QBO Innovation Hub, a public-private partnership focused on supporting Filipino startups, has concluded its inaugural Startup Pinay BOOTQAMP, a program that aims to help new women-led startups by cultivating and validating their business ideas.
“The Startup Pinay BOOTQAMP was created with the mission to empower ventures created by women entrepreneurs and businesses directly impacting women beneficiaries and consumers,” said Katrina Rausa Chan, executive director of IdeaSpace Foundation and QBO Innovation Hub. “This is to make sure that we have more women entrepreneurs and professionals, and that businesses positively impacting women — regardless of whether these are launched by men or women — receive adequate support and attention.”
The Startup Pinay BOOTQAMP supported early-stage startups through workshops, mentoring, and consultations, covering topics such as startup 101, lean canvas, validation through manual testing and social media activities, and validation through the landing page and no-code prototypes, identifying a customer persona, and pitching.
Aside from the QBO team, startup founders and enablers participated in the mentoring sessions and consultation calls.
The SHOWQASE is the culminating event for the startups that made it to the final phase of BOOTQAMP. From the 52 initial teams that responded to QBO’s nationwide call for applications, the roster was narrowed down to 10 startups, with four of these startups making it to the pitch. They include a self-service automated solution for home essentials Ecovendi, mental wellness and empowerment platform Happy Wellness, go-to selling platform for communities Murch, and educational entertainment platform StreamCamp.
Murch, a selling platform that aids its community along their merchandise journey and connecting with its customers, was awarded the grand prize and the title of “Most Outstanding Startup” along with a P30,000 grant to further grow their venture.
“We are immensely thankful to QBO for empowering women founders and allies, and for giving us the opportunity to learn and grow through programs like these,” said Frances Ong, co-founder of Murch. “It has been a challenging journey with many pivots along the way but with the help of our mentors and system, we are able to learn more about our company and customers. We’re looking forward to reaching out to and collaborating with more communities and helping them tell their stories.”
This program is just the tip of the iceberg for QBO Innovation Hub and Startup Pinay. Moving forward, they aim to further their mission of empowering their community, from women entrepreneurs and allies to investors and collaborators, through their community and ecosystem and startup development programs that are open to Filipinos and Filipinas across the country.