Startups in the Philippines

Philippines’ largest startup conference returns in the middle of the pandemic

Philippines’ largest startup conference returns in the middle of the pandemic
Philippine Startup Week showcases Filipino entrepreneurial spirit during COVID-19

[Editor’s Note: Philippine Startup Week, happening online on November 23-27, aims to unite the startup community by celebrating victories and highlighting opportunities for collaboration between business owners. Below is their press release.]

Philippine Startup Week, one of the country’s largest startup conferences, is back for a second run in a joint collaboration of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), QBO Innovation Hub, and various private organizations and community partners.

Happening on November 23-27, 2020, the nationwide startup conference highlighting the Filipino’s entrepreneurial spirit will be held online. With the theme “Filipino Startups Powering Up the New Normal,” the Philippine Startup Week 2020 (PHSW20) will showcase thriving Filipino startups and shine a spotlight on the stakeholders contributing to increasing the resilience of the Philippine startup ecosystem during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PHSW20 will cover all things startup, including topics such as technology business incubators breaking out from the COVID-19 outbreak, startups bouncing back from the pandemic, and opportunities for collaboration amidst the adversity. Joining the conversation will be seasoned entrepreneurs, key players, and industry experts sharing the virtual stage to explore the latest innovation and technological advancements.

In celebrating the flourishing Philippine startup scene, PHSW20 is also set to feature startups through different programs, including the Emerge X Regional Pitching Competition led by Microsoft, the Top 100 Startups by QBO, and Seedstars Manila Competition.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez underscored the agency’s support for Philippine startups during and beyond the current health crisis, especially as it would also help the country’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) while also creating more jobs and employment for Filipinos.

“Globalizing the Philippine startup ecosystem remains our goal, and our desire to do so has intensified amidst the pandemic. In these trying times, DTI is committed to empowering innovative Filipino startups that foster the digitalization of our MSMEs, enhance their productivity, and promote their resilience,” according to Sec. Lopez.

Meanwhile, both chiefs of DOST and DICT lauded the holding of Philippine Startup Week as opportune, given the economic challenges faced by businesses during the pandemic.

“Philippine Startup Week continues to be an amazing opportunity for innovative startup founders to connect, collaborate, and gain exposure to investors, sponsors, and fellow founders,” said DOST Secretary Fortunato T. De La Pefia.

“As the government remains true to its commitment of elevating the country’s startup ecosystem, PHSW20 aims not only to celebrate entrepreneurship, particularly technopreneurship, but also to increase access to it by continuously fostering an engaged community and by providing opportunities to push the boundaries of technology and innovation,” Sec. De La Pefia added.

Meanwhile, DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II underscored the agency’s support to the startup community during and beyond the pandemic.

“As a community-focused conference, Philippine Startup Week showcases the bustling startup scene and brings together the Philippines’ dreamers, thinkers, change-makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. This year, experiencing the many challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the DICT is determined to boost resilience and build a stronger Philippine Startup Ecosystem through different ICT programs and initiatives,” says DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan Il.

The main events of each agency are set to happen on the mornings of November 23 to 25 with the titles “TBI Summit’ for DOST, “Innovation Nation” for DICT, and “Slingshot” for DTI.

QBO Innovation Hub, the country’s first public-private initiative for startups and one of the main organizers of PHSW, will once again spearhead events, learning sessions, and activities throughout PHSW20.

“The PHSW20 this year is dedicated to celebrating significant strides in building a more dynamic startup scene while showcasing achievements of the Philippine entrepreneurial community in powering up the new normal,” said QBO Innovation Hub President Rene Meily.

“This will further position the Philippines as an innovation powerhouse that will ultimately define the future of tech and innovation across Southeast Asia. Just holding this conference in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis is a victory,” she added.

For more information, visit the Philippine Startup Week website here: https://www.phstartupweek.com. Join the Philippines’ largest virtual startup conference by registering here: http://bit.ly/attendphsw20. – Rappler.com