Are you looking for a doctor? Or do you want a quick diagnosis on what your ailment is? These are typical concerns of an ordinary Pinoy who usually do not know who to consult when illness suddenly attacks.
Two teams who joined the 3rd edition of Startup Weekend Manila created solutions to such worries. “Where’s my doctor?” and “HealthTxt” emerged as 1st and 2nd prize winners, respectively for their simple but useful initiatives. “Where’s my doctor” also bagged the People’s Choice Award.
Startup Weekend is a 54-hour hackathon and pitching competition where would-be technopreneurs are given a chance to pitch their business ideas, form teams to build prototypes and come up with viable businesses particularly in the field of digital applications. It was organized by Kickstart Ventures, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, together with web engineering firms ProudCloud and Dynamic Objx, and innovative educator MINT College.
“Startup Weekend is not about being the slickest presenter. It’s all about how to make things happen for real. The key ingredient for success is execution. Sometimes, a good idea fails because the product hasn’t been tested for fit against the target market; or sometimes, there has been too much focus on a pretty pitch deck rather than real customer validation. We are interested in pitches that have potential for real market success, hence we have a bias for teams that can show real customer feedback,” said Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart.
Team “Where’s my doctor?” found out that a lot of Filipinos do not have permanent doctors, thus, they are at a loss as to where to go especially when medical specialists are needed.
In the time that they had, the group surveyed 449 respondents, asking if they will use a web and mobile app that will help them search for doctors based on their symptoms, geographic location and preferences. The response was an overwhelming 100 percent.
Similarly, 10 doctors were asked if they are willing to pay for a premium account for an app that will help their patients set up an appointment, allow them to manage their calendars and update their patients’ records. The answer was also ‘Yes.”
“We want to make it easier for Filipinos to find the right doctor based on their symptoms and preferences. Instead of self-diagnosing, we can actually guide them to choose a doctor and schedule their appointments right away with the help of our app. This can actually prevent possible harm caused by self-diagnosis. And in the future, we hope to provide the health care information one may need right at their fingertips. Our mission is to become the Google of the medical industry in the Philippines,” said “Where’s my doctor?” team leader Michie Ang.
But what happens if one does not have access to the internet but still wants to know about his symptoms? This is where HealthTxt comes in. Targeting the estimated 100 million mobile phone subscribers in the country, HealthTxt makes use of an interactive text service to learn more about health queries and provide possible answers.
Third place winner “Swagtag” may not have an app related to health but it has an interesting proposal – linking memories and people through things.
With “Swagtag,” users can upload and share pictures of items they own, create stories about the items, provide tips, and even rank them based on likes and dislikes.
Campus Market, which placed 4th in the competition, would definitely be a hit among students as it provides a web community for students from different schools to do transactions for specific academic needs.
“Campus Market addresses the trust issues usually associated with online buyers and sellers since transactions are made within the same academic community, thus, they could easily meet personally within the campus. No need to meet anywhere else,” said Joe Ledesma, team leader.
For this round, the panel of judges consisted of Nix Nolledo, CEO of Xurpas, one of the largest mobile value-added service providers in the country; Isaac Souweine, General Manager of Asia-Pacific for Pollenizer; Leigh Reyes, President and Chief Creative Officer of Lowe Philippines; and Jojo Flores, Co-founder and VP for Operations at Plug and Play Tech Center.
“We are particularly proud of and indebted to this Weekend’s panel of judges,” said Jay Fajardo, CEO and Founder of Proudcloud, and Startup Weekend lead organizer for the Philippines. “This time around, we wanted to push for startup teams to focus on customer validation and not just nice powerpoint slides. The panel of judges reflects that bias for action and customer validation: it’s what Startup Weekend is all about.”