demo Day, the excitement is palpable as the teams prepare to present their pitches to the judges utilizing the learnings and intense pitching practices that the programme has shared with them.” – said Priya Thachadi, Co-Founder & CEO, Villgro Philippines
The winners have gone through an intense pre-acceleration programme with its rich curriculum including (but not limited to) 6 key modules: Impact Measurement and Management, Gender Lens, Technology and Venture Building, Business Model Validation, Go-To Market Strategy and Investment Readiness. Through keynotes, workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions, participants have refined their business and pitching toolbox.
“The mentorship and insightful advice we received during the WE Rise x SheDisrupts program have been extremely helpful. The program’s organizers, partners and network of mentors have given us an opportunity to connect with potential impact investors and other purpose-driven organizations who support women-led businesses. Also grateful to have met and spent time with other innovative Filipino startups who are serious about building a great company and determined to make an impact.” – said Jessica de Mesa, Co-founder & CEO, Kindred.
The program culminated in the virtual Demo Day on Friday, May 27, where all 20 startups pitched in front of 180 investors and other ecosystem players. As per professional jury decision, the winner of the competition was Panublix, and the two runners up were Anihan Technologies and Global Credit Pros. Based on the live voting by the participants, the winner of the audience prize was Empath.
About the Organizers and Partners of WE Rise x SheDisrupts Philippines 2022:
For early stage social enterprises in emerging markets, committed to providing entrepreneurial innovative solutions for the achievement of SDGs by generating measurable social and environmental impact, Creatella Impact provides venture building, technology execution, mentorship, advisory support, other acceleration programmes, impact investment including financial capital, deal syndication, blended funding and diverse financial instruments.
Villgro is the oldest and largest social enterprise incubator in the world. In its 20-year journey, Villgro has funded 340+ enterprises, which have gone on to raise US$ 72 million in follow-on capital, impacting 36 million lives. We inspire, fund, and mentor innovative enterprises that are building solutions to impact the lives of the poor. We focus on supporting early-stage companies to test and validate their models and prepare them to raise capital from institutional investors. Villgro Philippines is a franchise partner of Villgro, we currently support 34 impact enterprises in the Philippines. What makes us unique is our expertise in early-stage investments and hands-on incubation support. Radical collaboration is at the core of our ethos, and we have partnered with more than 40 entrepreneur support organizations and funders to bring the right support to high-potential impact entrepreneurs in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF)
SPF is a Japanese private foundation established in 1986 to enhance international cooperation. In 2017, SPF announced the formation of the Asia Women Impact Fund (AWIF), which aims to invest up to USD 100 million from its endowment to work towards a future where all women in Asia are empowered to reach their full potential. The fund aims to realize this vision by making investments to achieve favorable outcomes for women across Asia and to support women entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia.
During the program, the Gender Lens Incubation and Acceleration (GLIA) Toolkit developed by SPF and DFAT Frontier Incubators, will be used.
Investing in Women
Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, catalyses inclusive economic growth through women’s economic empowerment in South East Asia.
Established in 2016, Investing in Women tackles one of the most critical social and economic issues of our time: gender inequality. Investing in Women uses innovative approaches to improve women’s economic participation as employees and as entrepreneurs and to influence the enabling environment to promote women’s economic empowerment in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar through: Workplace Gender Equality (WGE), Impact Investment for Women’s SMEs, Influencing Gender Norms.
UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, the organization was established in 2010 to accelerate progress on women’s rights worldwide. UN Women’s efforts are based on the fundamental belief that every woman has the right to live a life free from violence, poverty, and discrimination, and that gender equality is a prerequisite to achieving global development. WeEmpowerAsia is a UN Women programme funded by and in partnership with the European Union that seeks to increase the number of women who lead and participate in business in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The 20 selected startups are:
Anihan Technologies (AniTech)
AniTech is offering Fruit & Vegetable Suppliers “Fresh In Fresh Out”, a Gas Sensor System and Platform to track spoilage rate and storage quality. This helps them make real-time warehouse management decisions to prevent stock spoilage.
AtoANI employs a produce-to-demand model whereby pre-orders from its existing and potential customers dictate the crops that AtoANI grows in its farm and partner farms through sustainable farming methods.
B2B mobile app for automated bookkeeping, data-driven insights and recommendation using AI and machine learning. Using financial data, provide access to a marketplace of financial services.
Bitskwela is an EdTech platform that makes Bitcoin and cryptocurrency education accessible to all Filipinos of any ethnicity by offering freemium courses in 8 different Philippine languages delivered in text, print, videos, and podcasts.
CAWIL.AI is a multi-disciplinary artificial intelligence (AI) solution for machine learning models that can be integrated into mobile and web applications.
Dirt Bag offers easy laundry anytime, anywhere for everyone. Easy on the lifestyle and easy on the budget. In a single swipe, the customer gets GUARANTEED BOOKING, wherever they are in the City paying the same price as the others, and that’s a market price – no premium.
Empath provides a telemental health platform for Filipinos to avail online counseling or psychotherapy sessions from licensed mental health professionals. Empath envisions communities in which mental health care and education are readily accessible, in order to build a nation that fosters genuine empathy and care for the wellbeing of all Filipinos.
EveGrocer is a subscription-based sustainable marketplace whosevision is to make daily consumption of basic necessities less invasive to our environment. They aim to improve the overall quality of life for the future generation.
Global Credit Pros
Financial Wellness program, Retirement, Educational loans paid directly to schools, personal salary loans, and term life and health insurance. Global Credit Pros can provide access to credit because of their Advocacy to cater to the “missing middle” or unbanked individuals.
Hero App Services
They offer a platform that OPENS UP the skilled service market where clients can book skilled services DIRECTLY rather than employing or hiring through agencies or word-of-mouth- whenever, wherever they need it.
Just Go Low Carb
They manufacture delicious and nutrient-dense low carb, sugar free breads, snacks and treats using only clean ingredients to provide healthier food alternatives to products people love so that they can find it easier to adapt and sustain a low-carb lifestyle.
Kindred champions women through an integrated ecosystem of virtual and in-clinic holistic health services. Kindred is an all-in-one destination for all things female health that provides a safe, no-judgment space and comprehensive plans of care and treatment through a collaborative care model.
Looking For Juan (Operated by Marahuyo Inc.)
Looking for Juan is a for-purpose online store that advocates children’s literacy while promoting Philippine art. It is home to art-infused merchandise and socially relevant children’s books that touch on various social issues, including data privacy, climate change, fighting fake news, human rights, children’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights.
Panublix is a tech platform giving designers reliable and transparent access to tropical textiles and artisan craft so they can design for the conscious fashion consumer. They aim to put data points to production capacity, costs, and even track ESG metrics like income per artisan and carbon footprint in the supply chain to provide not only sustainability but also the heritage story behind the products.
Pic-A-Talk is an assistive mobile application for non-verbal children with special needs. We provide a platform that helps these children communicate with other people using pictures. It’s very simple, complete with pictures to make it easier for kids to understand and use.
PIN Health Tracker
PIN Health Tracker is a mobile and web application that acts as a tool for patients, doctors & hospitals to improve quality and efficiency, prevent errors, and enhance confidence of the community in the health system.
Salin Swap is an end-to-end refilling solution for FMCG companies, and last mile pickup and delivery of refillable containers for grocery items.
Sureplus is a social enterprise startup that resells, repurposes & reallocates surplus food through their hybrid store and digital platforms in order to minimize food wastage & hunger starting in Davao City.
Upabuild’s solution digitalises the procurement process for suppliers of equipment and materials with contractors to enable them to source and manage their needs in a single platform. They introduce the sharing economy to heavy equipment rental through their online solution.
The W4G pivoted from Solar-powered & Automatic Bin into Waste4Good Planting Kit with the Compost Activator Solution (CAS) to provide a solution for COVID-19 impacts while mitigating the bio-waste problem. The Planting Kit is a complete set of planting materials for urban farming.