‘Local startups should strive for relevance, integration’
Local startups should strive for relevance and not just mere expansion in order to fully realize their worth and potential in an emerging ecosystem.
This was what Mobkard cofounder Carlo Calimon said on Saturday as he shared his success story after his startup, a mobile application assisting consumers who are looking for good deals, secured $350,000 worth of investments from local digital signage advertising firm Globaltronics.
“Value and relevance goes hand in hand,” Calimon said in an interview with Vigattin Radio Program over Radyo Inquirer 990AM.
“Ang tendency kasi natin palagi tayong looking outward for investors. Honestly speaking I think the Philippines is just growing in terms of credibility (as a startup ecosystem). Hesitant pa ang regional investors because it is just developing,” he added.
Calimon said receiving investments from a local company was not a case of sheer luck, but a product of hardwork and determination.
“Akala mo swerte pero talagang pinaghihirapan po ‘yan. Mapalad po tayo na nag-invest ang isang local company sa local na startup, so that’s why meron po tayong partnership with Globaltronics. Pero hindi lang naman straight investments po ‘yun, it’s strategic kasi maraming synergies sa dalawang kumpanya,” he said.
Asked what convinced them to invest in a local startup, Globaltronics chief operating officer Nato Agbayani echoed Calimon and said that even established companies like theirs should also strive for relevance and integration.
“How can you address the now? How do we integrate? There are tools na pwedeng gawin. We always want to be relevant—ano ba yung impact mo sa tao, ano ba ‘yung value mo,” Agbayani said.
“Value is really engagement. So kami, even with our clients, the agencies that we engage with, bigyan natin ang tao ng something valuable. At the end of the day, it’s real value that we create,” he added.
Meanwhile, IdeaSpace president and cofounder Earl Valencia said partnerships between startups and companies were important because they went beyond channeling of funds through mentorship and sharing of experience.
“A local medium-sized enterprise trying to invest in a local company is extremely encouraging. I look forward to see more of this. Sa Philippines dumadami nang dumadami,” Valencia said.
“It gets harder and harder but there will be more opportunities for people to solve more problems. It’s up to successful entrepreneurs to support these younger ones,” he added.
Mobkard won second place in the pitching competition of the 3rd Geeks On A Beach in Boracay, a technology and business conference. Yuji Vincent Gonzales/RC
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