CocoAsenso, an agri-startup focused on creating livelihood for coconut farming communities across the Philippines, took home PHP1,000,000 worth of startup support from the World Wildlife Fund, Peace and Equity Foundation, and Impact Hub Manila. The agri-startup competed against 6 different teams under Impact Hub Manila’s year-long fellowship program called Sustainable Energy Solutions: Agri-Edition.
Out of 43 applicants, 9 startups were chosen by WWF, PEF, and Impact Hub Manila to go through an 8-week program called, KICK under its year-long fellowship program. Their mission— to help agri-startups grow and scale their businesses from the ground up. After the intensive 8-week program, a total of 6 teams made it to KICK’s culminating event called Demo Day, a pitching competition last April 20 still with the support of World Wildlife Fund and the Peace and Equity Foundation Inc.
Startups pitched their ideas and competed for the grand prize of P1,000,000 worth of grant, mentorship, and co-working spaces across Makati, BGC, McKinley, and Ortigas sponsored by Impact Hub Manila.
Taking home the grand prize was CocoAsenso, an agri-startup focused on creating a network of medium-scale coconut processing centers across the Philippines for farming communities. Coconuts are purchased directly from local farmers who are employed in primary processing, giving farmers a new source of income.
Asa Feinstein, CEO of CocoAsenso, said “The program was great in helping us reflect on our business model and identify opportunities for improvement”. The agri-startup was able to pilot their solution during the program with their first processing center in Samar, Philippines.
Winning second place was Urban Greens— a startup focused on evolving the vegetable food scene by introducing cleaner, fresher, and smarter hydroponically grown greens. The startup was able to take home 6-months of free co-working spaces and mentorship.
Other teams that competed included Dawow Innovations, a tech company that aims to hyper-localize tech products for use in rural and urban areas (such as converting farming equipment to run on solar energy); Minerva, a project that aims to create sustainable communities by enabling anyone to produce food with unused spaces at home; Silent Beads, a startup that makes products embedded with plant seeds, turning old waste into new plants; and Uproot Aquaponics, a social enterprise that aims to alleviate poverty, hunger, and malnutrition through aquaponics.