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WE Rise x SheDisrupts Philippines 2022 Demo Day

News /21 July 2022

Manila, PhilippinesOn May 27, WE Rise x SheDisrupts Philippines 2022 held a Demo Day showcasing women-led early-stage social impact startups who are vying for access to capital to grow their business and advance women empowerment in the Philippines.

WE Rise x SheDisrupts Philippines 2022 is a venture competition, mentorship, and pre-acceleration program for women-led social impact startups. The program is organised by Creatella Impact and Villgro Philippines with support from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF), UN Women and Investing in Women (IW), an initiative of the Australian Government.

Fully online, WE Rise x SheDisruptsPhilippines 2022 offered tools, resources and opportunities to help women entrepreneurs get access to capital, grow their businesses and advance socio-economic progress and empowerment of women in the Philippines.

Over 180 participants, including investors, donors, private sector representatives and women entrepreneurs, joined online to witness the finalists pitch their startup ideas for a chance to access investment capital for their businesses. The finalists were:

  • Anihan Technologies
  • AtoANI
  • Beppo
  • Bitskwela
  • AI
  • Dirt Bag
  • Empath
  • EverGrocer
  • Global Credit Pros
  • Hero App Services
  • Just Go Low Carb
  • Kindred
  • Looking for Juan (Operated by Marahuyo Inc.)
  • Panublix
  • Pic-A-Talk
  • PIN Health Tracker
  • Salin Ph
  • Sureplus
  • Upabuild
  • Waste4Good Technologies

The program launched in March 2022 and included over 180 hours of mentorship, covering four key areas: business and entrepreneurship, impact measurement and management, women leadership competencies and technological applications and tools.

The Demo Day’s jury members were Ayaka Matsuno, Director of Asian Women Impact Fund, Gender Investment and Innovation Program at the SPF, Priya Thachadi, CEO & Co-Founder of Villgro Philippines, Augusto Camba, Managing Partner at inBEST, Joseph De Leon, Founding Member & Lead Investor at Manila Angels Investors Network (MAIN) and James Spurway, Head of Advisory and Fundraising Services at Indochina Consulting.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Steven J. Robinson AO gave the opening remarks. He congratulated the finalists for making it to the stage of the competition.

“Boosting women entrepreneurs access to capital and supporting them with targeted mentoring will assist the Philippines recovery from the economic disruption of the past two years. The Australian Government is pleased to support this program which is aligned with our priority to support gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.” said H.E Steven Robinson, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines.

Each finalist was then given five minutes to pitch their startup and another two minutes to answer the questions posed by the jury members. After the pitches, all participants were given 15 minutes to interact in various break out rooms.

The audience members also participated, by voting for the startups that they like the most and would recommend for investment.

The Audience’s Choice award and a prize of USD1,000 went to Empath, a social enterprise that envisions mental healthcare access for all. The company aims to develop, innovate and provide mental healthcare that is accessible and designed for Filipinos. Steph Naval founded Empath when she was only 23 years old. She also presented the ideal in the United Nations’ Global Impact Challenge, making the finalist round.

Anihan Technologies and Global CreditPros were the second runner-ups, each receiving a USD 4,000 prize.

Anihan Technologies or AniTech, founded by Gillian Santos, is a B2B AgriTech startup that leverages deep tech to develop supply chain solutions for reducing food loss in Asia and building competitive agri-value chains.

Global CreditPros provides a holistic suite of financial offerings for Filipinos. It offers salary loans, retirement automation, short-term insurance products, college loans and financial literacy campaigns online. Global CreditPros is headed by Nica Jones, who started the company after years of working in the corporate world and raising twin boys as a single mother. She believes that everyone who can pay and has good intent should have access to financial help.

Panublix was the grand winner, a tech-style sourcing platform that connects Philippine weavers and garment makers with the global fashion and design market. Since 2010, Its co-founder Noreen Marian Bautista has been designing and building ventures focused on addressing social-cultural challenges. She is also a Global Shaper alumna of the World Economic Forum and a member of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.

The Panublix received a USD 5,000 prize during the Demo Day. The USD 10,000 equity-free seed capital prize was provided by IW and UN Women.

As one of the strategic objectives of the WE Rise x SheDisrupts Philippines 2022 program is to facilitate the flow of financial capital to women-led startups, a dedicated brochure and a website were created for the investors providing details about the program and startups.

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