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Maria Victoria Martinez Wins Ultimate Prize for TalktoDok in Inaugural Creative Young Entrepreneur Competition

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The exciting finale of JCI’s first-ever Creative Young Entrepreneur competition came to an end during the 2021 JCI World Congress last month with Filipino entrepreneur Maria Victoria Martinez claiming the top prize for telehealth company TalktoDok.

JCI launched the Creative Young Entrepreneur program at the global level in 2021 as a way for talented young people to grow their new businesses in a competitive and nurturing environment. 

An expert panel of judges provided valuable insights on each contestant’s business endeavor and offered insider knowledge from the start-up and investing angle.

The final round of the competition brought together the top three winners from each Area Conference this year. Top pitches included ideas such as a sustainable jewelry business with deep cultural roots, an enterprise that uses waste to grow fly larvae for healthy, protein-rich animal feed and a company that uses drone technology to improve STEM education in Africa.

Contestants had months to refine their pitches before taking them to the global stage, where they delivered detailed plans of consumer need, value and profitability. 

Maria Victoria Martinez’s standout company, TalktoDok, is a free online medical chat platform for Filipinos who want to easily access professional, high quality healthcare advice and patient education at their convenience. 

As the first-place winner of CYE, Maria will receive a $10,000 cash prize, sponsored by 2021 JCI Vice President assigned to Asia and the Pacific Pheng Kouch, to keep TalktoDok growing.

Read more about our first, second and third-place CYE winners below! 

1st Place: Maria Victoria Martinez (Philippines)

TalktoDok’s is a free online medical chat platform for Filipinos who want easily accessible and highly professional healthcare advice. This has allowed individuals to have direct access to qualified doctors without having to visit a clinic or a hospital. TalktoDok’s mission is to make healthcare accessible for everyone through digital health. This company believes that digital health should have no divide, and that everyone – regardless of their income bracket or technological reach – should be able to seek medical help while maintaining their right to health privacy by confidentiality using digital tools. As of July of 2021, TalktoDok has helped over 2,300 people via it’s platform and has engaged with 135 healthcare providers. TalktoDok has captured the Telemedicine industry in the Philippines at its early growth stage and has the potential to become a major player.

2nd Place: Tawanda Chihambakwe (Zimbabwe)
Drones in STEM Education 

The mission of Drones in STEM Education is to transform the drone technology workforce by educating and training people and organizations about drone technology and how to leverage it to make hazardous work safer for people and increase operational efficiency. This company aims to develop new mindsets for young, budding STEM leaders by targeting two specific age groups: primary school ages (7 to 12 years old) and high school ages (13 to 18 years old). Through collaboration with Zimbabwe Flying Labs and Precision Aerial, they’ll make sure to provide industry-specific services such as commercial and educational drone services, consultancy and training. Growth in this specific niche area of youth education will involve Four-Key Pillars: a drone training program, drone pilot instructors license, marketing and capital investment.

3rd Place: Willie Ng Wei Li (Malaysia)
Global Cerah

Global Cerah is an agri-tech start up that integrates waste treatment and production of alternative protein sources into sustainable solutions to sustain the future of the food ecosystem. This company tackles such problems as harmful food and agricultural waste, inorganic fertilizer and inefficient waste treatment. Global Cerah treats waste as raw materials to feed black soldier fly larvae, which in turn can be used as an important source of material for feed meals. Their current final products are larvae powder, dry larvae and larvae shells.

The success of the Creative Young Entrepreneur program demonstrates JCI’s ability to develop the next generation of leaders in business and utilize the strength of our professional network to leverage new opportunities for our members.

Creative Young Entrepreneur is returning bigger and better than ever in 2022! Each Area Conference and the World Congress will all offer unique opportunities to compete, and all CYE competitors will receive high-level tutoring and training from the standout panel of assembled judges. 

Applications can be submitted as early as March next year. Make a note and don’t miss out on this chance to boost your own soft skills, develop your entrepreneurial mindset and take your ideas to the next level. An updated 2022 Creative Young Entrepreneur Toolkit is coming soon and guidelines are also being written up for National Organizations to create their own CYE contests! 

• America Conference: Applications open March 1, 2022
• Africa & the Middle East Conference: Applications open March 15, 2022
• Asia-Pacific Conference: Applications open March 29, 2022
• European Conference: Applications open April 5, 2022