Last August 3, a startup company co-founded by a UA&P alumna was declared the grand prize winner in the Philippine round of the She Loves Tech 2019 Global Startup Competition Series hosted by QBO Philippines. MS Industrial Economics graduate Yroen Guaya Melgar is part of the all-women founding team—with Maureen Nova Ledesma and Jessica Manipon—behind VESL, a platform that connects trade lenders and businesses to per invoice trade credit insurers.

She Loves Tech is the largest startup competition promoting both technology for women and technology by women.

Startup co-founded by UA&P alumna wins She Loves Tech Philippines 2019

L-R: Yroen Guaya Melgar, Maureen Nova Ledesma and Jessica Manipon

“This win is very encouraging for VESL to keep the faith and stay on course,” said Ledesma, VESL’s Chief Marketing Officer. “However, we know that this is just one step towards our goals and that real victory is measured by our impact to the society. We go full speed ahead towards closing the trade finance gap! It’s a bonus to be recognized.”

In addition to the grand prize, VESL also received the “Bayanihan Ecosystem Award” sponsored by tech publication Sparkup. With their victory, VESL will have even more resources to scale their platform across Southeast Asia. The team will also move on to the global finals of the competition in China.

Founded in 2015, She Loves Tech has featured over 1,000 startups across the globe and has gone on to collectively raise more than US$70 million from top venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital and Wavemaker, and top tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon. The competition has improved the visibility of female tech founders the world over, garnering over 1,200 media features, a live audience of over one million people, and over 500 million media impressions.