A team of four students from the Institute of Computing of the University of Southeastern Philippines clinched the Ideaspace Award and a PhP 100,000 cash prize for presenting the best business plan among the ten national finalists to the ninth (9th) Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP) Innovation and Excellence competition, an annual industry-academe awards program backed by Smart Telecommunications, held on February 13-14 at the SMART Tower in Makati City. This is the third year in a row that USeP entered into the finals of the same competition.

For the last two years, student teams from the University’s College of Engineering made it to the finals. This year, two student teams from the USeP Institute of Computing, Team Doc Banana and Team Wordify, qualified into the competition’s finals. Wordify got the Ideaspace Award and cash prize for presenting the best business plan among the ten finalists. Wordify and Doc Banana are both digital image processing-based Android applications. The former is aimed at redefining the process of automated language translation while the latter at speeding up the banana industry’s disease detection process.Team Wordify is composed of project leader Nick Faelnar, Mari Nakaoshi, Karlo Bueno and April Mae Bonto. Project leader Jhun Rey Cubelo, Nikko Comidoy, Laian Joy Chavez, Jesmael Galindo and Alvin Mark Cabeliño make up the Doc Banana team. Faelnar and Bonto represented Wordify while Comidoy and Galindo suited up for Doc Banana in the two-day event. The student representatives were accompanied by two mentors from the Institute of Computing including Dr. Tamara Cher Mercado, Dean of the Institute.

Along with other finalists, Comidoy and Faelnar presented their project’s description, block diagram, target market, as well as a demo of their respective applications in front of the competition’s judges and some of the bigwigs in the country’s I.T industry. SMART Telecommunications CEO Manny V. Pangilinan also graced the event during the Awards Night held at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City.

The event was a culmination of SWEEP’s search for innovative, community-based and sustainable applications; anchored on this edition’s theme of “Technology in Nation-building”. From a total of 112 entries from SMART SWEEP’s partner schools across the country, the top ten ideas were shortlisted and their proponents were given an opportunity to learn from industry experts in a national bootcamp held last October 5, 2012 – serving as a final precursor for the national finals.

The achievement ranks as the biggest crown jewel so far for the Technopreneurship program that the USeP Institute of Computing has been offering for the past two years.  Prior to this, the Institute has also been actively participating in local and regional Technopreneurship and tech innovation events.

With the amount of positive results the program has brought to the Institute and with the great head-start this SMART SWEEP award has provided, the USeP IC teaching force expects nothing but further strengthening of the Institute’s Technopreneurship foundation in hope of discovering more noteworthy student tech innovations in the future. The Institute of Computing is an academic unit in the USeP that offers Master of Science in Information Science; Master of Science in Library Information Science; Bachelor of Science in Computer Science; and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.  (Michael Jandayan and USeP PIO)



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