Impact Hub Manila Fellowship



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!

For more information about the Impact Hub Fellowship on Sustainable Energy Solutions, click this link:

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!
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 for AMA with Lizan Kuster.  
Join the Impact Hub Fellowship on Sustainable Energy Solutions with WWF and PEF to receive more support from our experts!



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 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.

See more about their idea here

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.


  • 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  

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