Starting a new business is not a walk in the park, especially during a pandemic.
With that depressing feeling of establishments and businesses ending their operations around the world which even add up to the difficult and tedious process you have to go through, you have to fight for survival amid the economic fallout without the assurance that you’d end up triumphant.
Luckily for entrepreneurs these days, there’s Project GO which elevates and gives them the means to jumpstart their businesses.
It is the brand new reality series by GoDaddy, the company empowering everyday entrepreneurs worldwide, in collaboration with AXN, and during their latest episode, they revealed the Top 4 contestants who will be vying for the Php 1 million cash prize to help make their dream business a reality.
From hundreds of entries received from aspiring Filipino entrepreneurs during the Open Auditions held for three weeks in August, selected hopefuls with the most promising business ideas moved on to pitch directly to the show’s Mentors: Maggie Wilson (Owner, Acasa Manila); Bea Cupin (Lifestyle & Entertainment Editor, Rappler); the Tung Brothers: Mikko (CEO & Co-Founder, Odd Job Bob), Macky (Vice President of Advertising, Ligo and Co-Founder, Odd Job Bob) and Mark (Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Ligo); and Tina Shieh (Marketing Director for Asia, GoDaddy).
Derek Wong, KC Global Media Asia’s Vice President and Head for Production and Creative Services, said, “From the beginning, Project GO has hoped to seek out ingenious, innovative ideas that have the potential to turn into fruitful and thriving businesses, and the hundreds of Filipino entrepreneurs that heeded the call did not disappoint. It was not an easy task for the Mentors to shortlist only four candidates out of the many promising ones that they reviewed. All of the contestants demonstrated a very high entrepreneurial spirit, which shone through despite the challenge of not being able to be physically present on set.”
The contestants pitched to and communicated with the Mentors via live stream, since social gathering restrictions currently enforced in Metro Manila meant that filming could not accommodate all the teams that made it into the first shortlist.
After stringent and careful deliberation, the Mentors have selected the Top 4 contestants who will be proceeding to the next stage of the Project GO competition:
True to their motto “Life protected,” AO Innovations Tech, represented by Arnel Andal, is actively helping in the fierce battle against the pandemic through the sale of their innovative technical mask to healthcare frontliners at subsidized rates. The product, dubbed “AO Healthcare Fullface Mask”, offers two-way filter protection and fan-assisted airflow management, providing added safety and comfort to the people who need it most. It has been tested successfully by doctors in surgeries and procedures of up to six hours and claims to be the maximum compact protection available in the market. Currently, this invention by AO Innovations Tech is helping protect hundreds of healthcare workers in the Philippines against COVID-19.
Poor waste management has created a monstrous problem worldwide. Hoping to promote a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle, Dominique Trinidad and Pocholo Espina, along with a few other collaborators, created Loop Store PH, which offers plastic-free, reusable or recyclable alternatives for everyday items. Their latest product concept is a new sustainable food packaging made from banana leaves, inspired by the increase in food deliveries that the team has observed in this current period of quarantine. Banana leaves are sturdy, water-tight, clean and, being abundant in the Philippines, cheap and accessible. Loop Store PH envisions that the production of such products would not only lessen waste, but also create jobs for many Filipinos across the country, making it an ideal solution for both people and the planet.
Mindoceo currently operates as a digital private tutoring service for elementary and high school students, but founders Ryan Marcel Ibay, Calvin Lorenzo Borja and Noelle Sofia Mison, have even bigger dreams for it. They hope to grow Mindoceo into a full-fledged on-demand tutoring platform, accessible via mobile app and web service, that connects students of all ages and levels to professional tutors and educators. The business idea is inspired by the team’s own experiences: having been products of homeschooling themselves, they want to empower students by giving them access to tutorials, review services and other quality educational materials anytime and anywhere. Also having worked as tutors, they want to provide others the same opportunity to enjoy a flexible work environment. Mindoceo means “to teach the mind” and is a portmanteau of the English word “mind” and the Latin word “doceo”, which means “to teach”.
Staffz, represented by Pearl Janine De Guzman, is a business solutions portal offering services such as SEO, administrative support, copywriting, communications and graphic design. What sets it apart from many others of its kind is that its roster of skilled workers consists of young professionals from less privileged communities. De Guzman, having experienced being a freelancer, found in the growing demand for offshore workers an opportunity not only to build a business, but also to train less privileged youths in skills that would allow them to hold financially rewarding professions. She, along with her collaborators, founded Staffz with the goal of making dreams come true on both sides: to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses through the services their portal provides, and at the same time give the gift of opportunity to those who help them provide it.
Tina Shieh, GoDaddy Marketing Director for Asia and a Project GO Mentor remarked, “This whole process has deepened our understanding of the Filipinos’ admirable entrepreneurial spirit. With high hopes, we intend to further hone their skills, build on their ideas’ potency, and help them bring their dream ventures into reality. No matter what happens, they are all winners and we wish everyone the best of luck.”
Project GO is all about giving Filipino entrepreneurs a chance to pursue their dream business ventures. With their entrepreneurial spirit and keen business mindset, these four finalists are set to impress audiences with solutions they’ve created that the nation can benefit from.
Who will come on top and make their dream business a reality? Viewers can tune in to Project GO every Thursday at 8.25PM on AXN. Weekly simulcasts will also be available on AXN Asia and GoDaddy Asia’s YouTube channels.
For more information on Project GO, visit the official website: www.axn-asia.com/ProjectGO.
About the Author
Apple Gamboa is the Life Editor of SubSelfie.com
She is also the Creative Team Lead of PayMaya, the leading digital financial services provider in the country.
She was previously a Media Relations Manager for Ogilvy Philippines and an interview and field producer for GMA News programs Quick Response Team and News to Go. She was also a producer of lifestyle TV shows and documentaries. Travelling and music are her passion, and taking risks is her reality medicine. Journalism 2010, UST. Read more of her articles here.