Startup Laptop

Final 10 vie for top prize at PLDT, Smart’s Start Up Innovation Challenge

PLDT and Smart have narrowed down to 10 startups the finalists for its Start Up Innovation Challenge launched a few months ago. Nudgyt, Packetworx, Uproot Urban Farms,, KargaX, @steer platform, Olivia Technology Group, Inc., DaliPay, Wela School Systems, and MetroCity AI make up the 10 finalists that will vie for aid to scale their businesses.

“It’s been a fierce competition yet, as we have received entries across all the focus areas and we would like to thank everyone for bringing your best PLDT & Smart Startup Innovation Challenge,” said Melvin Jeffrey Chan, VP ad head of Enterprise Innovations and IoT Business Development, PLDT. “We welcome all of you to our rigorous boot camp. We prepared mentorship programs, startup kits, and prototyping in the next four weeks.”

The month-long application process was able to gather over 80 startups entries from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

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Under the Workplace of the Future, finalists Nudgyt Pte. Ltd. developed AI that uses behavioral science to help managers grow their hybrid and work-from-home teams, while Metrocity AI developed asynchronous video interviews with AI analysis and stack ranking. Packetworx Inc. has an IoT solution that monitors, logs, and reports environmental conditions inside workplaces automatically, while Olivia Technology Group Inc.’s expense management app allows users to scan receipts or dictate expenses and then auto-generate expense reports for them. Finally, Steer helps companies in the blue-collar industries transform the way they do business.

For Smart City, DaliTech developed contactless palm vein scanners to help busy professionals feel at ease going out and making transactions. KargaX has a B2B freight-matching platform to match businesses’ trucking requirements to accredited trucking companies.


Finalists in Education Lyon gives people the ability to build the learning experience they want, and engage communities, while Wela School System uses a platform that automates the processes in schools and updates parents in real-time using IoT/RFID. 

For the Sustainability category, 

UPROOT Urban Farms has modular shipping container farms that enable communities to grow food using fewer resources, up to 90% less water compared to traditional farming for the Sustainability category. 

“These startups have great potential to drive technology and innovation forward in the Philippines and we’re excited to see their progress.” said Katrina Rausa Chan, executive director, IdeaSpace. “We are happy to support PLDT and Smart in this Innovation Challenge, and work together with them in creating new opportunities for our homegrown tech ventures. This program is a model for how we hope to bridge promising Filipino startups with our country’s leading enterprises.”

The teams are currently undergoing boot camp to further develop their products and will present during the culmination of the challenge during the Philippine Start-Up week.