Young Mindanawons urged to join pitching competition for business startups

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 October) – A federation of 27 cooperatives in the Philippines  has urged young Mindanawons to participate in the first-ever “Coop Kicks,” a pitching competition for new business startup ideas in a bid to support budding entrepreneurs.

Jerson S. Remo, director of the Model Cooperative Network, told “Wednesdays’ at Habi at Kape” that the competition seeks to assist young Mindanawons to breathe life into their innovative ideas by giving them coaching sessions, matching them with venture capitalists, and giving them the seed fund.

Jerson S. Remo, director of the Model Cooperative Network, discusses the first-ever Coop Kicks, a brainchild of 27 cooperatives in Philippines. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

“The next big idea might be coming from Mindanao… We would like to start in Mindanao. That’s the whole idea. We can do it. We are looking for next entrepreneur,” he said.

He said organizers envision to discover a new “Mark Zuckerberg,” Facebook’s chief executive officer, from Mindanao.

Remo said anyone who has innovative business ideas can join the competition for as long their entries can address a specific need and must have a potential to generate profit later on.

“It covers all as long as it’s innovative. The main goal is to encourage people to become innovative startups. It should be anything that can impress judges because cooperatives will invest in the startups,” he said.

The registration is already on-going and will close on November 6, 2018. Online registration is available at

All entries will undergo two rounds of judging.

The elimination round will be on November 9 and 10, where participants will be given three to five minutes to impress the judges on their business ideas. The entries will be pared down to 40.

Participants will be enrolled in a boot camp to refine their business ideas and get coaching on the standard format for a final pitching that will happen on December 1, 2018.

The panel of judges will comprise board of directors of the cooperatives in the network and well-known business executives who will select the top 6.

The first placer will receive a seed fund worth P300,000 while the other five winners will each get P100,000.

But non-winners will still have the chance to get funding from venture capitalists, he said.

Edward Descalsota, Ateneo de Davao University’s TechnoHub manager, added they will receive any business ideas from individuals aged below 35 years old but if the participants would come in a group of at least three to five, at least one should be 35 years old.

He said the competition will only accommodate new startups from graduating students or young professionals “who are seeking to implement their ideas, coming up with some value propositions themselves yet lacking some funding.”

“Those who have existing businesses or are receiving funding support from business entities will no longer qualify,” he said.

Participants will undergo technopreneurship bootcamps, mentorships, marketplace support, and access to more funding options.

“Once your business is incubated and ready to go big time, we can fund it some more,” Remo added.

He said the cooperatives are willing to support new business ideas to improve the community. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)