“There is energy in the Philippine startup ecosystem and it’s being powered by WebGeek.”
John Arce founded Web Geek in the Philippines to accelerate the potential of his domestic startups, and in much the same way as do at beSUCCESS, wants to power Philippine and Asian startups onto the global market. I caught up with him to gain an understanding of what is happening in his ecosystem and to share industry insights with our readers.
A range of startup services and events affiliated with WebGeek have been gaining momentum and are growing in strength and size. John Arce’s Startup Academy has attracted attention and the Manila edition of Startup Weekend is already gearing up for its fourth outing. A National pitching event, IdeaSpace, and Hack2Hatch have been attracting the crowds, with Hack2Hatch having awarded 100,000 pesos in seed money, to date.
John sees the growth in the tech startup arena as stemming from the realization that there are options other than the mundane existence on offer in big corporate: “A lot of developers as well as programmers have realized that they can flee away from the dull and boring daytime jobs”, he stated. He also stated the rise of individualism and personal ambition for career freedom as contributing factors in the increase in startup enterprises.
Incubators, Accelerators, VC and Mentorship in the Philipines
Kickstart Ventures sticks to its mission of helping startups gain traction through coaching and seed funding.
IdeaSpace is a non-profit incubator fund for Philipine-based science and tech startups. The program aims to support technopreneurs to form groundbreaking solutions in order to create successful commercial products.
LaunchGarage (backed by Kickstart Ventures and Proudcloud) is a 6-month accelerator program that guides Pinoy startups from ideation to launch. And the UDP Enterprise Program for Technopreneurship helps startups refine their business concept and technology through boot camps and innovation programs.
Dost-Peza Open TBI is an incubator that provides affordable lease rates and fees for local IT businesses. And the Ayala Technology Business Incubator aims to identify, develop and promote social entrepreneurs by providing them with innovative solutions to social problems.
Most startup events in the Philippines are organized / owned by foreign IT technopreneurs. Attending their startup events can help improve the Philipino’s skills and knowledge, as well as building support networks (FFF networks) which are vital for startup success. Attending international events is also a great avenue to promote both your company and the startup ecosystem in your country.
Startup Weekend is one of the pioneering events in the Philippines. They have already launched events in Manila, Cebu and Davao.
Roofcamp/Proudcloud “serves as a venue for turning ideas into reality”, according to John, of WebGeek.
ON3 Pitching Competition is held annually and was created by the famous; STAC Silicon Valley.
Tech Talks of Cebu, Davao and Bohol helps entrepreneurs improve their capabilities. Their hosted events are geared towards improving technology competencies.
Kickstart Mixer’s unique event settings provide participants with a platform for sharing their views, success stories and struggles, in order to mold a better startup.
IdeaSpace Bootcamp is a tech focused educational / immersion program, with sessions from expert technopreneurs. And for one-on-one mentorship Hack2Hatch events provide valuable insight. Young startups are particularly drawn to the Hack2Hatch’s “cool tech sessions”.
Hot Philippine Startups
Insync is the perfect tool to synchronize your files in Google Drive and Dropbox. It has been the talk of most tech blogs “because of its awesomeness”, according to John.
Infinite.ly presents the opportunity to build your own website without a high level of technical ability. It is a simple web builder that focuses on content. Even non-tech-savvy individuals can handle Infinite.ly’s very simple web builder.
LooLoo App guides you to discover the best dining, entertainment and travel destinations in the Philippines. So, if you are a bit adventurous and want to discover new destinations, looloo is your choice.
Kalibrr helps users learn skills online, and guides you to find your perfect job in the BPO field. Take their test, and see where you belong.
Payroll Hero is an HR and payroll management app which is available for both web and mobile.
WebGeek’s CEO, John, believes that “this year, we are looking forward for greater opportunities in making us, Pinoy tech enthusiasts and technopreneurs being recognized globally. The Philippines is a promising venue for the tech industry and we expect more success stories. To reach that goal, we are leveraging support from large companies, investors, universities, and even the government.”
He went on to describe his vision for WebGeek in the Philipines, and beyond: “Though most of us are independent, we still need support from larger groups. In order to seize that flag of success we need to cooperate and network outside our traditional circles. Working with a group of highly devoted tech individuals is much better than going solo. I expect a collaborative energy to sweep the Philipine startup ecosystem, going forward.”
“To achieve our goals, we also need to establish more, regular annual events, like Startup Meetups, Conferences and hackathons, as well as events focused on the creative industries. My vision is to create a vibrant community in Philippines around Entrepreneurship, so people are not afraid to take chances, tinker with their lives and create things of exceptional value.”
To learn more about the scene in the Philipines please feel free to contact John and the team here.