Ecothon 2023 showcases PHL Startup Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation during demo day

Ecothon 2023 Demo Day Awarding (from left) Mr. Artie Lopez (Brainsparks), Ms. Louise Kaye Mendoza (DTI), Ms. Maybelle Reglos (Session Groceries), Ms. Hyun Jee (ASEIC), Mr. Michael Siegner (HSF),  Ms. Iloisa Diga (Session Groceries), Mr. Dreamer Lamberte (Sikai), Mr. Van Cagalawan (Sikai), Mr. Joseph Mario Navasero (Insiklo), Ms. Gina Tumang (Encephalon Holy Angel University), and Mr. Alewijn Ong (NDC)

Once more, Philippine startups demonstrated their pioneering technologies driving forward the cause of eco-innovation initiatives during the Ecothon in the Philippines 2023 Demo Day held on the 30th of August at the Makati Diamond Residences, Makati City.

In its third edition, Ecothon Philippines renewed its commitment to uncover the most ingenious solutions that propel progress toward the achievement of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP).

This dynamic business competition is also conducted in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Laos and is being spearheaded by the ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center (ASEIC), in synergy with the Ministry for SMEs and Startups (MSS) of the Republic of Korea, the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and this year’s Implementing Partner, Brainsparks. Through Ecothon, the ASEAN Region continues to echo its dedication to forging a future that embodies both economic dynamism and environmental conscientiousness.

Nine (9) finalists emerged from a pool of twenty-five (25) startup teams after successfully completing a two-day online mentoring and coaching program where they each received assistance from mentors and local coaches to hone their innovation and business models.

DTI Director Lilian G. Salonga underscored, “The Ecothon has evolved from a concept into a driving force for change, a platform where ideas flourish and collaborations thrive, all in the pursuit of a greener, more sustainable Philippines. It [Ecothon] has brought together a vibrant community of thinkers, dreamers, and change-makers, all united by a shared vision of leveraging innovation to address our environmental challenges head-on….with this strong foundation, we’re thrilled to continue this collaborative venture.”

From the viewpoint of Mr. Michael Siegner, Country Representative of Hanns Seidel Foundation Vietnam, “It is a real inspiration to see entrepreneurs of the future, with innovative ideas which can turn into profit, generate jobs and change the way we produce and consume. We firmly believe that the climate crisis can only be tackled with entrepreneurship, innovation, and passion for sustainability.”

The grand prize-winning team, Sikai Inc., creates software solutions for environmental, social, and economic sustainability. As the winner, Sikai was awarded the prize of KRW 1.5 million.

The second place went to Session Groceries. Their mission is to empower and uplift local farmers by providing comprehensive support in education, market access, and food processing. They are committed to fostering sustainable agricultural practices, strengthening farmer communities, and ensuring a fair and equitable supply chain. They received KRW 1 million.

The third placer was Insiklo PH. Insiklo PH is an insect upcycling venture that promotes circular economy by harnessing insects’ potential in converting biowastes into high quality feed, compost (frass) and biodegradable plastics. They received KRW 500,000.

ASEIC International Cooperation Team Leader Hyun Jee extended her congratulations to the Ecothon winners. According to her, “The three (3) winners will get the chance to participate in the two (2) follow-up events, which are the ROK-ASEAN SDGs Business Model Competition (BMC) in Jakarta on 31st of October and COMEUP Global Startup Festival in Seoul from 8th-10th of November this year.”

The winners will also get the chance to network with the investors by participating in the two follow-up events. They will also become a part of Ecothon’s Alumni and ASEAN Network.

For further insights into the Ecothon and the winning startup teams in the Philippines, please check Ecothon’s official website: