“CAN WE really make it?” I thought to myself when teammates from Maroon Hackers started toying with the idea of bringing YouthHack to Region IV-A (Calabarzon).
Since its founding in 2014, YouthHack has continued to help students learn about start-ups, technology and entrepreneurship.
It has branched out to different countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Italy and Nigeria.
Once your goal is clear, the rest will follow.
My main concern was that most of the technopreneurial institutions and companies are based in Metro Manila, which could hinder the growth of the chapter.
Suddenly, I realized that this was not only a problem of logistics and expansion. It actually answered the question, “Why do we exist?”
It gave us a purpose—to provide opportunities for students in rural-based development and to bridge the gap between learners and the necessary channels.
Last March 12 and 13, we finally had our launch, the Code Weekend, a two-day programming hackathon for students.
This had the support of the YouthHack Manila team and CEO David Ongchoco.
Thirty delegates from all over Calabarzon participated, all eager to think, create and innovate.
Code Weekend 2016 Southern Luzon is home to great entrepreneurial minds.
The second day presented the projects of the participating teams to a panel of judges consisting of our speakers and student panelists Gee Ann Barro (BS Agribusiness Management) and YouthHacker Ian Dominic Sipin (BS Computer Science).
I was amazed at how fast they were able to apply the lessons from the previous day. Students who applied as individuals even met new friends to help actualize their ideas.
The ventures revolved around areas covering education, advertising and productivity.
Among the unique products is We Lib, a collaborative project by Joaqui Gamo, Keith Manaloto and Jasper Sunga that aims to help publishing houses meet the current demands of students and create an avenue for students to sell their old textbooks.
This platform can help forecast the quantity for production and eliminate the burden of library- and store-hopping for students.
Cine Gabay promotes independent films and provides viewers information about the featured productions. This online database with advanced cyber security by JN Incaro, Ralph Silaya and Troy Maliksi can pave the way for a targeted marketing scheme for starting filmmakers.
Team Pitchers’ Cine Gabay prototype (Twitter: @RalphKirito)
Among the seven teams that competed, Food Rhymes, with proponents Grace Eclavea and siblings Lizette, Lemuel and Loise Arcillas, took the first prize. Their goal is to establish a restaurant discovery service that promotes small-scale businesses and helps customers make informed choices.
It’s never too early to pursue your passion.
Being young is not a disadvantage when it comes to “making it.” After seeing the teams pitch, I realized that as long as you have the drive, you can make it.
With motivation, one can equip oneself with the necessary skills, build the network one needs and explore endless possibilities.
However, it doesn’t always work that way; there will be some delays. But this brings me to my favorite insight from Mr. Palaganas: “Sometimes, failures can bring out the million-dollar idea you are looking for.”
In whatever undertaking, we must see these setbacks as avenues for growth.
Join us in empowering the bright young minds of tomorrow! Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/YouthHackCLBZ) and follow us on Twitter @YouthHackCLBZ for more YouthHack updates.
(Patricia Marcella Evite is a sophomore majoring in Development Economics at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and the current chapter head of YouthHack Calabarzon. You may reach her at e-mail: [email protected])