Filipino technopreneurs get a chance to go global

Computerworld Philippines staff | July 17, 2012
Incubator Kickstart Ventures, Inc., a fully-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, further expands its support to technopreneurship in the country by being part of ON3, a pitching contest that gives local startups an opportunity to go global by competing for attention of venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and the rest of the world.

Incubator Kickstart Ventures, Inc., a fully-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, further expands its support to technopreneurship in the country by being part of ON3, a pitching contest that gives local startups an opportunity to go global by competing for attention of venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and the rest of the world.

Through ON3, the Science and Technology Advisory Council - Silicon Valley (STAC-SV) which organizes the event is able to discover what is brewing across the country in certain areas of technology and employ best practices to help accelerate the development of businesses that have an opportunity to secure a spot in the global markets.

"We would employ best practices and offer to the regional runner-ups and grand prize winners of ON3 an experience like no other including access to experts and professionals both domestic and international that could help accelerate their initiatives," said Christina Laskowski, President of STAC-SV.

Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart, said the company is always in a lookout for opportunities that could help the growth of technopreneurship, thus, the move to create strong partnerships with both domestic and international organizations.

"Our country has a huge pool of talented developers who could benefit from exposure to different systems and cultures, and a bigger market. Our participation in various startup activities such as ON3 is one way to lend a hand to the entrepreneurs who want to go beyond talking about new ideas, and get started actually doing stuff, creating market innovations. Kickstart's contribution is a push to action, to developing a culture that appreciates that technology entrepreneurship is about doing, not talking," Navarrete said.

Aside from ON3, Kickstart co-organized Startup Weekend Manila/Cebu, a Friday-to-Sunday event that brings together people with different skillsets to build applications and develop a commercial case in the course of 54 intense hours; and with the 1st Ideas and Apps Challenge, a competition initiated by US-based startup AppBridge, backed by the World Economic Forum and the Clinton Global Initiative, to produce ideas and applications that tackle social challenges in the country.

ON3 was first held in the Philippines last year to provide a venue where people would be inspired and encouraged to work together to discover, support, and showcase some of the country's talent.

In April, it conducted four regional events in Cebu, Davao, Pangasinan, and Manila participated in by 40 tech-related startups that involved in areas such as consumer Web, Internet, Mobile, Wireless, Social Media, Gaming, Software, Clean Technology, and Biotechnology. Of the number, 15 advanced to the final competition and will compete for the Grand Prize - a three-month immersion in Silicon Valley.

The finalists include GroupJump, iVeamcast, LS, Guestlist.ph, X2Wave, Segworks, Straps, Technominds Easco Inc., Xamun, MiiMove, SpellDial, PayrollHero, Surebooked, Braille G4, and Udrics.

The immersion program will be conducted at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, California and involves introduction to at least five top tier venture capital firms and angel investors in Silicon Valley. The cost of living allowance of the grand winners, on the other hand, will be subsidized by the US Department of Science and Technology.

"We've helped many tech startups at Plug and Play over the last six years. Our community of companies have raised in excess of $1 billion. However, none of them are Filipinos . yet. It is my hope that a couple of our deserving startups are able to raise institutional funding and accelerate their success in the global marketplace. At the very least, their three-month immersion experience in Silicon Valley contributes to make them smarter technopreneurs," said Jojo Flores, Co-founder and Vice-President of Plug and Play, and Vice-President at STAC-SV.

Judges, which include Navarrete, consist of venture capitalists, successful entrepreneurs, prominent government officials and tech executives.

"We believe the Philippines is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the world's transformation since technological advancements continue to provide an opportunity for countries with fewer resources to compete globally. These developments coupled with infrastructure investments provide a platform for the Philippines to participate in this new worldwide market on a different level," Laskowski said.

Incidentally, STAC-SV has also joined the US State Department's Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) as an official partner. The alliance will both elevate GEP's efforts to spur entrepreneurship around the world and strengthen STAC's private sector leadership position in fostering science and technology entrepreneurial growth in the Philippines.

STAC-SV believes the new alliance not only strengthens the entrepreneurial platform taking form in the Philippines, it promotes a welcome collaboration with Asian neighbors and U.S. partners to promote entrepreneurship and the resulting economic development in the Philippines and globally.