iNNOVATE: GDSC USTP Solutions Fest 2022

Post by Mark Monsour Baulo, April 6, 2022


“The story of innovation has not changed. It has always been a small team of people who have a new idea, typically not understood by people around them and their executives.”

—Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google

Google has always been at the forefront of innovation, and at the heart of that is the willingness of everyone to collaborate and create new ideas from nothing.

What is GDSC?

Aiming to “bridge the gap between theory and practice”, Google Developer Student Clubs are communities within colleges and universities with an interest in Google Technologies. By being a part of these communities, students are able to collaborate, grow their knowledge, and participate in events. The USTP chapter is led by 2nd-year Computer Engineering student Alyssa Vallejos.

Solutions Fest

iNNOVATE: GDSC USTP Solutions Fest, formerly known as “DSC USTP Solutions Week”, is the flagship event of GDSC USTP. Presented with 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the participants, or Trailblazers, were challenged to come up with digital solutions using Google Technology. What came next was a month-long event, from February 5 to Mar 5, 2022, filled with online technical workshops, mentoring, webinars, and a pitching proper where participants can display the things they learned.

17 Sustainable Development Goals – image courtesy of

Open to all students of USTP, the Trailblazers were asked to group themselves anywhere between one to four members. With each one filling the role of either Developer, Designer, Pitcher, or Researcher with a Leader amongst themselves. The participants were encouraged to be collaborative, innovative, be in service to others, and to always be passionate about the work you are doing. The core values of the event.

Timeline of Weekly Events

The Solutions Fest started with an opening ceremony on February 5, followed by mentoring sessions from USTP faculty and staff, and community partners in CDO.

courtesy of
2022 Mentors – image courtesy of

The nine mentors during the event were:

  • Raymund Joseph Igdon, Creatives Head, Google Developers Groups CDO
  • Dr. Maria Teresa Fajardo, Director, Extension and Community Relations Division USTP CDO
  • Matthew R. Maulion, Chairperson, Department of Data Science USTP CDO
  • Engr. Aileen Amora-Sieras, MoE, Instructor, Department of Computer Engineering USTP CDO
  • Ma. Enola Pearlette Bagongon, Research Associate, CDO b.i.t.e.s.
  • Geisha Mae Getuaban, Project Development Officer, CDO b.i.t.e.s.
  • Sigfred Tong, System Web Admin, Strategic Communications USTP CDO
  • Engr. Franch Maverick Lorilla, TBI Manager, USTP CDO b.i.t.e.s.
  • Engr. Al-Monte Vince Calo, Instructor, Department of Information Technology USTP CDO

Up next came three Webinar workshops. Participants gained invaluable knowledge from speakers from both the academe and the private sector. The speakers included faculty and administration of USTP, mobile developers, UI/UX designers, and Data and Software Engineers. A mix of knowledge and skills that will surely inspire our Trailblazers.

The Elimination Round!

After the three workshops, participants were asked to submit a two to three minute video stating a brief description of the solution they came up with, how it relates to the 17SDG, how it will help the intended users, and a demo of a working prototype! Not an easy task at all, but everyone put on their working hats and were able to deliver splendid results. However, it was an elimination round and now only seven teams were able to move forward to the final pitch.

  • Padayon Care by Team Padayon
  • PalitEco by Team Bangan
  • Charit-E by Team Ilawtek
  • Lapit Kapit by Team Uswag
  • Tagbo by Team Pokemoonz
  • Fresh Box by Team Probox
  • G-Tech by Team G-cycle

Good job and congratulations to everyone! But, the work hasn’t ended yet!

The Final Pitch

After the elimination round, the seven hopefuls that will continue were asked to create a seven minute PowerPoint presentation to be judged on Impact and Technology. The presentation should highlight the problem,  the solution, and the product created. Furthermore, they were also asked to present the target market, a possible revenue stream, possible competition, what makes their team the right team, and finally the Google Technology to be used.  Finally, the presentation must also include a thorough demonstration of the solution and a working prototype and why it is relevant to a goal of the 17SDG.

On Friday Mar 4, 2022, each team took their 7 minute turn in front of the the judges. This definitely was not an easy task, but every team put in their best efforts and the results were a resounding success.

Judges for the Final Pitch - image courtesy of
Final Pitch Panel of Judges – image courtesy of

For this year’s final pitch the judges were:

  • Engr. Bronson G. Mabulay, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation & Director for Innovation & Technology Solutions Division, USTP CDO
  • Engr. Jason Te Occidental, Director of Innovation and Technology Support Office, Ateneo de Davao University
  • Ms. Stephanie Caragos, Founder, President & CEO, Syntactics, Inc.
  • Mr. Lionel Amarado, Founder & General Manager, Innovuze Solutions, Inc.
Announcement of Winners and Closing Ceremonies

For sure, the judges had their work cut out for them, but ultimately the winners of the iNNOVATE: GDSC USTP Solutions Fest 2022  were announced as follows:

  • CHAMPION – Lapit Kapit by Team Uswag
  • 1ST RUNNER UP – PalitEco by Team Bangan
  • 2ND RUNNER UP – Charit-E by Team Ilawtek
  • BEST VIDEO – PalitEco by Team Bangan
Champions: Team Uswag - image courtesy of
Champions: Team Uswag – image courtesy of

As a result of their efforts the winners received the following prizes:

  • CHAMPION – PHP 15,000 in cash, one Google Home Mini, and gold medals and certificates of recognition*
  • 1ST RUNNER UP – PHP 3,000 cash, silver medals, certificates of recognition
  • 2ND RUNNER UP – PHP 2,000 cash, bronze medals, certificates of recognition
  • BEST VIDEO – PHP 400, certificate of recognition

*  – each member received a medal and certificate of recognition

In addition to these awards, the winners also received a variety of goodies such as Sim Cards, tote bags, umbrellas, and t-shirts from the very generous partners and sponsors of the event. From here on out until Mar 30, 2022, the winners will undergo deep mentoring to prepare them for the Global Solution Challenge 2022 with the deadline for submission being on Mar 31, 2022.

Looking at how far everyone has gone, it’s hard to believe that only a month has passed but at the same time, with all the excitement and innovation going on, that month went by so fast! Congratulations to all the winners, and especially to the organizers of the hugely successful event.

For more information about Google Developer Student Clubs USTP and their future events visit their Facebook page today!