BUSINESS TECH | SFI startup program ignites the spirit of innovation in PH
MANILA, PHILIPPINES -– Have a great business idea but no way, no place to start that fire and get it going? Space for Ingenious program just might be that opportunity to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true.
The Space for Ingenious Program
Imagine that you’re a start-up with a brilliant seed of an idea. Where do you go from there? KMC, in partnership with Impact Hub Manila (IHM), has started a program called Space for Ingenious (SFI). The program will take your brainchild from conception to reality through mentorship from industry experts, spaces conducive to productivity and idea incubation, and access to a vast network of connections and potential investors.
The six-month program began in May of 2018 and has incubated 6 start-up businesses for the pioneer batch from many potential candidates that applied.
Some of the businesses that are part of the program are: Pushkart PH, Patient First, and Cryptors Cybersecurity. Now, as the pioneer batch’s journey comes to an end, these business owners reflect on their experiences at SFI, experiences that may encourage others to hop on for the second batch this November 2018.
Pushkart PH is an online grocery application that basically does the shopping for you. Just submit a list of items, and the application will do the shopping through their wide supermarket network and have it delivered to the place of your choice.
“Having mentors dive into your business model, dissect all of the issues, and create a solution for you is really a valuable takeaway from the program. They also give you the connections you need for your business to take off,” said 29-year old Pushkart PH founder, Josh Aragon, who lauds the mentorship of the program,
“Large value added to this program was through being mentored by Ces Rondario, chief executive and co-Founder of Impact Hub Manila, she told me how to run as a founder,” Aragon said, in mentioning a particular mentor. “In a way that in legal terms, you should be properly documented. Talking with the right shareholders, how would you be able to align with them the vision, the mission, as well as at the back part will be the shares, how will you compute it properly to sets of equity or through monetized manipulation.“
Impact Hub Manila has been a pivotal partner for KMC in ensuring the success of this undertaking. IHM’s global network of entrepreneurial communities has allowed the SFI program integrate an intensive incubation program to scale and grow business ideas into sustainable ventures.
Founded by Alejandro White, 26, Patient First is an application that allows you to do remote video consultation online from qualified general practitioners, and have the medicine and prescription delivered to your home. This solves the problem of having to wait in line for long hours for check-ups and consultations.
“What do you do with an idea? How do you deal with the problems that you encounter? You want to change something in your business or product, but you don’t know how to do it. Being in this program has helped us to actually have the knowledge on how to do it (idea) and to actually put it (idea) like in action,” said White.
Alexis Lingad, 21, founded Cryptors Cybersecurity, the developer of the recently launched and successful anti-hacking app, Hackuna, which garnered over 10,000 downloads in just a month. This app addresses the hacking problems encountered by many individuals. The mobile application allows a user to know the location and gadget of the person who is trying to hack his mobile phone.
For Lingad, KMC is a home away from home. Since he is based in the northern part of Manila, it gives him a convenient place where he can work during weekdays.
“Because KMC offices have sleeping quarters, microwave, locker, shower room, free coffee and water, I decided to stay here by Monday to Friday. It saves me a lot of time (and saves me from traffic) because everything is in KMC! It also makes me more focused because the space is quiet and comfy and so clean,” Lingad said.
Indeed, KMC possesses the country’s largest portfolio of serviced offices and coworking areas, their spaces designed to increase productivity through unconventional work settings that veer away from the stiff office workstation and induce intercommunication in a community of fellow innovators that occupy the space.
Lingad also credits the program for giving him more business and media connections, a crucial thing for any business, and of course, mentoring.
“Best advice I’ve gotten is from Greg [Kittelson of KMC] always saying ‘Do not focus on service, focus on the experience of the users,’” Lingad said, praising the mentorship in the SFI program.
Aragon, White, and Lingad are young creators and entrepreneurs. They have big dreams and goals which Space for Ingenious is helping making a reality.
Yet, they are not the only success stories from KMC and Impact Hub Manila’s SFI program, other start-ups included in the first batch are; Solu (waste management application), HypexAve (an online retail channel for apparel, footwear & accessories) and Empowered Clubhouse (a female-only boxing and training gym).
Like them, you can also turn your dream into a reality by applying for the 2nd batch of Space for Ingenious. Simply visit their website at kmc.solutions/space-for-ingenious/apply and fill out and submit an application form on or before November 9, 2018. Finalists will be announced November 15, after which they would pitch to a panel to determine new members of the program who will have access to business mentors, free use of workspaces.
Alternatively, you can also choose to simply use the spaces, as well as the other services, offered.
KMC is also hosting a gathering of Philippine startups in an event called VIA on November 21 together with Impact Hub Manila, a culmination of both companies’ feats to support the Philippine startup scene, where you’ll witness SFI batch 1 and 2 showcase their ingenious ideas.
Submit your application now and be part of both Space for Ingenious and VIA! Winners of SFI batch 1 and 2 will be awarded during the program.