The Alipugpug Tech Solution (ATS), which is composed of students from the University of Mindanao – Davao City Campus will be representing the Philippines in the prestigious Hult Prize International 2021, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has announced.
DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña noted that that the technology-based startup will be the sole startup group to represent the country in annual, year-long international competition, which is offering US$1 million in seed capital grant to college students all over the world challenging them to solve pressing social issues on food security, water access, energy, and education with viable business ideas.
The ATS is operating in a DOST-assisted technology business incubator (TBI)
“The technology-based startup qualified for the said international competition with their entry, Malakas Vertical Farming System (VFS), an automated vertical and horizontal farming system made of bamboo. It has its own pump, monitoring sensors, and utilizes solar energy,” de la Peña said in a report.
“They also use “Maganda Capsule”, a water-soluble formula made from waste materials such as banana peel, eggshell, rambutan peelings, and guyabano which can stimulate plant growth and protect against diseases.”
The members of the ATS are the following:
Elpedio Corbeta Jr., fifth year student, BS Electronics Engineering;
John Kaiser Taylaran, fourth year student – BS Computer Science;
Daniel Navarro, fourth year student – Business Administration major in Marketing;
Jeremiah Malalis, second year student – BS Chemical Engineering;
Kim Aliya Tomaro, third year student – Multimedia Arts;
Steph Kier Ponteras, second year student – BS Chemical Engineering; and
Dale Viñalon, fourth year student – BS Computer Science.
“Currently, the founders are preparing to fly to London for the one-month in-person mentoring with global startup experts to compete against 60 Global Accelerators from different countries for the US $1M seed capital grant,” de la Peña said.
He cited that the ATS also created a healthy ecosystem, through a digital platform called Dumangan e-commerce website. “It is a digital marketplace for the members of the agricultural value chain in which transactions made will be inputted by companies, farmers, and intermediaries.”
He said the DOST-TBI incubatee also seeks to provide solutions on agricultural services to assist small-scale farmers sell their goods at competitive prices.
“It receives training, training, mentorship, and innovation support as an incubatee at the UMasenso HUB, a university-based TBI under the Higher Education Institution Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship (HeIRIT) Program (HeIRIT) Program of DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD),” de la Peña noted.
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