Startup that promotes financial literacy to women wins PH leg of ‘She Loves Tech’ competition

Jocelyn Pantastico (second, right), co-founder and CEO of Olivia.ph, after winning the Philippine leg of She Loves Tech. Others in the photo are Katrina Chan, director of QBO Philippines, Rhea See, co-founder of She Loves Tech, and Rene Meily, president of IdeaSpace Foundation.

Story and photo by Edd K. Usman

Olivia.ph, a startup that empowers women on how to handle their finances, will be the Philippine entry in the “She Loves Tech 2018 Global Startup Competition and International Conference” on Sept. 15 in Beijing, China, after it bested other local startups during the qualifying round held in the country recently.

Founder Jocelyn Pantastico, who has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in the United States, will be representing the Philippines.

She Loves Tech is a global initiative showcasing the convergence of the latest trends in technology, entrepreneurship, innovation and the opportunities it creates for women.

Olivia.ph won for its advocacy as a virtual financial adviser aimed at empowering women by providing the knowledge — or a choice — to wisely invest or save at least 10 percent of their income.

“I am very honored that they chose us,” said Pantastico. “We want to help as many women as we can and, therefore, scaling up is our first priority.” Olivia.ph looking into expanding to other markets in Southeast Asia and even China.

Pantastico, a certified financial planner, described Olivia’s topping the “She Loves Tech Philippines 2018” competition as “a great opportunity, not only to gain status but also to help women who cannot save and invest and that includes me.”

Startups and their founders look at the world in different perspective, observing the problems people faced and search for ways to help them overcome these problems.

“The problem that we see is that investing is a very complex process, investing is a very complex problem, and women find it challenging,” she said. “A lot of the platforms today are addressing a more general audience,” said Pantastico, who also operates LiveOlive.com, a personal finance site for Asians.

She said that for women, it is about finding out whether their income will help the family, will it help the child go to a university of their choice, or make them afford a holiday travel to other countries.

“For women, it is about setting goals, what money means to them, rather than just accumulating and letting it grow,” she said.

The board of judges includes Joan Yao, vice president of Kickstart Ventures; Rhea See, co-founder and COO of She Loves Tech; Roel Landingin, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneurship Philippines; Diane Eustaquio, executive director of IdeaSpace Foundation; and Katrina Chan, director of QBO Philippines.

See said 15 women-centric startups from 15 countries will compete in the world edition in Beijing, with the eventual winner receiving a custom “Startup Booster Pack” inclusive of exclusive mentorships from leading investors and industry experts, consulting services, among others.

Olivia.ph, bested eight other startups, such as, in order of the pitch, Rumarocket, Antipara, StyleGenie, Ena, Greencorten Architectural Design, App$ell, Buzzin, and TripZeeker. The competition was held at the QBO Innovation Hub, Department of Trade and Industry International Building in Makati City.

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