Local education technology startup Frontlearners Inc. emerged as the winner at STARTUPS TO THE RESQUE during the Slingshot ASEAN 2017 where 20 out of 140 entries of the different startups from Southeast Asia participated in a pitch battle centered around disaster preparedness and resilient recovery.
Hailed as top seed, Frontlearners provides students with an e-learning tool that integrates disaster preparedness content into its curriculum. The device works with or without Internet, is ready-to-use, solar powered, and provides centralized information on how to prepare, respond, and recover from a given disaster. The innovative learning tool won the team US$10,000.
With almost 20 years of experience in eLearning, power duo Leo and Elaine de Velez established Frontlearners as an eTeaching content and solution provider that helps boost student competency and increase enrollment of K-12 schools. “We believe that quality education can change lives and open up opportunities. Frontlearners becomes an avenue to trail blaze social innovation in the Philippine Education Technology arena,” said Leo de Velez.
The pitch competition was organized by QBO Innovation Hub (QBO), the country’s first public private initiative for startups and was formed through the partnership of renowned private companies and government institutions including IdeaSpace, J.P. Morgan, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
With great hope anchored in the capabilities of today’s youth, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and QBO President Butch Meily underscores the importance of bringing in new ideas when it comes to disaster preparedness and resilience within the digital age.
“We challenge start-ups to come up with noble ideas and solutions in various aspects of humanity,” Meily said. “Through this, we create a community that aims to make a difference in the lives of the Filipinos, especially those in the far-flung and disaster stricken areas.”
In line with its vision of forwarding the Philippine startup ecosystem, QBO, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the PDRF, came up with STARTUPS TO THE RESQUE as a way to promote the startup’s role in national development as well as encourage new ideas that will strengthen the country’s preparedness and resilience in the face of a disaster.
Philippine-based startup, ChatboxPH, won first runner up and USD 4,000 for their idea of using Chatbots to disseminate relevant information and reminders to people in times of emergencies. Singapore-based startup, billionBricks, won second runner up and USD 2,000 for their idea of providing shelter kits to homeless or displaced peoples.
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