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The State of PH Startup Sector

Usec. Monchito Ibrahim and Jojo Flores on the status of Phil. Startup Sector

The Philippine Startup Sector is beginning to gain momentum and this was evidenced by the Your Way 2 Silicon Valley Pitching Tournament held last August 29, 2017. The pitching tournament was organized by BeFast.TV, a media company that features the startup sector in Silicon Valley. 

Among the features of the tournament was the discussion presented by Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Usec. Monchito Ibrahim and Jojo Flores of Plug and Play. 

It has been acknowledged by Usec. Monchito Ibrahim that the Philippines has a lot of catching up to do relative to the startup sector of other countries, but the DICT and other government agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) are on the process of harmonizing their startup roadmaps. Looking back from 4 years ago, the DOST – ICTO organized the first roundtable discussions with the startup sector.

Aside from that, the DICT is harnessing the full potential of the country with the region-inclusive expansion of startups. Usec. Ibrahim cited that the last two winners of the Philippine Startup Challenge came from the regions and not the NCR.

Jojo Flores told of how in 2010, very little was happening in the Philippine Startup sector but things started heating up with the establishment of Kickstart and IdeaSpace, local startup incubators. This was a critical component for the sector since it provided institutional funding for startups.

The challenges remain for the Philippine Startup sector, among which are the dearth of mentors oin the regions with regards to startups. Jojo Flores said that more participation from investors are needed to maintain the momentum.

An “attitude change” was also cited by Jojo Flores wherein, those who are studying must consider being more entrepreneurial rather than just seeking employment. Recognizing the talent potential of Filipinos, it would make sense that these talents be harnessed to the fullest. Also, Jojo Flores adviced startups to have their own “attitude change”, they should focus on creating value rather than creating ‘Unicorns”. 

Jojo Flores dreams of a Filipino Startup that is recognized globally.     

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