Friday, June 12, 2020

PLDT Enterprise partners with AIM for local hackathon to fight COVID-19

PLDT Enterprise, through its innovation arm PLDT Innolab, recently supported the local hackathon launched by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) which aimed to crowdsource digital solutions and ideas that would help in the battle against COVID-19. 


The Bayanihan@AIM hackathon was held to generate innovative ideas and practical solutions from participants across the country which could help the nation cope with the prevailing economic and long-term impacts of the global pandemic. 

As an industry partner for the hackathon, PLDT Innolab provided mentorship to over 70 participating teams and gave away a number of mobile phones in addition to the cash prize. PLDT Innolab supports the development of emerging technologies with the group's infrastructure, service capabilities, expertise, and facilities especially in improving today's situation amid COVID-19.


“We need to use technology as part of disaster response and in support, we at PLDT Enterprise collaborated with AIM and ADB for this initiative that will help countries to better respond to COVID-19,” said Jojo Gendrano, FVP & Head of PLDT Enterprise Core Business Solutions. 


The virtual challenge focused on three themes: Food Security, Jobs and the Future of Work, and Support for Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)—all aiming to help shape the emerging landscape of Philippine business and society amid and post-COVID-19. 

“I was so pleased to see how enthusiastic my colleagues were when we first came up with the idea of the Hackathon so that the AIM community can explore yet another venue to help the nation in its battle against COVID-19. Doing what we do best, we have dispensed valuable and timely information to help frontline agencies, as well as businesses, assess and plan their next moves amidst the ever-changing landscape,” said Jikyeong Kang, President, and Dean, Asian Institute of Management (AIM).


The virtual hackathon, which ran from April 27 to May 10, was participated by college and graduate-level students in the Philippines. For the Food Security category, Amherstia Ojerio and Rodette Astoriano highlighted urban farming as a way to help address food security problems among high schools through a Build, Operate and Transfer model, creating a sustainable supply of nutritious and affordable food while providing a hands-on learning experience. 


Under the Jobs and the Future of Work Challenge category, meanwhile, Kevin Anthony Sison, Carmelita Esclanda, Elijah Justin Medina, and Naman Punitcreated a localized, inclusive, and integrated platform that combines e-learning and job matching, targeting those in the low to middle-income groups. Lastly, in the Support for MSMEs Challenge category, Michael Glenn Kakumoto, Jann Skyler Teng, Ariel Silva, Jr., and Florentino Gonzales IV came up with a digital tool specifically designed for Filipino SMEs to help them manage their customers, sales and order management while increasing efficiency and productivity even in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions. 


“Many of our alumni have been serving in the frontlines, and many more have been leading their organizations in sharing resources with the most vulnerable sectors of society. This hackathon was one of our key initiatives to help re-start the Philippine business and society. We are very thankful to our sponsors for continuing to support our efforts to contribute to nation-building. I am especially thankful to Jojo Gendrano and Dara Ever Juan of PLDT Enterprise for the crucial mentorship they provided to some of the participating teams, in addition to the wonderful prizes given to the winners of the competition. PLDT has always been very supportive of AIM and our initiatives, and this is yet another example of our successful partnership,” said Kang.

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