Globe Telecom has announced the two social innovation startups that will represent the Philippines in the upcoming SingTel Group Regional Future Makers 2017 competition in Australia.
Philippine representatives iVolunteer and Virtualahan were among the five startups who won the first Globe Future Makers competition participated in by 135 groups and individuals. They will join four other finalists from Singtel of Singapore and Optus of Australia in the regional competition. The finalists were chosen based on the potential of their solutions and business models in solving broader social issues across the region. The winner of the competition will receive a funding from the Singtel Group of companies.
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iVolunteer, which is run by a group of employees from different companies, aims to encourage Filipino volunteerism by becoming a platform that links individuals to small non-government organizations (NGO).
“This is something that came out of our own passion and experiences. And we thank Globe for supporting us. With access to Globe, we now have a big marketing channel through SMS, data or Internet to promote volunteerism. Technology can really help us elevate the level of professionalism among volunteers, remind them that they signed up for this to show their commitment,” said founder JB Tan.
Meanwhile, Virtualahan also received the Online Voter’s Choice prize for garnering over 1,700 shares in social media. Virtualahan is a learning platform for capacity building for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and those with medical conditions who have previously experienced employment discrimination. It also provides remote employment for digital startups.
Founder Ryan Gersava said: “Globe comes in by providing the necessary technical support to help us deal with our challenges in delivering our services, optimizing the tech aspect, improving our e-learning platform, even cut other practices to save on costs by using different tools and expansion to help those with no access to the Internet. With the support given to us by Globe, we can’t help but feel confident and do our best.”
Kickstart Ventures, a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Globe, provided 12 weeks of mentoring and workshop to the finalists. According to its president, Minette Navarrete, most of the Philippine startups that they see right now intend to effect social change and to improve and make things more equal and accessible.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Ashoka Foundation and Globe for the Futuremakers: teams like iVolunteer and Virtualahan remind us that innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative partnerships are key to positive change towards a better future for all,” she said.
Globe Future Makers is a program aligned with the social innovation program of the Singtel Group of Companies for Asia Pacific. It aims to influence and build a whole ecosystem of social innovators who can help create a positive impact on society with the help of technology.