Tuesday, December 4, 2018

CIC Wholly Owned Subsidiary, Cortex Technologies Corporation, Acquires Majority Ownership in Aftersales Technology Startup “Teko.PH.”

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Teko is happy to announce it has agreed to be majority acquired by Cortex Technologies Inc., the technology arm of Concepcion Industrial Corporation (CIC). This was a perfect fit, aligning a shared vision to innovate and reinvent aftersales appliance services in the Philippines while empowering Teko to provide even better opportunities for the freelance entrepreneur technician. This will also give Cortex and Teko a significant boost towards achieving CIC’s vision while leveraging its deep expertise, leading brands, and dominance in the appliance industry.

Cortex Technologies Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Concepcion Industrial Corporation focused on technology research and development,  announced the majority acquisition of Teko Solutions Asia Inc., a technology startup formed in 2017 to apply web, mobile, and cloud technology to the appliance service and repair business in the Philippines.

“This acquisition reinforces Cortex’s commitment to explore emerging technology and find ways to leverage it across the CIC’s group of companies, as well as CIC’s focus on building better lives and business,” said Sean Byrne, president & CEO of Cortex. “There’s an obvious synergy between Teko and the aftersales services offered by many of CIC’s consumer brands, such as Carrier, Condura, Midea and Toshiba as our consumers demand convenient aftersales service using mobile and web technology.

Byrne explains further “With Teko.ph’s technology and business model, this venture gives CIC an opportunity to build a nationwide aftersales network creating an appealing employment opportunity for individuals with the right skills, motivation, and entrepreneurial spirit”.

Teko utilizes a proprietary platform for real-time access to service and repairs for home appliances such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and water heaters, using self-employed, qualified and screened entrepreneur technicians – a first in the Philippines.

The Teko platform handles all interaction between the consumer and technician, giving the consumer a seamless and hassle-free way of maintaining their appliances. In a short time, Teko has built up a supply of over 850 certified technicians and covered over 4,000 jobs in the Metro Manila area.

Teko's website is at https://teko.ph/

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Philippine Creative Industry: Whats Next?

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, November 29, 2018
Creative Process Management Panel Discussion

The creativity of the Filipino has always been recognized worldwide. But such creativity is limited to a few types such as the performing arts and even sporadic forays in such shows as American Idol. But a wide range of Filipino creativity has yet to make a breakthrough in the international arena.

The Creative Industry Sector in the Philippines is a wide and varied sector since creativity takes many forms. It is not only in music or dance but also include design, film, game development, architecture, literature, all the way to software development.

During the Arangkada Philippines 2018 Fora, one of the panelists explained that aside from having advanced technology in creating, the Filipino tends to create not for a global audience unlike the South Koreans who have gained success not only I the performing arts but from their designs in cars to smartphones.

Another point noted that there exist no creative industry eco-system in the unlike its ASEAN neighbors such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These countries have invested I their creative industries and that is why the Philippines is lagging in the trillion dollars creative industry worldwide.

It was not the lack of talent stated Prof. Gaston Ortigas but the lack of investment on harnessing Filipino creative talent wherein the country has a large talent pool. Also, as cited by Mr. Hok Lee of the Korean Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, the government has to intervene and support the export of Filipino creativity such as what the Korean government has done even with the development of its K-Pop talents.

It was also noted that in sub-sectors such as the game development industry, government support via stable ICT infrastructure and the introduction of game development in the academe must also be given importance. The Information and Communications Technology curriculum and methodology must also be reformed. In 1 industry report, 60% of IT graduates are classified as “un-hirable” due to the lack of programming and coding skills.

Also, the stigma that “artists” are most likely to starve must be erased from our culture. This was the observation of Prof. Gaston Ortigas.

All-in-all, the Philippine Creative Industry Sector needs the cooperation of all Philippine economy stakeholders as well as the academe I nurturing and developing it to be competitive worldwide.

(This is a gist on the Panel Discussion on Creative Process Management during the Arangkada Philippines 2018 Fora)   

Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce of the Philippines Support PH Creative Industry Sector

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, November 29, 2018
JFC Participants in the Arangkada Philippines 2018 Fora. From Left: Mr. John D. Forbes, Mr. Ebb Hinchliffe, Mr. Julian Payne, and Mr. Naoto Tago

The Creative Industry sector got a boost from the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce of the Philippines (JFC) during the Arangkada Philippines 2018 Creative Industry Fora held last November 27, 2018, at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati.

The active participation of the JCF during the fora marked the support of this important economic group. The JCF members are as follows:

1. American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
2. Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
3. Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
4. European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
5. Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
6. Japanese Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines

Mr. John D. Forbes, Chief of Party, the Arangkada Philippines Project stated that this is the first time that the Arangkada Philippines Project held 2 such fora in 1 year since its inception in 2011. This is evidence that the JCF is committed in enhancing the Philippine Creative Industry Sector.

During the Press Conference held after the event, Mr. Ebb Hinchliffe emphasized that in order to proceed fro the success of the event, both government and private sectors together with various stakeholders I the creative industry sector must push for structural changes in Philippine economic, cultural and educational policies in order for the country to keep up with the dynamics of the global creative industry

Mr. Naotro Tago, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines disclosed that there are already more than 50 Japanese industry players and companies are engaged in various sectors of the Philippine economy. The creative industry is one of the sectors that they are interested in participating in. Citing that the Japanese Creative Industry has always recognized the huge talent pool of Filipino “Creatives,” they are will to assist in the development of this industry sector.

Mr. Julian H. Payne of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce I the Philippines emphasized that further development of Filipino creative talent is needed for it to be globally competitive and this can be achieved by greater cooperation between government and academia for more advanced training and education of Filipino talent.

Mr. Forbes also disclosed that current laws and regulations hamper the transfer of technology that is critical in further developing the Philippine Creative Industry sector. He pointed out to current pending legislation in the House of Representatives and the Senate. By passing these laws, Filipinos can have more access to technology and training from experts abroad who are currently barred from practicing and giving relevant training to Filipinos.

Mr. Hold Lee during the fora related how the South Korean government took charge of the creative industry in their country with the mission of “Exporting Korean Culture<’ and currently Korean culture and Creative Industry products are widely distributed worldwide.

The JFC is committed to assist the Philippine Creative Industry sector in both trainings and technology transfer as well as promotion worldwide.

The Next Sunrise Industry: Arangkada Philippines Project

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, November 29, 2018
Arankada Philippines 2018 Fora Panel Discussion

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has opened up new frontiers for various industry sectors globally. One of this is the Creative Industry.

The Arankada Philippines Project hosted a fora last November 27, 2018, at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City. This is to highlight the potential of the Creative Industry for the country.

The theme is Creative Industries: The Next Sunrise Industry. It aims to bring empowerment to the Philippine Creative Industry that will harness the current creative industry sectors and talents in the country so as to serve as an engine of economic growth for the country.

Arankada Philippines Project’s objectives are to enhance the viability of Philippine industry sectors ranging from agriculture, technology and all the way to mining through its advocacies and active participation in these sectors and by coordinating with the government, the private sector, and international key industry players.

For the Philippine Creative Industry sector,  three (3) critical factors have been identified and subjected to sessions and panel discussions.

These are the following:

1. Creative Process Management
2. Talent Management and Development
3. Creative Hubs

It was emphasized early in the sessions that in the year 2013, the creative industry worldwide generated US$2.3 billion in earnings. And the Philippines has yet to tap into its own creative industry sector talent pool to participate in this growing industry sector.

It was noted that there are many aspects in managing the creative industry sector that has yet to be undertaken. An example of this is what Mr. Paolo Mercado, Founder and President of the Creative Economy Council of the Philippines (CECP) stated that the country has 1.2 million freelancers I the creative industry sector alone. This is more than the entire BPO industry currently employs. Thus, the potential of this freelance sector alone is in need of organizing and is one of the sub-sectors that need to be harnessed for the creative industry nationally.

But this sector also needs proper management and with the talents abounding in the country, these raw talents need further development so as to attain the next level In being able to compete globally. 

It was also noted that creative industries are varied and wide in scope, ranging from designing furniture, game development, architecture, animation, film, literature, and software development.

In the US for example, Silicon Valley has gained pre-eminence in software and hardware development. It is an example of a Creative Hub. Such a Creative Hub is also needed in the Philippines wherein the clustering of inter-related industries are undertaken so as to foster a culture of competition and innovation.

These are the main points of the Arangkada Philippines 2018 Fora and the task is laid out in order to achieve a globally competitive Philippine Creative Industry sector.
The fora were participated in by the DICT, DTI, members of the academe, industry sector leaders, and by the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Aikontech brings Beltone to the Philippines.

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, November 16, 2018

Last November 13, 2018, Aikontech which is a 35-year-old company has brought its hearing-aid products to the Philippines.

To put things in perspective, according to the World Health Organization, there are around 250 million people with hearing disabilities and hearing impairment in the world. About 2/3 of these identified people live in Asia and the Philippines along with Indonesia is among the Top 4 in that list.

The prevalence of hearing disabilities in this region can be attributed to several factors such as congenital, work-related, accident injury/trauma, and even lifestyle (those who go to loud venues and concerts or work in them).

This considerably contributes to the lessening of the quality of life of these hearing impaired people and is also a hindrance to gainful employment and livelihood opportunities.

Aikontech Hearing is now the distributor in the Philippines of various hearing aids for all the requirements of hearing-impaired persons in the Philippines.

With this, Aikontech offers Beltone hearing aids. Beltone was founded in 1940 to make high-quality hearing care to people.

Beltone with its decades of experience aims to give access to quality hearing aids with a clear focus on the different individual needs of the hearing impaired. The company believes that no individual should be denied an improved life with better hearing.

Aikontech is into distribution of IT products that include brands like Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Panasonic, McAfee, Huawei, Samsung, Lenovo, Logitech, Polycom and Jabra among others.

With an opportunity provided by the GN Group of Denmark, Aikontech also decided into the Hearing Aid industry sector. The GN Group owns Jabra and 3 other hearing aids brands such as ReSound, Belton end Interton. These premiere hearing aid brands provide technologically advanced hearing solutions and excellent customer care experience.

The Board of Advisers to Aikontech Philippines are the following:

1. Dr. Rina Reyes-Quintos, MD, MclinAud, FPJOHNS
2. Dr. Nathaniel Yang, MD, FPJOHNS
3. Dr. Ramon Antonio Lopa, MD, FPJOHS

Thursday, November 15, 2018

2019 Edition of Startup Competition by IdeaSpace Foundation Launched

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, November 15, 2018
IdeaSpace 2019 Startup Competition Launch.

This year’s Startup Competition by IdeaSpace was launched last November 13, 2018. IdeaSpace is also the country ’s leading and longest-running early-stage startup competition in the country and has been holding this competition for the past 6 years.

Unlike in the previous years’ competitions, the 2019 IdeaSpace Startup Competition will select 20 startups instead of the previous 10 selected for its accelerator program. What also makes it different this year is that the prize structure has been revised.

This is part of the “Pivot” that Ms. Diane Eustaquio, Executive Director of IdeaSpace announced. Going back to the history of the Startup Competitions held before by IdeaSpace, startups selected failed to utilize the fully the Php500,000.00 granted to them by the program. Instead, the startups tried to “economize” on the expenditure and when they needed more funds for their eventual take-off, then that is where it limited their full utilization.

Realizing such, this year, the prize structure was changed wherein the 20 selected startups for the acceleration period will receive Php100,000.00 as equity-free operations funding plus support in-kind worth Php500,000.

At Demo Day when the top 3 startups will be announced, each startup will receive Php1.0 million equity funding. This will serve as their “runway” according to Ms. Eustaquio.

“We are pivoting and making changes to the program to remain relevant and to address the gap that still exists,” said Rene Meily, IdeaSpace President.

The Philippine startup environment has 400 active startups as of 2017 out of the 547 founded since 2014.

According to Ms. Diane Eustaquio, the cash prizes are not the only benefits that chosen startups will be receiving. It will also include non-cash benefits such as Mentoring by industry experts, free Learning Sessions, Linkages to corporate partners, investor network and strategic partner resources, free office space use, and housing allowances for non-Metro Manila team participants.

The submission of entries started November 13, 2018, via www.ideaspacefoundation.org/apply and will be open until January 18, 2019.

A series of roadshows and learning sessions which will be announced on the following

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ideaspaceph/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ideaspaceph
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ideaspaceph/ 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

ICT Champion Offers Bacolod New Leadership

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, November 08, 2018
Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue: Tech-Driven Candidate for Mayor of Bacolod in the 21st Century.

A strong and dedicated champion for information and communications technology (ICT) in the countryside, Jocelle Batapa-Sigue now offers the City of Bacolod a chance for new leadership.
Last October 16 or a day before the last day of filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) for the May 13, 2019 mid-term elections, residents of Bacolod, including close colleagues of Batapa-Sigue were surprised to learn about her decision to run for mayor of Bacolod, challenging incumbent mayor Evelio Leonardia, who is now finishing his fifth term or a total of fifteen years as mayor of Bacolod .

Batapa-Sigue, 45, a lawyer by profession and a professor of law, in a press briefing last October 16, says her candidacy is about giving Bacolod a chance to “win” over status quo and open up to new ideas and solutions to speed up its advancement as one of the highly urbanized cities in the country.

She coins her vision for Bacolod in four letters – JOBS. These stands for jobs and investments, open governance, barangay development, and empowerment and sectoral and citizens participation. She believes that for Bacolod to steadily create jobs and attract investments, a comprehensive set of strategies, including trainings and certifications must be in place to ensure quality talent supply. She believes that good business environment includes efficient traffic management, sound environmental practices, and streamlined government processes, areas were the city is not able to address effectively.

Open governance, for her, entails the use of ICT to reduce red tape, promote transparency and accountability in government, make public services accessible, create an effective data collection to support policy research, and make available online platforms to bring government closer to the people and to effectively respond to citizens’ needs. Known for advocating the creation of smart or digital cities, Batapa-Sigue thinks it is high time for Bacolod to join the ranks of cities developing and utilizing a digital process that aims to provide convenience to its constituents.
2016 Ten Outstanding Women in Nation Sevice (TOWNS) in the field of ICT

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

PH Students to Compete in Global ICT Challenge

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, October 30, 2018
2018 Filipino Participants in the GICT (Photo courtesy of DICT)

Filipino students with disabilities will go to New Delhi, India for this year’s Global IT Challenge edition.

They are the winners of this year’s National IT Challenge (NITC) for youth with disabilities.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) organized the competition which aims to create awareness and enhance the IT capabilities of the country’s youth with disabilities.

The NITC will empower this sector so as to promote equal access to ICT but above – all to harness the untapped potentials of the Filipino youth.

A representative from a disability category was chosen and this will include two weeks of training and mentoring prior to the global competition.

The Philippine representatives are the following:

1. Justin Philip Gonzales of Philippine School for the Deaf – Communication Disability
2. Venus Alexis Arcayera Rescober of Quirino National High School – Visual Disability
3. Carla Mae Coyoca Pasigpasigan of Valenzuela National High School –Physical Disability
4. Lance Sebastian Llaguno of Valenzuela National High School – Learning Disability

“May this [competition] serve as an impetus for more initiatives, for more partnership because so much has to be done in ensuring a responsible and ICT empowered youth with disabilities towards the development of a disability-inclusive society,” Ma. Lourdes Aquilizan, Officer-In-Charge of DICT’s ICT Literacy and Competency Development Bureau said.

DICT Assistant Secretary Carlos Mayorico E. Caliwara and NCDA Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Carmen Reyes Zubiaga awarded the certificates, medals and cash prizes to the winners.

This year’s participants from 24 countries in the Asia-Pacific numbered 300 with 124 of them belonging to those with disabilities.

Diwata – 2 Launched

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Diwata - 2 with Solar Panels

The second Philippine MicroSat (Micro-Satellite) was launched yesterday at the Tanegeshima Space Center in Japan yesterday October 29, 2018.

The deployment of Diwata – 2 differs from its predecessor Diwata – 1 which was launched from the International Space Station (ISIS) last 2016. It was launched directly into orbit using the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency with the H-11A F40 rocket.

Diwata – 2 will have a higher satellite orbit that will enable it to have a higher service-life than Diwata – 1. Both satellites were developed in conjunction between the University of the Philippines Diliman, the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) and Japan’s Hokkaido and Tohoku universities.

Funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Council for Industry and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), Diwata – 2 has enhanced capabilities than Diwata – 1.

Diwata – 2 has its own deployed solar panels that will generate more energy for its operations. Also, an Enhanced Resolution Camera, which increases the resolution of images taken by its High Precision Telescope and Spaceborne Multispectral Imager (SMI) with Liquid Crystal Tunable Filter that will enhance its performance.

Both MicroSats will be utilized in monitoring weather, agriculture, environmental planning, national defense, and even urban and rural planning.

This is another step in having the country have its own Space Program that will be useful in national development.

TechBlade has been advocating the use of space technology in furthering national development since before Diwata - 1 was launched in 2016.

Monday, October 15, 2018

DICT, QBO kick off Startup BASIQS Workshops in 7 Cities

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, October 15, 2018
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and QBO Innovation Hub sign the MOA formalizing their partnership on October 9, 2018. (From L-R: Rene “Butch” Meily, President, QBO Innovation Hub; Undersecretary Monchito B. Ibrahim, Regional Operations and Countryside Development, DICT; and Katrina Chan, Director, QBO Innovation Hub. 

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and QBO Innovation Hub (QBO) launched DICT STARTUP BASIQS, an introductory workshop on startup entrepreneurship, in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro last October 3, 2018.

Calapan was the first leg in a series of seven DICT STARTUP BASIQS workshops, which will also be held in Mati City, Tagbilaran City, Clark, Baguio City, Iloilo City, and Cagayan de Oro City. The workshop is designed to grow the country’s startup ecosystem by encouraging budding technopreneurs to realize their ideas through experiential learning and skills building.

“Through the Startup BASIQS Workshop, the DICT is taking on the challenge of providing the startups the support they need so they can start building their digital startups. I hope the startups and technopreneurs in the areas where the workshops will be held will take the opportunity of learning the basics of technopreneurship,” said Undersecretary for Regional Operations and Countryside Development Monchito B. Ibrahim.

The workshops are free and open to the public and participants can look forward to learning about the startup mindset, tech entrepreneurship, and tools such as lean startup and business model canvas– learnings they can add to their toolkit. Students, professors, and aspiring technopreneurs interested in participating in the upcoming workshop can register at https://dictstartupbasiqs.eventbrite.com.

The DICT has formalized their partnership with QBO through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on 9 October. QBO is the country’s first public-private partnership dedicated to developing the Philippine startup ecosystem by supporting innovation, technology development, and entrepreneurship. The STARTUP BASIQS workshops are aligned with QBO’s vision to inspire the spirit of entrepreneurship across the country and provide Filipinos with the basic knowledge on how to start a startup. DICT and QBO have been long-time partners in their efforts to establish a strong Philippine Startup Ecosystem

“It’s our vision to see more Filipino startups succeed. We think that through more dynamic collaborations with the government such as this program with DICT to promote the innovation mindset in the countryside, we can realize this vision in the near future” said QBO Director, Katrina Chan.

The DICT STARTUP BASIQS workshops is a component of the seedPH Program, which aims to strengthen the development of communities in the countryside crucial to spreading the startup advocacy in the country. In the form of open innovation systems, startup diversity and maturity, startup support is critical as digital transformation is one of the criteria in the Tholons Services Globalization Index to rank Super Cities.

The workshops also support the Philippine Roadmap for Digital Startup initiative of conducting grassroots activities that encourage holding quality value-generating events.

About DICT – The DICT is the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the Executive Branch of the government that plans develops and promotes the national ICT development agenda. About QBO Philippines QBO Innovation Hub is a platform for the startup community to collaborate, develop talent, and grow. It is the country’s first public-private initiative for startups, created through a partnership between IdeaSpace, J.P. Morgan, DOST, and DTI.
Spurred on by the vision of Filipinos startups changing the world, QBO’s mission is to create a globally competitive startup ecosystem in the Philippines. For more information on QBO, please visit www.qbo.com.ph or send an inquiry to hello@qbo.com.ph.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Third PH Telco Player Potential Bidders

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, October 12, 2018

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has disclosed the companies that are participating in the bidding for the 3rd Telco player that will provide Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services to the country.

Amidst recent controversies, the push for a 3rd Telco player has been gaining momentum due to the need for much-improved ICT services such as faster internet speeds.

According to the DICT, as of 11:00 A.M,. October 12, 2018, the following have already bought the bidding documents:

Potential bidders so far:

1. LCS Group of Companies with TierOne Communications
2. Udenna Corporation
3. Telenor Group
4. Now Telecom
5. PT&T Corporation
6. Undisclosed bidder
7. China Telecom

It is expected that there will be additional potential bidders until the deadline.

Pilot Run for the National Fiber Backbone by DICT

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, October 12, 2018
NGCP's Dark Fiber Network to be used for pilot run of the NationalFiber Backbone

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has scheduled the pilot run of the National Fiber Backbone during the 4th quarter of this year 2018.

This aims to accelerate connectivity among the different places in the country.

The project implementation, installation, and testing will activate portions of the 6,154-kilometer dark fiber network of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and will be a critical component of the DICT’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) that will interconnect the Information and Communications infrastructure of the country. The high-speed internet will connect the Government Network (GovNet) and Pipol Konek Free WiFi project that will provide free internet access to public places all over the country.

 “This signals the dawn of fulfilling our promise to the Filipinos in providing them with better connectivity,” said DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr.

The point-to-point routes will include seven localities namely, Benguet, Tarlac, Pampanga, Batangas, Mindoro, Albay, Camarines Sur, Cagayan, and Bohol. This will test the NGCP’s Optical Groundwire (OPGW) and the latest optical transport technologies currently available in the market.

Validation of the pilot project will then serve as the prototype for the National Fiber Backbone which was approved with a Tripartite Agreement between the DICT, NGCP and the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) which was signed last June 2018.

The TransCo-owned backbone grid is being prepared in anticipation for the completion of the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI) next year. The backbone will serve as the distribution network for the 2-million Mbps of data capacity coming from the state-owned international landing stations. 

A Php2.0 billion proposed budget for 2019 was submitted by the DICT to accelerate the NBP’s implementation, including the utilization of the backbone network.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Bacolod at No. 89 in Tholons Top 100

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, October 11, 2018

Bacolod City has regained its momentum in the Tholons Services Globalization Index (TSGI) this year. It is now placed at No. 89 of the Tholons Top 100.

Tholons International is the leader in ranking global outsourcing locations first included Bacolod City as No. 100 in 2010 ad with this Bacolod made its first mark in the rankings. From there the city placed 94th by 2013 and No. 85 in 2015. In 2016, Bacolod was ranked still ranked No. 85 but slid to 97th last year 2017.

The slide in ranking for 2017 was due to new criteria such as digital and innovation. This was according to Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, executive director of Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT).

Bacolod City had to improve on the low rankings it got from the new criteria set and now has improved its rankings. According to Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, “this feat is also because of the support of the community and key public and private organizations and institutions especially our growing startup and digital workers community.”

“This is a result of our strong government-academe and industry collaboration, constant engagement with schools and talent development stakeholders, and grit and determination to continuously challenge and redesign our own strategies to adapt to the requirements of global digital services,” the executive director of BNEFIT also added.

For a mid-size city, Bacolod was able to be included in the Tholons Top 100  Super Cities and it is the result of the synergies provided by the community, local government agencies, private businesses, and the academe.

Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, BNEFIT Executive Director

“I am so proud of the efforts of all the members of BNEFIT. It is our 10th year this year and we are truly grateful to our public and private sector partners including the city and provincial governments, schools and companies and most especially our tech-startup communities,” Batapa-Sigue stated.

This year, other Philippine cities were included in the Top 100. Manila ranked 2nd, Cebu at No. 11, Davao City is 75th, Sta. Rosa, Laguna is at 87th place and Iloilo ranked 92.

 With regards to the Top 50 Digital Nations, the Philippines is ranked No. 2 from its rank of No. 4 last year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Gobi Partners and Core Capital Launch a $10 Million Seed & Pre-Series A Fund for Philippine Startups

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Core Capital has partnered with Gobi Partners, a top Asian venture capital (VC) firm with over $1.1 Billion in Assets Under Management (AUM), to launch a $10 Million fund dedicated to supporting seed-stage and pre-Series A companies in the Philippines.

The Gobi-Core Philippine Fund (the PH Fund) will be co-managed by Core Capital, a new VC based in the Philippines founded by Carlo Delantar (Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018), Jason Gaisano, and its Managing Partner Ken Ngo. The Fund’s initial focus is on B2B e-commerce, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), health tech and logistics companies, and plans to expand into others sectors including travel, entertainment and retail tech in the future.

Gobi Partners, led by its Founding Partner Thomas G. Tsao, its managing partner Kay-Mok Ku, and supported by its teams across China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia will contribute its proven track record, tested processes and best practices to provide fund administration, advisory and investment support to this new partnership.

Speaking on the PH Fund, Thomas G. Tsao said, “We are very excited to make our first foray into the country together with Core Capital. We’ve been consistently amazed by the level of entrepreneurial talent in the Philippines. The same growth patterns that occurred in China and Indonesia are now happening in the Philippines.”

Core Capital Managing Partner Ken Ngo adds, “We believe in the Philippines, and at the same time, we also understand that there’s still so much that we can learn from other countries and VCs. With this partnership with Gobi, we are confident that we can strategically connect local and regional stakeholders. The creation of the Gobi-Core PH Fund puts us in a unique position to add value and support founders in the country’s growing startup ecosystem.”

Both Core and Gobi believe that there’s more to this partnership than just the establishment and management of the PH Fund. Now, Philippine-based startups will have access and can also leverage not just on Core’s vast Philippine network and business operating experience but also Gobi’s regional platform to help them scale across China and other Southeast Asian countries.

Founded in 2002, Gobi has invested in many key emerging sectors through its ten funds under management and 200 companies in its portfolio.

Despite its 16-year history, this will be Gobi’s first entry into the Philippines and the newly launched PH Fund shall act on Core and Gobi’s belief in the favorable timing, the potential of the country’s economy and the growing purchasing power of its young population.

About Core Capital

Founded in 2018, Core Capital is a venture capital firm in Manila, Philippines. Core Capital provides early-stage financing for technology companies with a focus on the Philippines. The firm invests through its first fund the Gobi-Core Philippines Fund, co-managed with Gobi Partners. 

About Gobi Partners

Gobi Partners is the first Chinese venture capital firm to expand into the ASEAN region. The firm’s regional platform supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages.  Founded in 2002, Gobi has raised ten funds to date, invested in over 200 startups, and has grown to eight offices across Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Jakarta.

For more information or press-related inquiries, please contact:
Ken Ngo
Managing Partner, Core Capital
29F BDO Tower, 8751 Paseo de Roxas St.
Makati City, Philippines 1226
+63 917 128 0180

Shafinaz Shaharudin
Public Relations Director, Gobi Partners
+60 16 6677 064

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Samar Creates ICT Council

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Provincial Government of Samar, through the Project Monitoring Office and the Provincial Investment and Trade Promotions Office, hosted a Capability Development Workshop for the newly-created Spark Samar Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council last September 3, 2018, in Catbalogan City.

This project was initiated by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in preparation for the implementation of the Rural Impact Sourcing and other ICT programs in the Province of Samar.

This activity aims to bring together and capacitate the province’s key ICT industry players in order to push achieve the government’s goal of making Samar the next ICT hub in the country. The body is composed of representatives from the national and local government, academe and business sector.

Dr. Mario Quijano, Provincial Administrator of Samar, addressing the workshop attendees, emphasized the goal of the province to embrace ICT as a tool to promote economic development, and generate jobs and investments for Samar. With the available talent supply of Samar, and the cooperation of all stakeholders, bolstered by the support of the provincial government, Quijano hopes to see the council help generate jobs within the province.

ICT countryside advocate Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, co-founder, past president and current vice president of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) served as main resource speaker and facilitator.

Batapa-Sigue highlighted the need for unity to create a digital Philippine countryside powered by Filipino talent with Future of Work skills to push the Philippines among the world’s most future-ready nations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Officers and members of the ICT council include the provincial governor and vice governor, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Infrastructure and Investment, provincial Sangguniang  Kabataan (SK) Federation President, provincial department heads, representatives from DICT, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), state universities and private colleges, Samar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, telecommunication companies, electric cooperatives in the area, law enforcement agencies, private sector business and local government units within the province.

Spark Samar started in 2015 as a tourism branding for the province but recently the desire to for innovation and job generation inspired the local stakeholders to bring the branding to the next level.

Batapa-Sigue stressed on the anchor initiative of NICP, now recognized nationally, the creation of ICT councils, an organizational model that brings together movers and key decision makers from the public or government sector (local or national line agencies), academe and human resource, and private or business and industry sector. The aim is to provide a platform to set directions to position their respective communities as strategic locations for ICT-enabled jobs and investments.

NICP was founded in 2008 to serve as a convergence of ICT councils all over the Philippines, representing the stakeholders in their respective geographical locations such as regions, provinces, cities, and municipalities. 

The Search for Startup Champions Search Is Now On!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) recognizes that startups will be an integral part of the future economy of the country. Especially technology startups that can bring forth new products and processes that can be used for national development.

The DICT with its twin initiatives of digitalpH and seedPH is now open for nominations for the Startup Champions that will serve to support, sustain and strengthen efforts in spreading its advocacy of startups in communities outside the National Capital Region.

This will be undertaken in partnership with IdeaSpace and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).

There will be 25 Startup Champions representing 27 regions of the country and DICT’s eight clusters.

“The Startup Champions will become DICT’s extension in providing assistance, guidance, and support to fledgling startup communities in the provinces. They would be the ones best positioned to reach the startups outside Manila in terms of proximity, and in terms of knowing how to work under the business and ICT conditions that these startups are facing. They will be an important link in fulfilling the Department’s mandate of bringing economic development opportunities to the countryside through ICT,” explains Undersecretary for Regional Operations and Countryside Development Monchito B. Ibrahim.

It should be noted that as of 2017, there are 400 active startups in the Philippines and fewer in comparison with the country’s Southeast Asian neighbors. More active support for startups is needed and that there is a  need to grow up the local startup ecosystem that will be good ground for more startups to be established. This will result in a more diverse number of startups, motivate innovation that will harness local talents, create jobs and further regional development using technology.

The chosen Startup Champions will advise the regions on startup-related activities, help raise the awareness of the seedPH initiatives in their areas and organize local startup communities through meetups and events.

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