IDEASPACE. PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan answers questions of bloggers in a briefing on IdeaSpace. With him are (left) Earl Valencia, Smart Strategic Business Development head, and Marthyn Cuan, Meralco vice president and chief information officer.

MVP makes pitch for risk-taking, start-ups

PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan’s latest baby is IdeaSpace, part incubator, part angel fund, part accelerator but fully backed by his conglomerate.

During a meeting with bloggers from all over the country last week, Pangilinan said his group is setting aside P100 million a year for the next five years to fund startups that will be identified by a nationwide contest.

Pangilinan, known in business circles as MVP, said he is prepared for a large part of that P100 million annual fund to initially “go to waste.”

“Our statistics show that globally, only one innovative idea out of 3,000 sees the light of day. There will be a high failure rate, no doubt about that. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try,” he said.

IDEASPACE. PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan answers questions of bloggers in a briefing on IdeaSpace. With him are (left) Earl Valencia, Smart  Strategic Business Development head, and Marthyn Cuan, Meralco vice president and chief information officer.

IDEASPACE. PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan answers questions of bloggers in a briefing on IdeaSpace. With him are (left) Earl Valencia, Smart Strategic Business Development head, and Marthyn Cuan, Meralco vice president and chief information officer.

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Exciting times for local startups

THESE are exciting times for local startups, Plug and Play Tech Center co-founder and vice president for operations Jojo Flores said in a press conference last week.

Flores was in Cebu to announce this year’s ON3 Startup Pitching Competition. During the press conference in CeBuinIT or the Cebu Business Incubator for IT, Flores said at least four Philippine-based groups want to set up investment facilities to fund start-ups.

That is a sharp rise, indeed, from the number of local venture capitalists of previous years: zero.

In explaining his drive to cultivate startups and the culture that produces people who form startups, Flores cited a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management titled, “Entrepreneurial Impact: The Role of MIT.

Plug and Play Tech Center co-founder and vice president for operations Jojo Flores, SpellDial's Albert Padin and Mark Abella of TechTalks.ph during the press conference on ON3 Startup Pitching Competition. CLICK TO ENLARGE. (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

Plug and Play Tech Center co-founder and vice president for operations Jojo Flores, SpellDial's Albert Padin and Mark Abella of TechTalks.ph during the press conference on ON3 Startup Pitching Competition. CLICK TO ENLARGE. (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

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Start up, get ready to go

The excitement was palpable in last Thursday night’s meetup among Cebu startups at the office of the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (Cedf-it). So was the sense of optimism.

Members of the TechTalks.ph community, which is hosted in an account with meetup.com, gathered to meet other members with the arrival in Cebu of organizer Tina (she requested that we identify her only by her first name).

Last Thursday’s event was the eighth meetup of the group. Previous meetups covered such topics as Google applications, business of software startups and challenges of building one, and how to set up a company.

The group previously had as speaker Eric Su, the founder of photo-sharing service PicLyf. Su said during his guesting that unlike Silicon Valley or other areas where startups have succeeded, the Philippines is a “harsh environment” for startups.

Still, local startups are undeterred. Those present last Thursday–web developers, hardcore programmers, site managers, service founders–were excitedly talking about projects they were doing or planning during the meet and in the after-event meal and drinks.

Members of local startups meet in the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT) office at the Asiatown IT Park in Cebu City. (Photo by Honeylyn Balingcasag)
Members of local startups meet in the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT) office at the Asiatown IT Park in Cebu City. (Photo by Honeylyn Balingcasag)

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