Impact Hub Manila Fellowship

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Hey welcome and enjoy reading! Imagine,...

You have a friend,

  • living in the rural area of the Philippines,
  • cooking with firewood and charcoal everyday.
  • When s/he is cooking in a small little kitchen, smoke go into the lungs and eyes.
  • You heard s/he keep coughing, you saw their teary eyes and they start sweating because it is just too hot.
  • They repeat doing this 3 times per day. 


Probably you don't have this friend around you, hence the best way to feel is, imagine you are doing barbecue with charcoal, I guess you don't do it everyday (unless you are doing a barbecue business) because it is just too hard to deal with the process.

  • It is very hard to ignite the charcoal,
  • it is a dirty work,
  • it is a tiring work as keep faning for fire is troublesome
  • and etc. 


However, something that we do not know, there are still 2.6 billion people around the world, still depending on firewood and charcoal to cook everyday. This population is definitely going to grow because normally the birth rate at those regions are high. 

2.6 billion people cook everyday with firewood and charcoal, and where does this firewood and charcoal come from? Those resources come from cutting down the trees. In another words, everyday, trees are being cut down for cooking purpose. 

Why can't we stop cutting down trees and start using the waste around us?Everyday we are producing waste as a result of our activities as well.

Why can't we use the resources around us which nobody think those are useful?Everyday a kind of pest plants are growing themselves rapidly. 

Waste is a problem, pest plants accumulation is a problem, now we are converting these problems into a solution which serves as an alternative energy for daily cooking to 2.6 billion people and STOP cutting down the trees. 


Who faces this problem?

People who cook with firewood and charcoal

  • Cleaner energy such as electricity and gas are just too expensive for them
  • During rainy season, firewood and charcoal are wet
  • Suffers from smoke and heat while cooking everyday 


Fish pond owners

  • The pest plants (namely water hyacinth) grow too fast and disturbing their pond ecosystem
  • The pest plants block the fishing activities and some water transportations
  • Water hyacinth can double its population every 12 days and it blocks the river current flow by 50%-90%.


How does your idea address this problem?

Since there is a big demand (2.6 billion people) on cleaner, greener and CHEAPER alternative cooking fuel on a daily basis, too, people like the fish pond owners and some agricultural products manufacturers (rice husks, coconuts husks, etc) faced problems of waste accumulation everyday, we just connect these 2 together. 


We collect all these agricultural wastes and pest plants together, and put them into an production line which will produce an eco-friendly biofuel which

  • burn longer (30 minutes - 45 minutes) 
  • smoke-less 
  • higher in energy content
  • easier to ignite 
  • cheaper 


What’s new and unique about your idea?

HiGi Energy is an energy company. We are currently offering an eco-friendly biomass product. Many other biomass businesses focus on B2B business model for power generation.

However, we focus on B2C business model directly selling to the domestic consumers. Not only that, we also further refine our B2C business model where we aim to connect the people at the bottom of the social pyramid to the top of the pyramid. Basically an energy business building from the bottom to the top and eventually linking up the entire society spectrum to a social cause with the use of technology. 

This approach is twice tougher yet it is much meaningful as we are not selling a company, not selling a product, we are selling a story.

A story that people care about and build a brand that people could trust on. 


How are you going to earn money?

We earn money by selling our briquettes directly to the domestic consumers in the rural area. Earning average 10% profit margin for every product that we sold. 

Too, we sell the premium products to the urban users who love barbecue and grilling. Averagely 5% of the profit will be directed back to the people at the bottom of the pyramid in further reduce the price so that all people in the rural area could afford to access cleaner, greener and cheaper cooking fuels. 


Do you already have customers?


They are so relieved that nowadays they do not need to worry about the pest plants as we are taking away from their fish ponds everyday.

Too, our products indeed burn longer and smoke-less. Our customer base is growing at the rate of 2 customers every 3 days. 


Who is in your team?

We are an ASEAN team, invested by Dash Dhakshinamoorthy, mentored by entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley, Zurich, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. 

  • Jackie Yap, Founding CEO, Malaysian
  • Zherluck Rodriguez, CMO, Filipino
  • Hazel Pajotagana, CFO, Filipino
  • Leon Kee, CTO, Malaysian
  • Ryle Dahilig, COO, Filipino
  • Katie Dang, Creative director, Vietnamese 

Have you already founded/incorporated your company?


What is the intended positive impact on the environment and/or society of your venture?

  • Reduces usage of firewood by 80% for cooking purpose
  • Customers base growth rate at 10 customers every 3 days. (~4 customers per week)
  • Convert around 200 tons of water hyacinth for alternative cooking fuel
  • Increase about over 80% of household income for our employees

How will the Fellowship Program enable you to achieve your ambitions?

Since our focus is in the ASEAN region within the next 2 and 3 years, getting this fellowship program will really helps a lot in establishing publicity especially in the Philippines ecosystem. 

We will just outline the following important milestones:

  • July 2016 - Dec 2016: Exist in 3 major islands of the Philippines (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao)
  • Jan 2017 - May 2017: Expand to Cambodia
  • June 2016 - Sep 2017: Export premium product to Korea and U.S.

Are you living in the Philippines?


edited on 16th July 2016, 09:07 by JackieKnight Yap CheeWei

JackieKnight Yap CheeWei Jul 16, 2016

Please visit for more information. :)

Reply 0

Matt Jaeggi Jul 18, 2016

Congratulations to the impressive milestones you have reached! Wishing you all the best for this incubation program, might be another milestone :)

Just one question:
Is there a limitation of availability of hyacint?


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JackieKnight Yap CheeWei Jul 23, 2016

Hey Matt! Thanks for being engaging! I really appreciate that very much! As for the availability of water hyacinth, I would say everything will run out if resources are not well managed. We could even see KFC never run out of chicken in their supply chain and so on.

One fact about water hyacinth is that it grows really fast and aggressive which perceived negative in the past. However, with the technology we are utilizing in converting them into cooking energy, we believe value has been created among them and it could become one of the economic drivers for society too.

Thank you for commenting!

Users tagged:

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Jeremie Diaz Jul 23, 2016

Its wonderful that you are offering alternative fuel for communities to use for their basic needs. My concern though is your manufacturing aspect of your business. Would you intend to build in countries where you operate? Or just teach communities how to make and get royalties from it?

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JackieKnight Yap CheeWei Jul 23, 2016

Hi Jeremy, nice to address your concern!

Since we actually position ourselves as an Energy business company, we are going to employ the local communities and to run the operation using our technology. Of course on the sale channel, we encourage emergent of more local entrepreneurs to actually be part of the distribution body for them in gaining additional incomes for the family.

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Jorge Gutierrez Jul 24, 2017

Hello please inform me the name and contact information about the Company who use rice husk as energy source. Colombia produces a lot of rice husk.

Reply 0

Jorge Gutierrez Jul 24, 2017

our email is, Bogotá, Colombia

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