MANILA, Philippines – A scholarship online portal called “Scholar’s Field” bested other participants and took home the prize at the Startup Weekend Cebu 5 idea competition.
Scholar’s Field is an online portal concept by 25-year-old Kerwin Jorbina which provides students with the necessary information on scholarship grants from schools and different private and government organizations, and allows them to submit multiple applications minus the tedious task of going through various websites to do so.
Jorbina, also a scholar himself, came up with the idea of Scholar’s Field to help underprivileged but deserving young Filipinos get an education.
“I was a scholar my entire life because my father died when I was seven years old. I’m the youngest in a brood of three but the eldest was prioritized so that he can help later on. It was instilled in me that I have to work and study hard to get a scholarship,” said Jorbina, also a magna cum laude.
“Recently, I went looking for a postgraduate scholarship but every time I applied for one, I had to input the same information. I realized that it was taking too much time because the forms are long. Also, I have to go to several websites to find the scholarships I’m qualified for. There’s no one portal for all of that. There would be some that provide links but then, no application processes can be done immediately. So I thought, why not give students more options but in a one-stop shop portal,” Jorbina added.
With Scholar’s Field, students may sign up and enter personal details such as grades and family income, among other pertinent data, and through an algorithm, students can be matched to available scholarships which they can immediately apply for without leaving the portal.
Scholar’s Field has beaten 14 other groups at the Startup Weekend Cebu 5, which was participated in by 127 developers, designers, marketers and technopreneurs.
Startup Weekend is a Seattle-based global grassroots movement where people come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startup businesses and compete for 54 hours focusing on building web or mobile applications over the course of a weekend, which later could form the basis of a credible business.
Jorbina was joined by other members namely Geraldine Granada, Arnel Saquilabon, Inaki Paday, Garik Tate, Le-an Lacaba, John Bhattrai and Jan Gazo.
Another winner in second place was Spendcheck, a mobile app that aims to help micro-business owners spend wisely while third place went to TeeVee, a t-shirt vending machine for special events.
A wholly owned venture capital firm of the country’s mobile brand Globe Telecom, Kickstart, supports SWE Cebu since its first runs in May 2012. They view the country’s startup ecosystem still in the beginning stages where there is more room for learning and growth.
“We support Startup Weekend Cebu because it’s a great ‘starter’ for people who want to build and test their ideas in just 54 hours. From the ideas that come out of SWC5, some will be pursued, most will not but the key thing is another crop of participants has been exposed to a different way of becoming an entrepreneur. You don’t need an MBA to get started,” said Pia Angeli Bernal, social impact investments manager of Kickstart Ventures, Inc.
The winners of the Startup Weekend Cebu 5 received prizes of Application Programming Interface credits of 15, 000, 10,000 and 5,000 from another supporter, Globe Telecom’s developer community arm, Globe Labs, to help them further develop their ideas.