PLDT, Smart search for game changers begin with Startup Innovation Challenge

PLDT and Smart recently announced their search for the next game-changer with the launch of the “PLDT & Smart Startup Innovation Challenge.”

Open to innovators, visionaries, and start-ups nationwide, the challenge aims to recognize innovative ideas that offer solutions to problems, from the basic to the most glaring ones, in the country today.

“Despite the challenges the country faces today, we see a very healthy and creative community of developers and programmers that only need the right opportunity and support to get their ideas flying and hopefully contribute to nation-building,” said PLDT Head for Innovations Lab and Ecosystems Partnerships Kristine Dara Ever Juan.

PLDT and Smart are looking for innovative startups with relevant and existing solutions on six focus areas: Smart City, Workplace of the Future, Healthcare, Smart Home, Education, and Sustainability.

Under Smart City, solutions may vary from utilities, transportation, public safety, emergency response, while Workplace of the Future covers collaboration, business efficiency, and process automation.

Solutions in the Healthcare category may help improve COVID-19 response, and hospital services efficiency, while Smart Home can range from security, home automation, energy management.

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For Education, ideas on operations, learning, and gamification, while Sustainability could provide alternative solutions that impact the environment, society, and governance.

Interested parties have until September 30, 2021, to complete the requirements for their entries.

The 10 most promising entries will then undergo a month-long bootcamp where they will undergo mentoring, prototyping, and rigorous testing of their solution.

During the Philippine Startup Week 2021, these teams will then have to pitch their projects to a panel of judges for the chance of winning cash prizes, 5G smartphones, Free Beyond Fiber for 1 year, and the opportunity to collaborate with the PLDT Group.

“Partnership with Startup community is always high up in my Enterprise Innovations strategy: because startups bring energy, drives, passions, and out-of-the-box ideas to solve complicated problems. Some startups capture the megatrend technologies like AI, IoT, 5G, Cloud, automation, wearables, and big data to reshape the future, while others look into solving sustainability problems through next-generation technologies. We at PLDT Enterprise, wish to bring PLDT group closer to our Filipino startup community through PLDT & Smart Startup Innovation Challenge, and hopefully one day together with these startups, we can collaborate, co-develop and co-market,” said VP & Head of PLDT Enterprise Innovations & IoT Business Development Melvin Jeffrey Chan.

“Through further development and proper funding, the best idea out there could actually see marketability. We are confident that the next big idea is out there, and we hope we can help make those digital solutions happen,” Juan added.

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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