GreenOvation Fact Sheet

Written by: Mr Ed Canela, Consultant

GOOD PRACTICE

GreenOvation: ICT-based Private Sector Development through Mobile App Creation for Innovation and a Green Economy piloted in the Philippines

Background

The ProGED project learned that attitude and habit formation is a key ingredient of the propagation of green practices among MSMEs. With substantial co-funding from GIZ’s Sector Project on ‘Innovative Approaches to Private Sector Development’ commissioned by BMZ, the project launched GreenOvation – an innovative green learning and competition activity to create innovative mobile apps for MSMEs’ more rational and sustainable use of energy, materials, water, solid waste, transport, supplies and natural resource management in order to foster a green private sector development. ProGED implemented the activity from 1 June to 15 October 2015 in Manila in three steps: (a) an ICT-based campaign to mobilize sponsors, mentors and participants, (b) three competition and learning rounds, and (c) a follow-up package for the winner.

The Campaign

GreenOvation solicited local sponsors from government and nongovernment organizations (GOs and NGOs) and the private sector – not for more funds, but to enhance the sustainability and commercialization of the resulting Apps. After a month long campaign, eight (8) sponsors joined the activity, one after another: two (2) GOs [Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)], two (2) NGOs [GoNegosyo and Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF)] and four (4) private sector institutions/bodies (IdeaSpace, Raket.ph, ImpactHub.ph, and Katalyst.ph).

GreenOvation targeted college students, professionals, MSME entrepreneurs (existing and starters), Overseas Filipino Workers, investors, industry experts, academics, public servants, and retirees. To attract them, it used a website, five (5) social media sites, university visits, and a press conference. Participants formed three-person teams (an idea person, a programmer and a graphics designer) to qualify. To ensure sustainability, bonds between the participants and the sponsors that supplied the generous and engaging mentors, as well as the knowledgeable and fair judges (who could either be angels, investors, or subject matter experts) were meticulously built, strengthened and preserved.

Participants

GreenOvation targeted college students, professionals, MSME entrepreneurs (existing and starters), Overseas Filipino Workers, investors, industry experts, academics, public servants, and retirees. To attract them, it used a website, five (5) social media sites, university visits, and a press conference. Participants formed three-person teams (an idea person, a programmer and a graphics designer) to qualify. To ensure sustainability, bonds between the participants and the sponsors that supplied the generous and engaging mentors, as well as the knowledgeable and fair judges (who could either be angels, investors, or subject matter experts) were meticulously built, strengthened and preserved.

Elimination Rounds: Sifting the GreenOvators

The public call for the contestants closed on 15 August 2015 with 33 team submissions. Three (3) judges selected (based on function, creativity, technical possibility, potential impact and market potentials) 23 entries to join the competition that consisted of three (3) elimination rounds. Each round had a specific theme, agenda, learning aims and pitching mode. See the following table for the process overview.

The five (5) teams nominated to compete in the third elimination round transformed their apps to the minimum viable prototypes for the final pitch. With a few minor tweaks, two or three are now ready for the MSME markets. ProGED awarded a PHP 100,000 consulting contract (with specific tasks, outputs and time frame) to the winning team – “OneWatt”. With ProGED’s guidance, the team will pilot the new app to at least six (6) MSMEs in the next six (6) months. Other sponsors also spontaneously awarded prizes to other winners as well.

Sustaining the Key Results

GreenOvation yielded tangible results for the stakeholders: the participants, sponsors, MSMEs, ProGED, DTI, and GIZ.

Everyone benefitted from the pilot activity. The teams experienced MSMEs as potentially big markets and got valuable feedback and ways to improve their apps through interviews with MSMEs in between the rounds. They learned and pitched to compete for GO and NGO assistance as well as funds such as from angels, investors, and accelerators. The MSMEs learned ways to manage green applications easier, faster and better via mobile apps. The sponsors got new startup clients. In fact, some teams that did not make it to Round 3 are currently negotiating with the sponsors for funding and other startup inputs.

The project got an additional functional website, green knowledge management assets (such as video clips, photo galleries, app support and instruments, pitching files, editable e-learning resources and ecosystem maps), contract-based prizing, and solutions to some administration hurdles. To sustain these gains, ProGED needs to: (a) nurture its links with the mobile app and startup ecosystem, (b) deliver a follow-up package, (c) improve the existing website, and (d) capture the teams’ stories.

After reflecting on the highly successful GreenOvation experience, DTI admitted that MSMEs also need support on digital literacy and technology to remain competitive.

More importantly, GreenOvation connected ProGED to the mobile app and startup ecosystem: the private sector’s young but rapidly emerging, innovative and collaborative constituent. It is awe-inspiring to see and feel the ecosystem’s willingness to volunteer and share its priceless assets (mentors and judges) in building a Green Economy for free. Properly steered, this platform can foster many other development concerns, particularly those under the UN SDG initiative: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Responsible Consumption and Production; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Climate Action; and Sustainable Cities and Communities. To pursue this, GreenOvation could be replicated locally and globally. GIZ can: (a) draft GreenOvation implementation guidelines, (b) develop and implement training-of-trainers (ToT), and (c) rollout ICT innovation-based projects (IBPs) for private sector development.

Impacts

GreenOvation blazed a trail on another untried PSD path by (a) promoting innovative MSME startups and business models, (b) uncovering its latent innovation culture and ecosystem, and (c) helping MSMEs to become green and resilient. It is a triple winning formula: INNOVATION + GREEN ECONOMY + EMPLOYMENT, JOBS and INCOME.

And the winner is… OneWatt!!

As an MSME consumes electricity, the OneWatt app (and device) picks out 24/7 the most efficient energy source in terms of cost and stability. With its smart learning algorithm, the electricity bills can go down by as much as 40 percent monthly. At its heart is Energon, a smart energy storage system that knows when electricity prices are low and the best time to draw electricity from the grid or from renewable power sources such as photovoltaic or wind to which it is connected.

OneWatt is accessed via a dashboard running on Android, Web, and soon, iOS. With OneWatt at entrepreneurs’ fingertips, they will not only enjoy cheaper electricity, but also peace of mind. No more “brownouts,” or power cuts, especially for MSMEs (restaurants, internet cafes, hotels and manufacturers) that need uninterrupted power streams. Historical and real time power usage and cost monitoring are transparent and only one click away. Most importantly, OneWatt can shape the energy demand of its MSME users and thus reduce their energy costs as well as reliance on fossil fuels.

To read the complete Fact Sheet download the PDF below:

greenovation fact sheet in pdf form

Or visit GreenOvation Website

 

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