Duracinth wins EFI's Fueling the Dream

MANILA, Philippines - Duracinth, a start-up that innovates on the infamous water hyacinth and uses it as main material for a hydrogel wound care product, was named best business model in Esquire Financing Inc.’s Fueling the Dream: Business Model Competition. 

Duracinth’s proponents and Ateneo de Manila students Pierrei Anneliesse Pica, Arlyze Arenas, Tristan Joshua Alba, and Alfonso Luis Serafico bested nine other teams to win the PHP 100,000 cash prize and up to PHP 1,000,000 in capital, as well as a feature in Entrepreneur magazine.

Other close contenders were JUANted Manpower Agency (Razhel Ann Membela, Carlo Guiruela, Leslie Aquino, Danica Sagmit/Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila), which seeks to offer manpower compliments for blue collar work around Divisoria, and Be Hearty (Germaine Erika Kaw, Joseph Vincent Pizarro, Regina Angela Andaya, Nicolo Alfonso Odulio, Gillian Jeremie Pua/ADMU), a social enterprise that will manufacture banana flour as a healthier and more sustainable alternative to wheat flour. 

Rounding up the Top 10 are ExplorePH (University of Asia and the Pacific), Tarp Water Lily Originals (UA&P), The Organic Pantry (UA&P), Studium (UA&P), Veggy Spread (Asia Pacific College), Bahay Co. (ADMU), and CRESP (De La Salle-College of St. Benilde).

The final panel included AIM professor Richard Cruz, SERDEF’s Special Projects Committee Member Dr. Eduardo Canela, Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) Knowledge Management Head Enrique Florencio, GoNegosyo’s Programs Development Manager John Paul Uminga, and EFI’s Chairman & CEO Rajan Uttamchandani. EFI’s Vice Chairman Ravi Uttamchandani, President & COO Navin Uttamchandani, and CFO Sandeep Chandiramani also attended the finals.

Fueling the Dream was also brought to the students by advocacy partners, Go Negosyo and SERDEF (Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation), and media partners Inquirer.net, Rappler, WhenInManila.com, Entrepreneur, and Money Sense. Asian Institute of Management (AIM) hosted the plenary and final presentation. 

Esquire Financing Inc. is the country’s leading financing company that caters to the needs of SMEs. It was incorporated in 2011 and has since served more than 3,000 businesses around the country. It aims to fuel the dreams of entrepreneurs by providing fast, flexible, hassle-free, and non-collateral business loans from PHP 100,000 to PHP 10 million to small and medium enterprises. Learn more about Esquire and its services at www.esquire.com.ph or by calling 811.8888.