University of Mindanao student startup for farmers competes for 1M Hult Prize UK

University of Mindanao student farmers Hult Prize UK
The student team is currently raising funds to travel to the UK. Photo Credit: Alipugpug Tech Solution Facebook Page

The University of Mindanao – Davao City Campus student innovation to help small-scale farmers gain a competitive advantage in the market is set to represent the Philippines in the competition for the USD 1 Million Hult Prize in the United Kingdom – that is if they can gather enough funds for the travel.

The UM technology startup Alipugpug Tech Solution will be the sole startup group to represent the country in the Hult Prize 2021 from August 8 to September 12, 2021, at the Ashridge Castle in London.

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The Davao-based technology startup is composed of seven students from UM, namely: Elpedio Corbeta Jr., John Kaiser Taylaran, Daniel Navarro, Jeremiah Malalis, Kim Aliya Tomaro, Steph Kier Ponteras, and Dale Viñalon.

The UM team offers a healthy market ecosystem through digital platforms and solutions for the agricultural sector.

The University of Mindanao qualified for the Hult Prize international competition with its entry, “Malakas Vertical Farming System (VFS)”, an automated vertical and horizontal farming system made of bamboo that plants seeds, grow, and harvest crops.

The group also developed “Maganda Capsule”, a water-soluble formula made from agricultural waste materials such as banana peel, eggshell, rambutan peelings, and guyabano that can stimulate plant growth and protect crops against diseases.

Moreover, the startup group created the Dumangan e-commerce website, a digital marketplace that enables members of the agricultural value chain to effectively monitor transaction inputs by companies, farmers, and intermediaries.

Alipugpug Tech Solutions operates under the UMasenso HUB, a university-based Technology Business Incubator (TBI) funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under the Higher Education Institution Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship (HeIRIT) Program. It supports aspiring technopreneurs through training, mentorship, and innovation programs.

The Hult Prize is an annual, year-long global competition for college students with innovative solutions and viable business ideas to address pressing social issues on food security, water access, energy, and education.

“UMasenso HUB congratulates the founders of Alipugpug Tech Solutions for making it this far with their startup and qualifying for the Hult Prize 2021. We witnessed their startup journey and believed in their talents, skills, and purpose in helping the agriculture community. We encourage other dreamers and innovators to pursue and engage in startup building, with the help of DOST-assisted TBIs to make an impact on our community” said UMasenso HUB Manager Efrhain Louis Pajota.

Currently, the founders are preparing to fly to London for the one-month in-person mentoring with global startup experts to compete against 60 Global Accelerators from different countries for the US $1M seed capital grant, regarded as the Nobel Prize for Students.

However, the student team says it may have to withdraw from the competition if it fails to raise the travel funds. The group announced its crowdsourcing efforts for airfare, allowance, and swab testing. Here is how you can help:


SEND SUPPORT to the University of Mindanao students so they can bring their innovation for farmers to the Hult Prize competition in the UK.

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