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It all starts with a BUSINESS PLAN. If you are wondering how to start a business plan or if you are second guessing what you have right now, then, this workshop is for you.  

The Business Plan Workshop will guide you at business planning with a focus on practical techniques to help you to turn your idea into a viable business or know more what's missing in your business plan.

Join us in this FREE Business Plan Workshop at Microsoft Philippines, 8/F Ayala Office Tower, 6750 Ayala Avenue, Makati City on July 22, 2016 from 6 pm to 9 pm. 

Register now! http://bit.ly/29Jf69q

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For more information about the Impact Hub Fellowship on Sustainable Energy Solutions, click this link:
http://www.impacthub.ph/incubation-fellowship-energy-wwf-pef

Build a better Philippines and get another mentorship this week!

‪#‎AskMeAnything‬ is back with co-founder LizAn Kuster ready and happy to answer all of your questions!

We are going LIVE this Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 12nn!
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Join the Impact Hub Fellowship on Sustainable Energy Solutions with WWF and PEF to receive more support from our experts!

Thank you for those who participated in the Ask Me Anything with Lizan Kuster. If you want to watch the AMA session again and get the latest info and updates about the Fellowship program, click here

See you again in the next AMA!

Build a better Philippines and get Mentorship from Silicon Valley!

Impact Hub Manila Co-founder LizAn Kuster is in Silicon Valley, San Francisco to giving first hand tips to entrepreneurs in the Philippines!

We are going LIVE on Crowdicity and Facebook Live today, July 14 at 12 nn (Manila Time) or July 13, 9 pm (San Francisco Time). 

Log on here https://www.facebook.com/impacthubmanila/ for AMA with Lizan Kuster.  
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Join the Impact Hub Fellowship on Sustainable Energy Solutions with WWF and PEF to receive more support from our experts!

http://www.impacthub.ph/incubation-fellowship-energy-wwf-pef

https://impacthubmanila.crowdicity.com/

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Powergrass share their story

Posted by Deesha Chandra (Admin) Jul 11, 2016

Miggy tells us about Powergrass and encourages others to believe in themselves....

1) What inspired your idea? 

The idea was inspired by the characteristics of grass which we used to feed our cows. Having the desire to share the grass to fellow cattle raisers, we posted it in olx.com. To our surprise, there was a company who bought cuttings enough to cover 7 hectares. We enquired and found out that they plan to turn it into pellets. Because of curiosity, we searched deeper about the grass,  away from its nutritional value for animals to its energy potential. Finding out that it is good for biomass, as Thailand's Department of Alternative Energy and Efficiency invested THB350 million worth of research budget and targets to produce as much as 3,000MW electricity from Napier Grass, we shouldn't just wait and watch.

Being able to dry stalks, we found it to be good for burning and replace wood consumption. The grass can easily grow unlike trees which can make production of it for energy more sustainable. If communities who rely on wood for their cooking and heating will use this material from grass, we can utilize our idle lands, create jobs and help our forests grow. Hopefully in the end, we can also supply electricity from clean and renewable source.

2) Who would you like to connect with to develop your idea further? 

We like to connect with other energy innovators especially engineers which can help us continuously develop the product we have. They can help us design a machine that can expedite drying process and also a machine that can efficiently use the grass for cooking or electricity production such as mini boilers for households. We'd also like to connect with possible customers who want to help planet Earth in its fight against climate change. They can also suggest development for our products as well. We also like to connect to possible investors who like to utilize their idle lands filled with weeds,etc.

3) Has it been challenging to test your idea? 

It is not that challenging as our product fuelstalk can easily be processed. With optimism, I am sure that this product and how we pioneer grass pellets can penetrate and be accepted by the market. 

4) What advice would you give to others who are thinking of submitting an idea? 

Do not hesitate to submit your idea! Believe in yourself and your biggest possible contribution in this world. Just like what Mahatma Gandhi said, "Be the change that you want to see in this world."

We catch up with the team behind the idea "Martian Farming for Dummies" to learn a little more about what drives them and their advice to fellow entrepreneurs....

1) What inspired your idea?
 
Our idea to do vertical farms is the result of our team conducting several experiments and ideating rapidly to understand what we can do to contribute to addressing food security. Our initial idea was to provide young people in secondary cities with meaningful opportunities, which is why we created the Balanga Makerspace back in the second half of 2014. During the five months we were understanding what the skills of young people were, one team that was interested in pursuing agriculture emerged. We chose to focus on this path and throughout 2015, our team made several experiments that gave us insight as to what can and cannot be done in this industry. We tried out farm management apps for fertilizer management and yield tracking, building irrigation control sensors, building small-scale rice dryers, and importing second hand harvesters from Japan. We failed many times and when we put what we learned together, vertical farming emerged as the model where we can create a sustainable business. When the MIT OpenAg Initiative launched, we were reassured that we are not the only ones venturing in this direction.
 
In summary, we did not have one thing that inspired us to pursue vertical farming. It was a series of experiences in understanding how agriculture works that lead us to understanding why vertical farming makes sense in the Philippines.
 
2) Who would you like to connect with to develop your idea further?
 
We definitely welcome prospective clients and strategic partners who can help move us closer to what we envision as the future of agriculture. In TechAguru, our slogan is to "co-create the future of farming" since growing food is something everyone has a stake in. We would not be here if it were not for partners who spent time to advice, guide, and direct our development. One mentor who is part of the TechAguru team came from the Lean Startup Manila network. Other inspiring mentors are from Kamogawa Hackerfarm and TechRice Japan.
 
More importantly, we need to connect with as many young people as possible, since they will be the backbone to developing vertical farms further. We need to inspire young people that agriculture is not back breaking tough work. It is even more high-tech than call centers and BPOs. There are networking systems running throughout vertical farms to monitor the environmental systems to grow food. There is a science behind what light spectrum each species of plant needs to grow. Eventually, farming will become fully automated and robotic, and this is not a matter of if it will happen, but when young people will make it happen.
 
Our moonshot request to connect with someone would be to have an audience with Elon Musk since he is an inspiration to our team. His drive to setup a colony in Mars definitely resonates with what we do. We imagine how farming might be done in Mars and backtrack and figure out how these might affect the design of a cost-effective vertical farm system that we can create.
 
3) What has been the biggest challenge when testing your idea? 
We have not had many challenges in testing the idea itself. Vertical farming sells itself. Our pitch is basically to make people imagine how it would be like to farm in Mars and we are going to do that cost-effectively here. People usually get excited and when we tell them theres gonna be a salad bar where they can eat those veggies, they start asking when will it will be open.
 
The biggest challenges are how to make vertical farms cheap and how to operate it cheaply. This requires people who understand multiple disciplines, long hours of research, and building lots of prototypes. When things need to scale up, we need to have an intimate knowledge of the supply chain for all the parts we need. So you can imagine that one day we are figuring out where to source aluminum in Binondo, Manila, and the next day we are in Cavite talking to hydroponics suppliers. We are fortunate we are not on this journey alone. The Kamogawa Hackerfarm and MIT OpenAg initiative have lots of resources to help us build the vertical farm we envision.
 
4) What advice would you give to others who are thinking of submitting an idea? 
The Philippines has a lot of problems. However, it is not only us here that have these problems. If we are humble enough to look past the problems and understand how people from other places have solutions for these problems, we can definitely come up with something that people will gladly buy from you as a business.
 
Our team took the chance of pursuing an idea that was crazy and the journey has been fulfilling. Moving our startup forward is not just about making a sustainable business, but also creating opportunity for the young to be high-tech farmers. This for us is important, and continues to connect us with supportive partners and find excited customers.
 
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See more about their idea here

How to submit a successful idea

Posted by Deesha Chandra (Admin) Jun 20, 2016

If you want your idea to be successful, there is a simple trick.......the more you help others (by providing constructive feedback), the more they will help you.

The more comments you write, the more visible you will be. As a result, more people will vote for your idea, and your idea will benefit from the feedback that you receive.

When submitting your idea try see yourself as a host: you are the host of the people who take the time to read your idea and to write comments. These people can become your fans. Do what you can to make them enjoy the interaction with you, and with your other fans.

There are a number of things that you can do:

  • Invite the right people to the party: think about people that you know who might be interested in climate entrepreneurship. Do you think some of them might be able to help you improve your idea? Invite them! Try invite up to ten people per week, using the "invite users" button - on your profile page.
  • Be selective when you invite your guests. If they just leave comments like "great idea", this is not going to help you, and it will put off the more committed participants. So focus on inviting those people who can really contribute to Fellowship.
  • Keep the debate interesting: If somebody leaves a comment like "great idea", ask them something like "what do you like best about the idea?" - this will usually generate interesting thoughts.
  • Let people know that you appreciate their feedback: If somebody comes up with a great idea, make sure to thank them, respond by writing a comment that everybody can see. You can also do this privately by sending that person a message on Crowdicity (that's the white "bubble" above the "invite users" button in the profile). 
  • Build a community of supporters: If people are leaving valuable feedback, ask them if they want to become part of your team or ask them to subscribe to your idea if they want to receive updates about your project. You can also "tag" other "users" in your idea when responding to comments so they can see the conversation is going on. 
  • Be visible: by following the debates around other ideas and helping to make them better.

And remember: by inviting 10 people per week you will have over 50 friends supporting you in 5 weeks. So start inviting others now!

Good luck! 

Mini Business Plan

Posted by Deesha Chandra (Admin) Jun 7, 2016

To complete your submission please email us a copy of your mini business plan (template attached below). This should include the following: 

0) Cover page (max. 1 page)

Name of your company/project, person of contact, contact details, (optional. logo, link to website/Facebook page). 

1)    Idea description (max. 3 pages)

Issue statement & mission

What problem are you trying to solve? What is the overriding purpose of your initiative? What are the benefits you are trying to create and who exactly is your target group/customer? How can your customer(s) access your product/service and pay for it?

Business model/concept

How does your business model work? What is your value proposition? What activities are you planning to address the problem stated? How will you pay for your activities (investment costs, running costs)?

Competitive and collaborative landscape

Who are your competitors in the market and what resources do they have available? How does your company differentiate from them? Who are your main partners, supporters, suppliers, vendors (etc.) that help you reaching your sales goals and vision?

2) Roadmap (max. 1 page)

Which steps do you have to take to make your idea happen? How will the Fellowship Program enable you to achieve your ambitions? Which are important milestones for the next two to three years?

3) Team (max. 0.5 page)

Who is in your team? What is your team’s experience in the industry? What social and professional networks does your team possess that could be of value? Why are you the right person(s) to get it done? Please be honest: state, which skills you are lacking and still need to develop.

4) Financial projections (max 0.5 page)

Describe your key assumptions. Present your financing needs detailed for the next year, and in less detail for the next three years.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

  • Include only the essentials of your business idea, no “window-dressing.” Show facts, research, surveys, and the like to substantiate your claims. We prefer clear and concise bullet points.
  • Limit your business plan to a maximum of 5 pages (excluding cover page).
  • Email your final business plan using this template on or before July 24, 2016 to welcome@impacthub.ph.  

Meet Nikolas and the team at WAVE

Posted by Deesha Chandra (Admin) Nov 5, 2015

Last week Nikolas and his team won early entry to the final pitch day. As we get closer to the next early entry deadline (Sunday 9 November) the team shares some tips.

1) What inspired WAVE?  

It all started with the IdeaSpace Competition, the biggest startup competition in the Philippines, where our team secured a slot as one of the Top 15 finalists out of 1072 teams that applied from all over the nation, including some international ones. Our original idea was to create a universal "ticket" for every mode of transport, with the aid of an app, so that people would no longer need to line up to buy a ticket.
 
It was during the IdeaSpace bootcamp that we realized that this kind of a project would not be feasible for my partners and I to undertake in just a few months, without the right people and resources... and so we decided to pivot, and focused on something more feasible, yet still very personal to us. It was then that we realized that all of us in the team were frustrated commuters, who were getting increasingly more fed up with the hassles of commuting.
 
And thus, WAVE was born - to address various transportation problems not only centered around traffic, such as the need for a safe, reliable, and affordable transport alternative, that could also help with decongesting the roads. What really inspired WAVE was the fact that we still believed in our vision of being able to improve the commuting experience for all Filipinos out there.
 
2) Was it difficult to test the idea? 
We've managed to have a few alpha runs with some actual paying customers, so it wasn't that difficult. All we needed, really, was to validate the idea and create a proof of concept, and so we consulted with the umbrella organizations in the Philippine BPO industry, namely the CCAP (Contact Center Association of the Phil.) & IBPAP (Information Technology & Business Process Association of the Phil.). When we learned that we were actually joining in this movement called "Global Microtransit," we knew that the idea would work, as long as we would all do our part and really focus on execution. 
 
3) How will the Fellowship help you develop it further? 
I believe that the Fellowship will catalyze Wave's progress in all angles. The opportunity presented to learn from the best in the industry of mobility and transportation is surely not to be taken for granted. I'm pretty confident that we'll be able to discover more about ourselves and our startup as we undergo the program, and perhaps get to focus on aspects we've probably missed or overlooked. Coupled with the collaborative community and support system that Impact Hub brings, we'll be sure to tap into its global network to seize all possible opportunities. Winning the Fellowship, will undoubtedly help us accelerate and scale faster.
 
4) You got a lot of attention on the platform, how did you get your network/ friends to support you? 
I made sure to be meticulous to the details and to launch early. After getting feedback from the community, I made sure to take in their insights, address their concerns and questions, and then refine the submission. As I consider myself to be a perfectionist, I did this constantly, to make sure that what was on the platform would best communicate what Wave is all about. 
 
Aside from engaging with friends via social media, I made sure to tap into the networks I could rely on - friends and family. Being featured on the Philippine Daily Inquirer and putting it up on an FB post also helped bring some more credibility, thus making it pretty easy to get people to support us. It wouldn't have been possible without the support of the lovely co-working community in Bitspace - BrainSparks, Team FlipTrip Team, VenueOpen, Pigments, as well as from our business partners who really believe in our vision.
 
5) What advice would you give to others who are thinking of submitting an idea? 
I think that there is no better time to test out an idea but now - the country is in dire need of your cool and random solutions! The Crowdicity platform makes it even easier to get objective, unbiased insights from like-minded people who are passionate about finding answers to the various transportation and mobility problems in the country. Nothing should stop you from submitting an idea. Just make sure to always keep an open mind so that you can always validate new assumptions and make the necessary changes.
 
Lastly, if you really are passionate about the idea you are submitting, don't let it end there and try to take it to the next level - don't just rely on assumptions. There are no shortcuts. You really have to invest time to do the needed research, to validate your idea, and find the best way to communicate and express what it is you want, and are trying to do. Customer development and execution are essential, which is why you should do your best to fail fast, but fail forward. There is no better teacher than experience - you just have to do it, so go and submit that idea!

 

Meet Matthew Cua from Skyeye

Posted by Deesha Chandra (Admin) Nov 2, 2015

 
Meet Matthew Cua, a young innovator who believes that creating sustainable technologies and business models is the key to progress. Matthew shares how drones will help improve lives.

What inspired SkyEye
We were actually doing it for our Masters thesis at university! We started looking at climate change and this evolved to researching how drones can determine changes in the environment (most likely due to climate change!). 
 
Were drones always part of the plan?
It was the answer to the question we had on how we will get our data.
 
Will this idea require a culture change or do you think Manila is ready for it?
Yes it will require a culture change, but it won't be painful as it will remove the pain that we have gotten used to "Ganun Talaga eh" . The reason people don't put much detail on property rights is because they have felt powerless to do anything about it, due to its technicality
 
How will Innovation in Mobility Fellowship help you develop SkyEye further?
The more resources we have, the further we can go to drastically improve the Philippines through property rights. Also access to more diverse set of people, mentors, colleagues and friends will allow us to further our development on the cultural aspect to ensure that the transition is fast.
 

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