Philippine Startup Week 2023 brings global opportunities closer to Filipino entrepreneurs

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Philippine Startup Week 2023 brings global opportunities closer to Filipino entrepreneurs
The country's largest conference for startups recorded a resounding success with 3,000+ attendees and 170+ local startups showcased

Key government agencies, homegrown startup heroes, and industry enablers convened to celebrate and accelerate the Filipino startup ecosystem at the Philippine Startup Week 2023.

Held from November 20-24, 2023, the event was organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) with the support of QBO Innovation Hub, a public-private sector partnership and startup enabler, and other startup ecosystem stakeholders including Bossjob and Uniquecorn Strategies.

With the theme, “Investing in Filipino Homegrown Heroes as Global Game Changers,” the week-long event focused on putting a spotlight on 170+ Filipino startup heroes and bolstering Philippine startup investments in the face of global ‘funding winter.’ 

In its fifth year, the event attracted 3,000+ attendees, who engaged in a week-long series of activities to enrich the startup ecosystem and provide opportunities to forge important partnerships among startup founders, investors, corporates, academia, and government agencies.

PHSW23 presented an illustrious lineup of 170+ leaders from the startup community. Esteemed founders leading the charge included Bing Tan of Packworks, Dean Bernales of Uniquecorn Strategies, Dennis Ng of Mober, Kimberly Chen of Bossjob, and Nichel Gaba of PDAX. Notable investors and ecosystem enablers also graced the event, including Franco Varona of Foxmont Capital, Melvin Chan of PLDT Enterprise, Uriah Velunta of Multisys, Puiyan Leung of Vertex Ventures, Dylan Keota of A2D Ventures, Paulo Campos of Kaya Founders, Niña Terol of Imaginable Impact, Tina Nepomuceno-Di Cicco of Manila Angel Investors Network, Jojo Malolos of PayMongo, Rene Cuartero of AHG Lab, Mike Maté of Kickstart Ventures, Natasha Bautista of 917Ventures, and Carlo Delantar of Gobi-Core Philippines.

Throughout the conference, 60+ community events were held in 17+ cities across the Philippines, extending beyond Metro Manila to provinces including Albay, Baguio, Batangas, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Camarines Sur, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Dumaguete, Iligan, Misamis Oriental, and Pampanga. The events served as the mecca for opportunities to learn, interact, network, and collaborate through five tracks: Discover, Develop, Collaborate, Invest, and Showcase, each offering unique experiences for attendees.

PHSW23 partnered with 90+ organizations, including Gobi Partners, Amazon Web Services, 917Ventures, Manila Angel Investors Network, Google Cloud, Maya Philippines, Investree Philippines, FEU Tech Innovation Center, MindanowJuana, Greyhound Innovations, Bukidnon ICT & Innovation Council, Cebu City Cybersecurity Center, FHMoms, The Final Pitch, and Brainsparks.

PHSW23 went bigger than ever with new activities introduced to nurture the ever-growing Filipino startup community further. This year’s event featured the first-ever “Sinigang Valley Conference” organized by QBO, alongside AHG Lab, Foxmont Capital, Kaya Founders, and founding members of the country’s premier private-sector-led startup organization Sinigang Valley Association (SVA), featuring keynotes and panel discussions that imparted insights and expertise on navigating entrepreneurship. One of the highlights was the keynote speech by the Philippine Senator and Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship Chairperson Hon. Mark Villar, signaling the national government’s support for the startup community. 

In addition to the main conference activities, the most promising Filipino startups of the year were spotlighted during the “Top 100 Startups SHOWQASE by QBO” and the inaugural “KMC Startup Awards,” recognizing the awarded startups’ incredible contributions and impact on the growth of the Philippine startup ecosystem.

PHSW23 also championed female leadership in the startup sector, offering a dedicated platform for women at the forefront of innovation through panel discussions organized by Startup Pinay by QBO. Government-led summits further enriched the conference, including the “Slingshot Conference x Venture Pilipinas” by DTI in Metro Manila, the “Technology Business Incubator (TBI) Summit” by the DOST in Iloilo, and “Geeks On A Beach” by the DICT and Geeks PH in Bohol.

“We are beyond excited about the incredible innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that lit up this year’s Philippine Startup Week! In organizing its fifth edition, we didn’t just celebrate achievements but, more importantly, we dove headfirst into expanding horizons and carving out new paths for our nation’s most promising startups with the mix of events, programs, and collaborative efforts throughout the conference. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our partners and participants who made PHSW23 not just a successful event but a total game-changer for our local startup scene,” said Katrina Chan, Executive Director of QBO Innovation Hub.

After another successful year, PHSW has cemented itself as the biggest startup conference in the country, drawing thousands of registrants from different parts of the world and showcasing hundreds of Filipino startups since its inception in 2019.

“This year’s Philippine Startup Week showcased the most promising and high-potential startups in the country and underscored the growing maturity of our ecosystem for global success.  Startups are poised to become a key pillar of the Philippine economy,” shared Rene “Butch” Meily, President of IdeaSpace Foundation.

PHSW23 was supported by Bossjob, Multisys, PLDT Enterprise, ePLDT, 917Ventures, A2D Ventures, AWS, PwC Philippines, Shell LiveWIRE, Aspire, General Petroleum, and The Final Pitch, along with Uniquecorn Strategies as its official PR partner and BusinessWorld, Rappler, The Business Manual, The Manila Times, and WhenInManila.com, as media partners. – Rappler.com


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KMC Solutions

KMC Solutions is a leading provider of flexible office space solutions catering to a diverse range of businesses in the Philippines. The company boasts of having the largest collection of pro-working spaces in the Philippines, with 67 floors across 29 office locations in Metro Manila, Cebu, Clark, and Iloilo. With a deep commitment to nurturing startups and emerging businesses through the provision of innovative facilities and events, KMC Solutions has been instrumental in supporting the growth of the startup ecosystem in the country.