MANILA, Philippines — Startup founders were given the rare opportunity to meet angel investors and industry experts from across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and its partner states at the Philippine International Convention Center, Manila last Friday, October 20.
Slingshot ASEAN – envisioned to catapult an inclusive and innovation-driven regional economy – showcased the growing startup ecosystem through interactive sessions and the ASEAN Startup Alley – an exhibit that featured over 50 local and foreign startups.
The Department of Trade and Industry, as the lead agency for the ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotions, spearheaded the largest government-initiated startup event in the region for the ASEAN’s 50th anniversary.
Food and Agriculture champion of #HackSociety 2016, Uproot Aquaponics, was a finalist of the said disaster-resilience challenge. (READ: Hacking agriculture: Promote landless, water-based farming)
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With mostly young countries having heterogeneous cultures, thought leaders argued during the summit that it would be challenging in the region. (READ: What you should know about the PH startup ecosystem)
However, they remained optimistic of the vision as long as there will be collaboration and localization of opportunities across ASEAN countries.
DTI Chief Ramon Lopez emphasized the role of the youth in making this dream possible, recalling that tech giants Google and Facebook were made by enterprising youth. Lopez also lauded collaboration of initiatives between government institutions and private companies in providing avenues for startups to grow.
“We are confident that the Philippines will continue to unfold the potentials of the growing startup community and influence more businesses to scale up,” said Lopez.
Lopez said that the government is looking for ways to drive the formation of startups and technology-related businesses in the form of income tax incentives, to be funded by both the public and private sectors.
DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, also chairperson of the ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotions, said that Slingshot is built by strong partnerships.
“Now on its third staging, we wish to elevate dialogues and conversations between the public and private sector to further address the need of the (startup) community,” Terrado, said.
Slingshot is the official platform of the DTI in advancing the development and promotion of the startup ecosystem in the Philippines. – Keb Cuevas/Rappler.com