From over a hundred proposals that were narrowed down to 20 semi-finalists last February, 10 of the most #FutureReady Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G solutions were selected by Smart Communications (Smart) to contend for top honors at the 15th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards.
With more than one million pesos total worth of cash and prizes up for grabs at the grand finals on May, the SWEEP Awards is an annual competition that encourages innovation and excellence in wireless applications development among students of tertiary schools. The search is part of Smart’s Wireless Engineering Education Program, an industry-academe linkage initiative with a network of over 30 colleges and universities nationwide that offer ECE and IT courses.
Playground of great ideas
The selection of SWEEP 15’s Top 10 innovators took place at the closing of the project’s three-day Boot Camp, where mentors from Smart, technopreneurship incubator IdeaSpace Foundation, and startups helped fine-tune the teams’ applications. Semi-finalists participated in a variety of workshops, such as an idea generation training by The Dream Project PH’s main founder Prim Paypon. Ideaspace Acceleration Program Lead Brenda Valerio guided students on product validation processes for startups. To help hone future technopreneurs’ pitching skills, Smart invited eCFulfill co-founder and chief strategist Bonnie Factor, as well as InvestEd co-founder and CEO Carmina Bayombong.
“It’s great how this project focuses on trying to create platforms, input discussions, and strategies among college students,” said Dreamagineer Prim Paypon.
“The SWEEP Awards is a playground where great ideas are found,” he added. “If we intervene at the level of idea generation and creation, we can be assured that there will be better startups in the years to come.”
Top 10 finalists
Guided by #SWEEP15’s theme “#FutureReady: Creative Innovations Beyond Imagination”, judges narrowed down the competition to the following 10 solutions: LYNIA by Asia Pacific College, ALERTO by Bicol University – Polangui Campus, MOSFAS by Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges, Palaymo by Mapua University, ARGOS by National Teachers College, BeeNotified and Smart FDAS by Technological University of the Philippines, Car Space by University of San Jose – Recoletos, iFarm by the University of the Cordilleras, and PONDORA by University of the Immaculate Conception.
PLDT-Smart Public Affairs Group head Ramon R. Isberto praised all the teams who vied for a slot at the grand finals, saying that it was not easy to shortlist only 10 finalists since the judges were impressed with all of the entries. “I sincerely advise the teams that will not be chosen to not stop innovating,” Isberto said. “Take everything that you learned during the Boot Camp and entire SWEEP Awards process – how you all stretched your limits – and keep trying so that you will be effective technopreneurs.”
For 15 years, Smart has partnered with SWEEP schools to help them produce industry-ready ECE and IT graduates by leveraging on its network, infrastructure and technologies. For more information on SWEEP, visit www.facebook.com/sweepschools or www.facebook.com/smartcommunities.