Pinoys urged to create the next 'Facebook, Google or Apple'

Monday, June 11, 2012

Google, Facebook and Apple are just some of the multi-billion dollar companies that the Philippines can produce if only there are right innovative strategies put in place.

In a recent forum on information and communications technology (ICT) in Makati City organized by the IT Journalist Association of the Philippines (ITJAP) together with Smart Communications Inc., different ideas and strategies were pitched in, urging the country to create the next billion dollar ICT companies.

With the theme “Startups and Technopreneurs”, the event was attended by both private companies and government agencies involved in the ICT sector. The participants stressed that ICT innovation is not just a business but more about nation-building.

Among the main highlights of the forum include the creation of an "IT ecosystem" that will make more Filipinos interested in technology and in the creation of infrastructures that will serve as the venue or facilities that can ensure that ideas are turned into commercially-viable products in the shortest amount of time.

Marthyn Cuan, Meralco’s chief information officer (CIO) and Ideaspace co-founder, said part of the IT ecosystem would be to improve the education system especially in the area of science and technology and by making it easier to do business in the country.

"Making the country’s business environment friendlier to startups would provide people, particularly students, alternative paths to success," Cuan said. "You don’t have to work in multi-national corporations to be successful and add value to the country. We want to give Filipinos an alternative, and this should not be exclusive to those that come from landing families and can afford expensive educations."

Minette Navarette, president of angel capital firm Kickstart Ventures, said the essential type of “infrastructure” needed would be a facility where venture capitalists, mentors and talented and skilled people can work together.
"Startups should be given a chance to talk to people that have been on that road before. People that have succeeded in this area - they can help expose a start-up founder of the way a big company thinks. And we should also get big companies to start vouching for entrepreneurs so that they can get bank loans," Navarette said.

She added start-up founders should stop being afraid of failing. "In Asia, failing is often seen as a shameful thing. But in the world of startups, if you haven’t failed yet, it means you haven’t done enough," Navarette said.
Yet for Earl Martin Valencia, head of strategic business development at Smart Communications, what needs to be realized is that rather than just fundingsupport,  helping startups is more of an advocacy.

"It’s not just money, but other forms of support that we need to make sure startups become successful," Valencia said, who is a co-founder of Ideaspace Foundation.

The Idea Space Foundation is a nonprofit start-up incubator company funded by the Manuel V. Pangilinan group of companies. These include industry giants such as Smart, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), Maynilad Water, and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

"We (Filipinos) should have created Facebook," Valencia said.
"Silicon Valley should and can be done anywhere in the world if we do create an environment to celebrate success," he added.

Link from philstar

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