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Present and former students of the University of Southeastern Philippines’ Institute of Computing dominated the business pitching battle in the IdeaSpace: Technopreneur Bootcamp organized by the MVP Group of tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan at the university’s social hall last July 28. The event culminated the technology week that happened in the USeP Obrero Campus, Davao City.

IC alumni Rolly Rulete, Christian Cuan, and Jay Rodrigo Albano were part of the four-man team which bagged the grand prize and the Youphoric Top Prize for its mypawn.ph – an online portal for pawnshops.

The second and third top prizes were secured by two student teams also from the Institute of Computing. Team SGDCC of Nikko Comidoy, Jhun Rey Cubelo, Jesmael Galindo, Uriel Soriano and Jerland Datoy netted the second place award for their Dr. Banana, an image processing application for detecting banana defects. The third place went to team Genre composed of Gervie Monsour Abelgas, Ronnie Galan, Sally Saclauso, and Jordan Alzano for Eyecreate – a collaborative literature website.

Another student team from IC – Bizcon of Chem May Ann Aberjedo, Yvonne Belayro, Gertrude Cordero, Ailene Madato and Patrick Duane Valle – won the Best Youphoric Student Team Prize chosen by the founder of shoephoric.com Anne Villar-Jacobe.

The event marked the first time the bootcamp has gone outside of Metro Manila. Not less than 150 aspiring start-ups grouped into 24 teams from all over Mindanao pitched their business technology ideas to some of the prominent people in the business and information technology industry of Davao and the entire country.

Four hours of brainstorming were allotted to each team to polish their three-minute business pitch. Each team was also given two minutes to answer the judges’ questions.

The bootcamp was more than just a competition as several notable names in the industry were there to provide lectures and mentoring to the aspiring start-ups. The event was graced by Bert Barriga, vice-president of Davao ICT; Ann Villar-Jacobe; Eric Clark Su of Davao-based PicLyf.com; and Paul Pargo, a developer evangelist for Smart Communications.

The bootcamp was in line with IdeaSpace’s vision of bringing the advocacy of technopreneurship to the community level. Technopreneurship has been offered as an Elective subject in the Institute of Computing for the past two years. The Institute has also dominated in a similar business pitching competition two years ago at the University of Immaculate Conception.

IdeaSpace’s Davao City bootcamp also served as a preparatory ground for the multi-million peso national pitching competition that will start in August.

Winners of the national competition will secure themselves a slot in the IdeaSpace incubation hub. With PLDT chairman Pangilinan stating that the group will invest P500 million in the program, the chosen business start-ups are expected to amass an array of benefits that would put their business ideas in the best position for success.

Provisions for office space and IT facilities in Makati City, mentorship from the conglomerate’s top executives, legal assistance and advice, and operational control are just some of the expected benefits the selected business start-ups will have.

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