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PH has potential to be next Asian startup hub

/ 04:12 PM July 07, 2015

business entrepreneurship startups philippines apecThe Philippines has the potential of becoming the next startup hub in the Asia-Pacific region, says local and foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

During the second day of Slingshot MNL 2015 on Tuesday, experts weighed in on how the country could become a breeding ground for successful small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

For Earl Martin Valencia, the founder and president of business incubator IdeaSpace Foundation, Filipinos must transform themselves to become “believers.”


“We have to be a nation of believers, believing that if someone is born, (he) can chart his own destiny. I think that is the start of mindset,” Valencia said.

He said he had witnessed different stories of Filipinos who viewed startups as windows to escape from poverty.

“The startup revolution … we hear about it and we are very interested because this could be our path to escape poverty,” he said.

Valencia said a tripartite cooperation between the government, private sector and the academe should be sought to allow startups to thrive in the country.

Kickstart Ventures’ president Minette Navarrete, meanwhile, said the Philippines should facilitate an environment where startups could prosper.

“We want an environment where innovation is possible. Innovation is only possible if there is experimentation and failure, when it is easy to setup and it is easy to fail without social and financial repercussions.”

“We want environment with access to capital of different sorts…we need an environment where diversity is present … [and] we need an environment where mobility is possible,” Navarrete said.

She also said visa restrictions for potential investors and business owners should be eased up.


Michael Alfred Ignacio from the Department of Trade and Industry said they, along with the Department of Science and Technology and the private sector, had crafted a national startup road map charting the necessary action steps that would be taken by the government to ensure the growth of SMEs in the country.

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TAGS: apec 2015, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, DOST, DTI, Earl Martin Valencia, IdeaSpace Foundation, Kickstart Ventures, Minette Navarrete, Slingshot MNL 2015, small and medium enterprises, smes, startups
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