The local government of Makati has partnered with the RONIN Group of Companies and Digital Pilipinas to launch the Resiliency Innovation Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (RISE) Challenge, an incubator program offering cash grants, 12-week entrepreneurship training, and a chance to pitch to qualified investors.
The RISE Challenge is accepting applications until March 25. The finalist announcement will take place on March 31, and the qualifying event on April 8. This program will give contestants the opportunity to learn about finance, legal, marketing, organization-building, and effective pitching directly from the most qualified educators and experienced industry practitioners.
The winners will receive the following prizes: a P500,000 equity-free grant provided by the City of Makati; 12 weeks of entrepreneurship training, and guided pitching to sought-after investors.
Welcoming this initiative is Mayor Abby Binay, whose progressive public-private partnership (PPP)-led initiatives on digital transformation have prepared Makati to model an ideal startup ecosystem. Her integration of modern technology into the systems and operations of the city government—such as the Makatizen Card, Makatizen App, and Makati Public Wi-Fi System—promotes transparency, makes public services more efficient, and enhances its overall competitiveness.
Since its launch in 2018, RONIN has been helping startups succeed by providing them with financial training as well as the necessary tools to track and use their data efficiently to their advantage.
Yani de Guzman, RONIN CEO and co-founder, elaborates on their support for the RISE Challenge: “Our deep involvement in this campaign is grounded on the strong conviction that Filipino startups can be at par with most unicorns in Asia. Winning the Challenge does not end in simply taking the money home. The training opportunities will equip the winners to succeed as entrepreneurs.”
Amor Maclang, convenor of Digital Pilipinas, the largest private sector-led movement to tech up the country, agrees: “Digital Pilipinas is a platform that supports the rapid growth of the Philippine startup ecosystem. A venture capital study of the Philippines found that startups raised over $858 million in fresh funding at the height of the pandemic last year—nearly the same amount raised in the previous three years combined. Without a doubt, the Philippines is catching up with its ASEAN neighbors and on its way to becoming a startup hub.”