h2H camp offers seed money, mentoring to start-up technopreneurs

“Be a founder rather than a hacker.” “Hatch rather than hack.”

These are invitations being extended by PhilDev and DevCon to local IT specialists and hobbyists with the mounting of a “Technopreneurship camp Hack2Hatch (H2H)” on October 10-12 at Raddison Blu Hotel in Cebu City.

The h2H camp is a four-day mentorship and discussion series which aims to take Filipino innovation and entrepreneurship towards collective empowerment and economic development.

“Campers” will have the opportunity to be mentored on a one-on-one basis by top global Filipino entrepreneurs, with the goal of helping start-ups learn how to pitch to venture capitalists and get seed money to start or grow their businesses.

H2H will also feature a group competition among software developers for innovative products that can make an impact on the Filipino software industry.  There will be ten winning groups  each of which will get P100,000 seed capital, plus mentoring.

Those who are interested are advised to submit an application to  hack2hatch.com and begin working on a prototype.  The chosen groups will pay their own airfare to attend the h2H camp in Cebu on October 5 and finalize their prototypes in the next three days until the camp’s conclusion on October 7.

Among the H2H mentors are Dado Banatao, Chairman of PhilDev; Winston Damarillo, founder and CEO of Morphlabs; Catherine Buan Peterson; Sheila Marcelo, founder of Care.com; Earl Martin Valencia, VP for Strategic Business Development at SMART Communications; Bettina Quimson, President of Navigator Systems; Art Tan of Integrated Microelectronics; and Eric Manlunas of Siemer Ventures.

The camp  is one of the kick-off activities in the  “Silicon Valley Comes to the Philippines” program (SVC2PH), which will culminate with the  PhilDev Economic Forum on “Harnessing Filipino Innovation and Entrepreneurship” on October 8 at the Manila Peninsula.

Winston Damarillo, one of the event organizers and mentors, said the Philippines should begin to shift from outsourcing to building innovative products.  “We’re going to focus on the software industry. We think it’s what will produce a significant gain in GNP (gross national product), and it’s where we think we can be number one in the ASEAN.”

He added that more contest sponsors are being requested to come forward so that more promising groups could be given start-up funds.


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