At The Final Pitch's All-Tech Season, Filipino start-ups try to become "the next big thing."

Staff ni Anjie
The search for the next big thing in the Philippine startup sector resumes as CNN Philippines' 'The Final Pitch (TFP)' begins its eighth season, which will feature an all-tech roster of firms and entrepreneurs.

At The Final Pitch's All-Tech Season, Filipino start-ups try to become "the next big thing."
Upper row from left to right: Francis Plaza, co-founder and CEO of PayMongo, Amor Maclang of Geiser-Maclang, the convenor of Digital Pilipinas and World Fintech Festival – Philippines, and the forthcoming Philippine Fintech Festival, and John Janusczcak, President and CEO of UBX; Middle row from left to right: Rosemarie Bosch-Ong, SEVP and COO of Wilcon Depot, John Aguilar, The Final Pitch creator, and host and Wei Zhou, CEO of; Lower row: Avin Ong, founder, and CEO of Fredley Group of Companies

This comes at an ideal time for the local startup ecosystem, which is booming, with a 179 percent growth in raised funding to as much as $1 billion in 2021, attracting interest from both local and international investors.

Investor-judges who have returned Former TFP mentor turned-investor-judge Amor Maclang of Geiser-Maclang, the convenor of Digital Pilipinas and World Fintech Festival – Philippines, and the forthcoming Philippine Fintech Festival; and Rosemarie Bosch-Ong, SEVP and COO of Wilcon Depot, and one of the directors of the Proptech Consortium of the Philippines, reprise their roles in the show.

Wei Zhou, CEO of, the Philippines' largest crypto wallet; Francis Plaza, co-founder and CEO of PayMongo, one of the country's leading fintechs; and Avin Ong, founder and CEO of Fredley Group of Companies, which has a consortium of over 250 restaurants and café branches in the Philippines, are among the new investor judges.

Also Read: Igloo Expands in the Philippines, Citing Strategic Partnerships as Growth Drivers

Entrepreneurs who want to pitch their idea stage, current or scale-up firms that are ready for the next step of growth can apply now for the show. TFP creator and anchor John Aguilar said, "This will be our largest season yet." "The show's eighth season has a purposeful digital focus, and we're excited to support firms that will help our economy recover to pre-pandemic levels of growth."

Technology, according to Wei Zhou, is here to address issues. "Yes, we are witnessing the emergence of a whole new set of concerns. Nonetheless, new technologies such as blockchain ensure authenticity, immutability, and other benefits. These are the kinds of issues that technology can help with. We're searching for entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to real-world issues. We wish to engage with a founding team with a clear vision, defined goals, and a strong will to succeed."

They seek to promote inclusive prosperity, according to John Januszczak. "Technology, we truly believe, is the ultimate equalizer. I'm thrilled to be here, especially since this is the tech edition, and I believe that technology is the driving force toward financial inclusion. What we're looking for is a market-driven, cutthroat product. These are blockchain-based, cryptocurrency-based, and DeFi (decentralized finance)-oriented concepts. We're searching for those that are ready to put in the effort."

According to Francis Plaza, the internet is becoming increasingly indistinguishable. "People can start a business in their garage thanks to technology." That is incredible to me. We're seeking founders with the same tenacity as us and who are willing to collaborate to improve the community. At the end of the day, technology should make people's life easier, "Plaza continues.

Amor Maclang went on to say, "Digital Pilipinas, the Philippines' largest private-sector-led tech-up movement, leads and starts movements in high-risk, high-value, highly misunderstood, and highly regulated industries, so it's only natural that we championed Web 3 and all of these nascent technologies – blockchain, crypto, and fintech – with some of ASEAN's leading organizations and governments as early as 2016. However, without widespread use, all of these technologies are essentially useless. Our aim, #massuptake, has been to achieve this."

Rosemarie Ong stated: "When I found out it was a tech edition, I was ecstatic. Wilcon was already beefing up our digital footprint before the pandemic. Wilcon was founded 45 years ago as a startup, and we're searching for new businesses to help us grow." Ong also stated that she is prepared to serve as a judge and an astute mentor as she did in the previous season.

"It's crucial that we stay hungry, keep curious, and do more to achieve more," Avin Ong, Founder, and CEO of Fredley Group of Companies, advised the finalists. He continued by saying, "We are considering growing throughout Asia, and we must use technology. We were one of the first companies to switch to electronic payments during the epidemic, and we're excited to automate and digitize our internal and external operations."

Kaiser Estrada, Managing Director of Streamlined Campaigns Philippines, will act as one of the season's mentors. Estrada will share his knowledge and guide the participants on how to get the most out of internet techniques and social media platforms for their businesses.

TFP will be filmed in Okada Manila, the show's exclusive hotel and venue partner, on July 5-6, 2022. Ivaylo S. Ivanov, SVP for Hotel Operations at Okada Manila, who will serve as a guest judge, stated, "Being one of the country's most technologically advanced resorts, it's the right match for us." I'm looking forward to seeing some fantastic innovative ideas and talents.

Season 8 will, according to Aguilar, serve as a precursor and build-up to The Final Pitch: ASEAN, which will be recorded and televised across Asia by 2023 and include Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. "We want the show to be the regional forum for cross-border investment and cooperation in Southeast Asia," said the organizer. "Produced with pride in the Philippines for a global audience."

Those interested in applying for The Final Pitch Season 8: Tech Edition should visit or contact the show at or The deadline for application submission is June 24, 2022. TFP premiered on CNN Philippines on July 31, 2022, at 8:30 p.m. and is produced by Streetpark Productions Inc.

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