QBO com­pe­ti­tion dares Asean start-ups to craft dis­as­ter re­cov­ery plans

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS - IRIS GON­ZA­LES

Some 20 start-ups are de­vel­op­ing in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions re­lated to dis­as­ter re­silience and re­cov­ery as part of an ASEANwide project.

The start-ups are com­pet­ing in the Star­tups to the Resque, an ASEAN-wide startup com­pe­ti­tion that chal­lenges star­tups to de­velop the best in­no­va­tion so­lu­tion re­lated to dis­as­ter re­silience and re­cov­ery.

The 20 com­pa­nies will show­case their prod­ucts or ser­vices in an in­ter­na­tional pitch­ing com­pe­ti­tion to be held dur­ing the De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try’s (DTI) an­nual Sling­shot event on Oct. 20, at the Philip­pine In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­ter (PICC).

The com­pe­ti­tion is or­ga­nized by QBO In­no­va­tion Hub (QBO) – the Philip­pines’ first pub­licpri­vate ini­tia­tive for star­tups formed by IdeaS­pace, J. P. Mor­gan, the De­part­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST), and DTI – in part­ner­ship with the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP), The Philip­pine Dis­as­ter Re­silience Foun­da­tion (PDRF), and Sling­shot.

QBO pres­i­dent Butch Meily said the project is more than just a com­pe­ti­tion.

“We are proud of what we have seen so far. The par­tic­i­pants have great ideas that we can def­i­nitely use to solve some of to­day’s global threats,” he said.

He ex­pressed hope that the project would con­tinue to be a plat­form where startup com­pa­nies could de­liver mean­ing­ful im­pact to rel­e­vant com­mu­ni­ties.

Ti­ton Mi­tra, UNDP Philip­pines coun­try di­rec­tor said cli­mate and dis­as­ter risks are real threats to peo­ple and de­vel­op­ment.

“We have seen this re­peat­edly in the last decade not just in the Philip­pines, but also across ASEAN. Risk and cli­mate-in­formed de­vel­op­ment plan­ning is now tak­ing cen­ter stage and rightly so. With this com­pe­ti­tion, we hope to see ideas that can be ex­plored and de­vel­oped into so­lu­tions that will re­duce risks and in­crease re­silience of com­mu­ni­ties,” Mi­tra said.

Pro­po­nents rec­og­nize that the ASEAN re­gion is home to some of the world’s most dis­as­ter-prone coun­tries not just in terms of nat­u­ral calami­ties but also long-run­ning con­flicts.

Thus, the project aims to pro­mote aware­ness on the dif­fer­ent crises faced by ASEAN coun­tries such as Su­per Typhoon Haiyan that rav­aged Eastern Visayas par­tic­u­larly Ta­cloban, and even Viet­nam, or the cur­rent armed con­flict hap­pen­ing

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