15/03/2019 Press release

The Finalists of the Startupper of the Year Challenge

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The finalists of the Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge in the Philippines have shown that good ideas can be developed into innovative solutions to various challenges in our respective communities.

Congratulations to our Top 15!

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#StartupperOfTheYear


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Congratulations to the winners of the first-ever Startupper of the Year Challenge in the Philippines!

Mark Gersava – Startupper of the Year Winner Aaron Hilomen – Second Place Winner and Startupper for Better Energy (Special Prize) Robi del Rosario – Third Place Winner Cecila Comia – Top Female Entrepreneur (Special Prize)


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Mark Gersava is the Philippines’ first-ever Startupper of the Year! His Startupper entry has received financial support, coaching and visibility. His social enterprise, BAMBUHAY, provides sustainable livelihood and employment to a growing number of Filipinos in poverty-stricken areas.


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Coming in second place is the co-founder of ANTIPARA EXPLORATION INC., Aaron Hilomen! His Startupper entry has received financial support, coaching and visibility. It was also recognized as the Startupper for Better Energy. His new technology provides a scalable solution to access and map marine resources for food security and sustainability.


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UPROOT team lead Robi Del Rosario comes in third place! His Startupper entry has received financial support, coaching and visibility. UPROOT provides a sustainable source of food through community-based farms within the city


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Cecilia Comia, an industrial designer who developed the SHIFT SCHOOL ARMCHAIR, received the Top Female Entrepreneur award and a trip to Paris. Her Startupper entry has received financial support, coaching, and visibility.

The SHIFT SCHOOL ARMCHAIR is a modular chair made out of lightweight and durable recycled plastic that can transform and double as a makeshift bed in times of calamities.


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As an ambassador of women’s entrepreneurship in the Startupper of the Year by TOTAL Challenge, Cecilia Comia will be representing the country in the “Journée de la Femme Digitale”, an event dedicated to women’s digital empowerment in Paris, France.


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Congratulations, Mark Gersava for being the Asia Pacific Middle East Zone Grand Winner in the Startupper of the Year Challenge! Mark will join the regional Grand Winners in Paris on March 18-22 where he will get to meet Total executives and other French incubators. Bon Voyage, Mark!