Companies in the Philippines, particularly large ones, subsidize their employees’ insurance premiums. Outside this system, many self-employed individuals find that insurance is simply beyond their means.
Entrepreneur Jorge “Jojy” Azurin knows this well, having served as director for continental Asia at freelancing marketplace Freelancer. This prompted Jojy and his co-founders, Diego Ramos and Hannah Crisostomo, to start Horsepower, a site that offers cheap health care insurance packages for the self-employed and small and medium businesses.
Horsepower today bagged the top prize at the jam-packed Tech in Asia Jakarta 2016 Arena pitch battle. It walked away with US$5,000 in cash.
Picked out of a pool of over a hundred applicants, the startup beat five other finalists:
- Sevva (Indonesia), a marketplace that lets people rent stuff they need only for a while.
- Vena (Singapore), which claims to drive ad revenue for app publishers by injecting video commercials into their apps. The publishers have full editorial control – they can decide how many commercials will show up as well as when and where within the app.
- Kostoom (Indonesia), an “Uber for dress-making” that connects tailors with customers.
- Infostellar (Japan), which owns Stellarstation, a platform that allows antenna owners to sell their idle antenna time to satellite operators.
- Queq (Thailand), a queuing system that lets users virtually stand in line.
Infostellar landed in second place, while Vena secured the third spot.
The winners impressed a star-studded panel of judges – Adrian Li, founder and managing partner at Convergence Ventures; Dave Ng, principal at B Capital Partners; Edward Chamdani, managing partner at Ideosource; and Oko Davaasuren, regional director (Southeast Asia) at Techstars.
This is part of the coverage of TIA Jakarta 2016, our conference that took place on November 16 and 17.
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