"We Can Always Try!": 3 PHL Startups Celebrate Optimism on World Innovation Day

World Creativity and Innovation Day
World Creativity and Innovation Day © FNF Philippines

FNF Philippines celebrates with the world by presenting stories of creativity and determination, hope and zeal, success and even failure of young and talented Filipinos who are driven to make things work better.

The world observes the World Creativity and Innovation Day (#WCID) on April 21. The United Nations General Assembly adopted in 2017 the resolution to promote innovation as “essential for harnessing the economic potential each nation and the importance of supporting mass entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, which create new momentum for economic growth and job creation and expand opportunities for all, including women and youth.”

FNF Philippines went on a hunt for individuals bearing cutting-edge solutions to empower Filipinos. These innovators asked questions, sought solutions and desired to make things, relationships and communities better - the products were LawKo, and UP BikeShare.

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World Creativity and Innovation Day

What do these innovators have in common? They use digital solutions to find better response for everyday concerns that Filipinos deal with. They employed technology so that more people can experience freedom truthfully and more meaningfully.

LawKo is a social media chatbot that help Filipinos understand more laws and legal processes. 

“This bridges the gap between the public and the law by making information accessible and relatable to the average Filipino,” said Alex Austria, co-founder of LawKo. is a web application that aims to help people navigate and commute around Metro Manila. 

Founders Philip Cheang and Kenneth Yu said that the lack of freedom to move around fuelled them to develop “If people don’t know how to go to work using public transport. If they are confused, if they’re scared, if they don’t know who to talk to, there is some loss of freedom going on, and they only become really free to do what they need to do when they have the information they need’” said Mr. Yu.

UP Bikeshare was founded by college engineering students, who are currently developing smart locks for their growing bike fleet. “Bikesharing is not bike rentals. It is when you have a pool of riders sharing a pool of bikes. This brings the sharing economy into the equation - reducing the downtime, and it optimizing the assets so that we can reduce costs and make everything cheaper for everyone,” explained founder Miguel Laperal.

“These stories are proofs that it can be done. Potential can be actual. Ideas can be real,” said Wolfgang Heinze, FNF Philippines Head of Office. 

“We celebrate and recognize these initiatives because they ignite solutions. They create ripples of newness that spark progress in different segments of society,” Mr. Heinze added. 

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) is the innovation platform for the promotion of freedom. It works to provide spaces to raise awareness, engage and collaborate with stakeholders, and improve policies and systems, that will cultivate a nurturing environment for innovative seeds to thrive.

Watch out for the full stories of LawKo, UP Bikeshare and in the following days!