Startups are often associated with technology enterprises. Thanks to the likes of Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and the rest of the technology entrepreneurs at Silicon Valley, startup companies gained momentum in the past three decades or so.
Recent startups that made it big include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Mashable, Huffington Post and a couple of other Social Media websites.
How about in the Philippines? Do we have a startup culture?
Last night, I had a Twitter conversation with Peter Cauton, the blogger behind JuanGreatLeap.com. Here’s how the conversation went:
I also read Peter’s blogpost here: It left me with the question: How can we support homegrown startup companies?
In the first place, what is a startup?
Eric Ries, author of the Lean Startup, offers a Startup definition:
“A startup is a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.”
It means then that startup is pretty much the product of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs face uncertainties. Lots of uncertainties. Yet, that doesn’t deter them from pursuing their vision. They launch their startups anyway.
Are there startups in the Philippines?
Definitely! At the top of my head, I can cite two startups that are making it big: Sulit.com.ph, the local version of eBay and Chikka.com, a web-based text messaging system. And Peter has several startups under his belt. The movement is alive and well. I could even say that the TransformationalLeadershipBlog is also a startup (though a fledgling one at that!)
How do we then support Filipino startups?
Peter called for migrant workers to support startup companies in the Philippines. In the past few years, we’ve lamented the fact that our best and brightest folks are leaving the country in favor of greener shores. Rappler.com recently ran a feature on Dado Banatao, the most successful Filipino in Silicon Valley:
Banatao worked in Silicon Valley for 10 years before starting his own company. His technological innovations include developing the first single-chip 16-bit microprocessor-based calculator, the first 10-Mbit Ethernet Media Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer transceiver chip, and the first system logic chip set for the PC-XT and the PC-CAT, among others.
A lot of our migrant workers made it big! Read this great article from SGEntrepreneurs and you’ll realize that the Philippines does not lack talented people. We lack opportunities and systems to support the talents that we have!
What’s in it for you and for me? Filipino startups = jobs + revenues + taxes + social improvement
We all win. But first, we got lots of work to do!
Here are some ideas on how to support the Filipino Startup Movement. Whether you are in the Philippines, or you are abroad working your way up your corporate ladder, you can certainly help startups grow.
Read and subscribe to JuanGreatLeap.com!
Peter Cauton’s website is neat! And has lots of great content. He isn’t an armchair revolutionary either. He knows what he’s talking about, having founded his own startups and very much in the development of other products for the market.
Get conversations going.
Read the newspaper. Read blogs. Monitor Twitter and Facebook for amazing Filipino startups. Then leave your comments, even if they may feel insignificant. I believe that if we generate online buzz, and our startups deliver on their promise, we can build our own version of Silicon Valley here in the Philippines. Besides, aren’t we Asia’s rising star?
We need a local version of Kickstarter.com or FundersandFounders.com.
Both of these websites connect startup founders with the investors who could help them launch their startups and gain momentum.
Setup a system of support and mentoring.
There are already several groups supporting startups. Manny V. Pangilinan, perhaps one of the most risk-averse businessmen in the country is supporting startups, too. Ideaspace Foundation is the result of this. There’s also Project Pagsulong that aims to support young Filipino entrepreneurs in the social entrepreneurship sector. There’s also the StartupWeekend Manila and the next one will be on Sept 28-30, 2012 at Mint College.
What can I say? The Filipino startup movement is alive and growing!
What better way to develop your youth leadership skills than to launch your own startup!