The 1776 Challenge Cup is run by 1776, a business incubator in Washington. The Cup is an international competition that identifies promising startups that are tackling global-scale challenges. Startups with the potential to provide solutions to global issues in the fields of energy, health, education, smart cities and transportation where is a heavy dose of government regulation. They also run the 1776 Ventures, a VC company that funds startups in those 5 sectors.
The incubator's expertise is how to grow a startup in a industry where there is heavy regulation.
The Philippine competition was held last December at the ImpactHub, Makati. Over 40 startups participated and 3 startups which strong in those 3 of those 5 sector mentioned were: Horsepower.ph, Nyfti Bicycle and Kallfly.
The 3 teams flew in to Tokyo to compete in today Regional competition. "Team Philippines is very strong", said 1776 Managing Director David Zipper.
Startups from high-tech laden cities from Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Bangkok were there and provided a fierce competition. Some of the competitor startups are into cancer detection, malaria cure, smart books, smartwatches, millenial jobs platform, interactive storybooks, metal nanoink, robots, and next generation genetic sequencing.
Eventually Horsepower.ph was picked as one of the 5 regional winners to compete in the Global Competition this coming June 2016 in Washington DC.
Jojy Azurin, CEO of Horsepower.ph explained: "After my pitch a lot of people from other South Asian countries approached and saying how they can relate to our services of providing healthcare to the self-employed and overseas workers. And were asking when are we launching in their countries. I knew our idea is very much validated during the competition".