2012 is shaping up to be what looks like a frenetic year for the Philippine tech startup scene. Last October’s Startup Weekend Manila seemed to serve as a coming out party for the country’s nascent startup community. In addition, since the event was actively promoted in traditional media, the idea of a startup as a viable path was introduced to a mainstream audience not yet reached by grass roots tech communities like Roofcamp and Webgeek.
It’s early in the year but there’s already a frenzy of activities lined up:
Mohan Belani, and the rest of the E27 crew are organizing Founders Drinks in Manila on March 21 with the help of the Roofcamp and Webgeek communities. Amazon Web Services will be the sponsors for this event and will continue the success of Founders Drinks recently held in Singapore, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur.
Startup Weekend Manila and Cebu
Startup Weekend Manila will continue where it left off last October with another edition scheduled for the weekend of April 27-29 at MINT College in Fort Bonifacio. This will be followed soon after by Startup Weekend Cebu on May 11-13 at the campus of the University of the Philippines Cebu. There’s scuttlebutt about other weekends happening in other cities through out the country too.
ON3 Pitching Competition (Nationals)
The Sunnyvale accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center has been holding pitching competitions in the Philippines since 2010. Culminating a series of satellite pitching competitions held this year throughout the country will be the national championships to be held in July. You can still catch the last leg of the satellite for NCR/Luzon on April 19-21 at MINT College in Fort Bonifacio.
Various other meetups and hackathons are being planned for 2012 as well including more Roofcamps, Ruby Rumble, Cloud Computing Meetup, and Philippine Tech Startups Meetup.
There are many accelerator, incubator, and angel fund programs launching this year too.
One of the first to launch this year is Wireless Wings, an angel fund of P111M (approximately US$2.6M) that will seek out promising startup ideas in philippine colleges and universities.
Prominent filipino tycoon Manny Pangilinan is also launching a yet to be named accelerator+angel fund of P1B (approximately US$23.4M), augmented by strategic resources from his various business interests that include telecommunications, power distribution, civil infrastructure, and other utilities.
Another accelerator called Launchgarage is an early stage funding program being started with the support of the innovation initiatives by Globe Telecom, a filipino telecommunications company. Globe was a premiere supporter of Startup Weekend Manila and has recognized the key role of tech startups in the success of innovation in the country.
UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship
Some universities in the philippines have had a pretty good record of producing promising startups from their incubation programs. One of these is the UP Enterprise run by Louie Sison on the main campus of the University of the Philippines. Supported by the Department of Science and Technology, the program just started their most recent batch last January.
With the proliferation of grass roots communities and the emergence of early stage funding resources, the Philippines seems to be on the right path to having an exciting and promising tech startup scene.