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The Final Pitch Season 8 Is On the Hunt For the Philippines' Next Big Tech Startup

Discover the country's up-and-coming tech startups on The Final Pitch.
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We’re in the golden age of Philippine startups, making now the best time for The Final Pitch to highlight the country’s up-and-coming tech startups for the eighth season of the show. 

The Philippine version of Shark Tank will return to CNN Philippines on July 31, and filming will take place from July 5 to 6 at Okada Manila, the exclusive venue for the show. For the first time since the pandemic, the show will film live on location.

The last two years have seen the meteoric rise of Philippine tech startups, such as Mint (GCash), Voyager Innovations (PayMaya), Kumu, GrowSari, PayMongo, PDAX, and more. Foreign venture capital firms and international angel investors are looking to the Philippines for the next big thing, and The Final Pitch is here to discover the most promising early-stage startups. 

This year’s lineup of investor judges has gathered leaders in fintech, proptech, crypto, and more. Here are all the judges of this year’s tech season and what these investors will be looking for in contestants.

 

1| John Janusczcak, president and CEO of UBX

What he’s looking for: “A ruthless product that fits the market. These are blockchain-powered, cryptocurrency, and DeFi (decentralized finance)-focused ideas. We are looking for people who are willing to do the hard work."

2| Amor Maclang of Geiser-Maclang, convenor of Digital Pilipinas and World Fintech Festival – Philippines and the forthcoming Philippine Fintech Festival.

What she’s looking for: “As early as 2016, we championed Web3 and all of these nascent technologies—blockchain, crypto, fintech—with some of the leading organizations and governments in ASEAN. However, all of these technologies without mass uptake are virtually for naught. And that has been our mission, which is #massuptake."

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3| Rosemarie Bosch-Ong, SEVP and COO of Wilcon Depot and a director of the Proptech Consortium of the Philippines

What she’s looking for: "I got excited when I learned that it was a tech edition. Before the pandemic, Wilcon was already beefing up our digital footprint. Wilcon was a startup 45 years ago and we are looking for startups that can help us accelerate."

4| Wei Zhou, CEO of Coins.ph

What he’s looking for: “New technologies like blockchain, guarantees authenticity, immutable data, etc. These are the types of things that technology addresses. We're looking for startups that have creative solutions for real problems. We want to work with a founding team with a strong vision, clear goals, and the drive to get things done."

5| Francis Plaza, co-founder and CEO of PayMongo

What he’s looking for: “Because of technology, people can start a business in their garage. That, to me, is amazing. We are looking for founders who share the same grit as we do and work together to make changes in the community. Technology, at the end of the day, should help make people's lives easier.”

6| Avin Ong, founder and CEO of Fredley Group of Companies

What he’s looking for: “We are thinking of expanding across Asia, and it is important to utilize technology. We were one of the first players to shift to e-payment during the pandemic immediately, and we are looking forward to automating and digitizing our internal and external processes."

Photo by The Final Pitch.
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"This will be our biggest season yet," said the creator and host of The Final Pitch, John Aguilar. "The eighth season of the show is a very deliberate slant towards tech and we are looking forward to backing startups that will help our economy transition back to pre-pandemic growth levels.”  

Serving as this year’s mentor to participating founders, Streamlined Campaigns Philippines’ managing director Kaiser Estrada will guide contestants on how to maximize online strategies to grow their businesses. Meanwhile, Okada Manila’s SVP for Hotel Operations Ivaylo S. Ivanov will sit as a guest judge.

The Final Pitch season eight will prelude The Final Pitch: ASEAN, the show’s international edition which will gather startup founders and investors from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The ASEAN edition will be released by 2023. 

To apply for The Final Pitch Season 8: Tech Edition, visit TheFinalPitch.ph/application. Deadline for submission of applications is on June 24.

The Final Pitch premieres on CNN Philippines on July 31 at 8:30 p.m. The show is produced by Streetpark Productions Inc. 

Discover the best of culture, business, and style from Esquire Philippines. Visit Quento for more stories and subscribe to our YouTube channel for new videos. 

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Anri Ichimura
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