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8 start-ups pitch innovative solutions at PHL Embassy meetup in Berlin.

The Philippine Embassy in Berlin, in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) and Unifier Ventures, hosted the 2nd Philippine Startup Meetup in Berlin on May 16, 2019, as a satellite event of the Asia Pacific Week (APW) 2019 organized by the Asia Pacific Forum Berlin and the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.

More than 60 guests attended the meetup and listened to pitches by eight start-ups, some of them based in the Philippines and others based in Europe but with a Philippine component in their operations.

The start-up companies included MedCheck, NxtLvl Agri, NxtLvl Water, FoPo, OneWatt, Mineski, Twyla and Romi. Elmar Broscheit of Macquarie Capital and Alexander Reinhardt of RIG Berlin GmbH, a start-up accelerator focusing on FandB, served as the judges.

Ambassador-designate to Germany Theresa Dizon-de Vega, who was, at that time, in Manila on overseas absentee voting duties, remotely opened the event with a video message. She highlighted government efforts to increase ease of doing business in the country, and to bolster its competitiveness by strengthening both its physical and human resource infrastructure.

Dr. Rainer Seider, who heads the International Cooperation unit at the Berlin Senate in charge of APW, then gave his welcome remarks in which he noted the progress of cooperation between the Philippines and Berlin in the field of start-ups through the StartUp Asia Berlin (SUAB) initiative.

Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba delivered the keynote message, where she cited the Philippines rapid economic growth and development, the accompanying challenges, and the need for innovation to address them.

Unifier Ventures Managing Director Miguel Encarnacion, a Berlin-based early-stage start-up investor under the corporate umbrella of Philippine Business Seaoil, talked about synergies and opportunities for collaboration between the European and Southeast Asian start-up ecosystems.

Each start-up was given four minutes to make their presentation, followed by one question each for the two judges. After the eight pitches, the Judges' Prize was conferred on OneWatt, while the Audience Prize went to NxtLvl Water.

OneWatt, which was represented by its Asia Pacific Regional Director Lorenzo Yabut, helps diagnose problems with industrial machinery through noninvasive sensors and machine learning algorithms that 'listen' to motors. The judges, in selecting the company, noted that it was the most unique among the eight presenters, with a solution they had not yet seen anywhere else.

NxtLvl Water, on the other hand, won the audience members over with their promise to help solve the problem of access to clean water faced by many Philippine communities. Represented by Derya Tanghe, they aim to provide affordable and high-quality water out of modularized stations kitted out with cutting edge desalination technology.

The embassy aims to be on the leading edge of collaboration between the Philippines and Europe in the start-up space. It hosted the inaugural Philippine Startup Meetup in the German capital in June 2018. For more information, visit www.berlinpe.dfa.gov.ph, www.philippine-embassy.de or https://www.facebook.com/PHinGermany.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:May 29, 2019
Words:547
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