IdeaSpace Foundation (IdeaSpace), the leading early-stage technology incubator and accelerator in the Philippines, recently announced ten new startups that will join its acceleration program this year and receive equity-free funding, mentorship, and a host of other prizes.

IdeaSpace 2016 finalists

IdeaSpace presents ten new startups as part of its 2016 cohort that will join the acceleration phase. In photo (from left) are startup founders Andrew Cua (Tralulu), Rio Ilao (Tarkie), Ruel Amparo (Cropital), Oskie King (Cleaning Lady), and JC Bisnar (Investagrams). They are joined by IdeaSpace Executive Director Diane Eustaquio (rightmost), who shared how diverse the startup teams are for this year’s competition.

The 10 new IdeaSpace startups for 2016 are:

Populi an analytics platform that utilizes big data for politicians to visualize public pulse in real time by aggregating social media and news engagements online.
Investagrams a website & app that provide education, analytic tools and information, everything you need in the stock market from start-to-profits.
Cleaning Lady a mobile app that lets a user: specify his/her cleaning services needs, hire a cleaner, book a schedule, get an upfront service quote and get the cleaning done.
InvestED a microfinancing platform for student loans.
Banyera an online marketplace for wholesale farmed fish products.
Tarkie a field employee tracking and productivity tool
Taxumo a mobile and web app that helps SME’s, professionals, freelancers, and corporations with their taxes.
E.A.R.S. a wearable device for the deaf/hearing-impaired: an early warning, detection, reaction device that protects users while outdoors from accidents/collisions/threats.
Tralulu a digital platform that connects travelers and local guides by allowing travelers to book guides and customize their itineraries with them.
Cropital a crowdfunding platform that connects anyone to help finance our farmers.

Each startup will receive P500,000 in equity-free funding, on top of non-cash benefits such as housing, transportation, incorporation, office space, communication, software support, trainings and classes, as well as mentoring from executives of companies under First Pacific.

“We’re quite proud of this year’s batch of IdeaSpace startups. They’re a testament to how the Philippine startup ecosystem is maturing, where founders now see a clearer path from their ideas to executing them in the real world and bringing their products to customers. We are glad to support Filipino start-up entrepreneurs as they begin to make a dent in helping the growth of the Philippines,” said Diane Eustaquio, Executive Director at IdeaSpace.

Diverse batch

The ten startups came from a pool of twenty finalists that were whittled down to 15 on finals night. Prior to making it to the acceleration phase of the program, the startup-finalists underwent six weeks of incubation where they validated their initial startup ideas, learned the ropes of establishing and running a business, and developed prototypes for their startups, on top of receiving P50,000 initial grant.

This year’s batch gathers one of the most diverse groups of startups yet, with startups coming from various backgrounds and business maturity levels. A number of startup teams came from the corporate world to pursue their ideas, while one of them has been nurturing their startup idea ever since they were in college. Several are already in the “revenue” stage, which means they are already earning money from their startups.

Three of the teams are led by founders who are also relatives. Majority of the founders hailed from Metro Manila, with one startup coming from Iloilo in the Visayas. Most of them also belong to the “millennial” age group with an average age of 26.

This year, IdeaSpace also piloted the Intrapreneur Acceleration Program (IAP), which allowed internal product development teams from companies in the First Pacific group to pitch their ideas and undergo the rigors of incubation and acceleration under IdeaSpace. Four teams from Voyager, PayMaya, Meralco, and Maynilad made it to the inaugural IAP this year, receiving the same seed fund, training, mentorship, and other non-cash benefits that IdeaSpace startups have enjoyed in the past.

Role of equity-free funding

Eustaquio said the decision to change the structure to equity-free funding this year contributed to the diversity of the startups.

“We’ve attracted really high-value startups this year, some of which already have operational products and business models. This helps fulfill our role in enabling early-stage startup ideas and feeding them to the ecosystem later on, where they can get more funding” she explained.

By not taking equity from the startups that they will be funding starting this year, IdeaSpace is letting the founders take full ownership of their ideas and businesses, allowing both to collaborate and bring these early-stage ideas to reality and, eventually, to commercial viability.

The same model is being employed by Google for its Launchpad Accelerator program, as well as the Start-Up Chile acceleration program funded by the Chilean Government in South America.

The ten new startups will join IdeaSpace’s growing portfolio of 38 startups over the last four years as part of its half a billion-peso funding that was instituted in 2012.

IdeaSpace is supported by the following companies: First Pacific, PLDT, Meralco, Maynilad, Smart Communications, Inc., Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, MPIC hospital group, First Pacific Leadership Academy, Digitel Mobile Philippines and its mobile brand Sun Cellular, SPI Global, ePLDT, Indofood, Philex Mining, MediaQuest, and TV5. To know more about IdeaSpace, visit

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