The Challenge was co-hosted by Start-up Venture Capital, a partner in the Philippines. With a total prize of 1 million pesos (approximately 21.55 million Korean won), the contest was a large-scale contest and was a showcase of various promising and competitive startups within the Philippines. Eligibility was limited to new companies operating for three years or less in the Philippines and current students at two-year and four-year universities. Applications opened on October 30, and around 30 teams were selected out of over 170 teams through online review. Five finalists were selected after the preliminaries on November 23, and the finals took place on the 24th.
The grand winner was Linecare, a medical information services platform with the goal of solving medical issues in developing countries by connecting patients and doctors. The first runner-up was Cropital, a platform that provides fair market price, insurance, technology, and other necessary services for low-income farmers in the Philippines through P2P loans and aid project referrals, similar to Korea’s Nonghyup. The second runner-up was Pearlpay, a fintech company that provides various blockchain-based services, such as settlement, transfer, and banking. Other finalists were Wagtales, a pet dog management service, and Tsupitero, a financial information services platform.
Dsion awarded 500,000 pesos (approximately 10.78 million Korean won) to the grand winner, 250,000 pesos (approximately 5.37 million Korean won) to the first runner-up, and 150,000 pesos (approximately 3.22 million Korean won) to the second runner-up. The other two finalists received 50,000 pesos (approximately 1.07 million Korean won) each.
Dsion aims to “expand its platform by directly seeking out promising startups that are suited for the goals and vision of Dsion as a global startup funding platform,” according to a member of Dsion, highlighting the significance of the first Startup Challenge being held in the Philippines, “where startups are growing rapidly.”
Dsion CEO Seo Jong-pil shared about his past experiences of establishing various startups in an interview with CNN and said, “I understand the difficulty of fundraising for startups.” He cited the need for a system to attract investment opportunities both domestically and globally as the reason for hosting the contest, explaining that “even the most competitive ideas cannot be realized without funding.”
Following its first contest in the Philippines, Dsion will host “Startup Challenge: Singapore” in Singapore on the 9th of next month. The winner of the Singapore Challenge will be awarded with an investment opportunity of 100 million Korean won from the American venture capital company Founder Space.