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Scholarship portal wins Startup Weekend Cebu idea competition

Being a recipient of several scholarship grants from grade school to post-graduate degree, 25-year old computer engineer Kerwin Jorbina also wanted to make it easier for other underprivileged but deserving young Filipinos to get an education.

Thus, Jorbina came out with the idea of an online portal called “Scholar’s Field” that will provide students with the necessary information on scholarship grants from schools and different private and government organizations, and allow them to submit multiple applications minus the tedious task of going through various websites to do so.

Interested students need only to sign up to Scholar’s Field and enter personal details such as grades and family income, among other pertinent data, and through an algorithm, students can be matched to available scholarships which they can immediately apply for without leaving the portal.

Scholar’s Field bested 14 other groups at Startup Weekend Cebu 5 (SWC5), which was participated in by 127 developers, designers, marketers, and technopreneurs. Other members of the team are Geraldine Granada, Arnel Saquilabon, Inaki Paday, Garik Tate, Le-an Lacaba, John Bhattrai, and Jan Gazo.

In second place was SpendCheck, a mobile app that aims to help micro-business owners spend wisely while third place went to TeeVee, a t-shirt vending machine for special events.

“Kickstart sees the Philippine startup ecosystem still in the beginning stages so there is much room for learning and growth. We support Startup Weekend Cebu because it’s a great ‘starter’ for people who want to build and test their ideas in just 54 hours. From the ideas that come out of SWC5, some will be pursued, most will not but the key thing is another crop of participants has been exposed to a different way of becoming an entrepreneur. You don’t need an MBA to get started,” said Pia Angeli Bernal, Social Impact Investments Manager of Kickstart Ventures, Inc.

Kickstart, a wholly-owned venture capital firm of the country’s number one mobile brand Globe Telecom, continues to support SWE Cebu since its first run in May 2012.

Another SWE Cebu supporter is Globe Telecom’s developer community arm, Globe Labs which also provided Application Programming Interface (API) credits to the winners to help them further develop their ideas, with Scholar’s Field receiving 15,000; SpendCheck, 10,000, and TeeVee, 5,000. The API credits are valid for use until December 31, 2015

Startup Weekend is a Seattle-based global grassroots movement where people come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startup businesses. It is an intense 54-hour event focused on building web or mobile applications over the course of a weekend, which later could form the basis of a credible business.

Startup Weekends are specifically designed for entrepreneurs interested in receiving feedback for an idea, looking for a co-founder, or who want to learn a new skill, especially in the field of mobile and internet applications. The concept quickly became a global movement to generate breakthrough ideas in communities all over the world, taking digital start-ups businesses from ideas to investment readiness through intensive mentoring from industry experts and access to mobile markets and investors.

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