Set on accelerating the Philippine startup scene, technopreneur Winston Damarillo has spearheaded efforts to create a Philippine Angel Network Fund, a cooperative of investors geared toward helping startups in the Philippines and those run by Filipino-Americans.
This effort is being done through the Philippine Development Network (PhilDev), which recently held the Silicon Valley Comes to the Philippines conference, which included the hack2Hatch event in Cebu and the main Economic Forum in Manila. Among the aims of the Philippine Angel Network Fund is to provide seed funding to Philippine startups and startups in the U.S. led by Filipino-Americans.
As reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Winston said that the fund is mainly biased toward Filipinos. “The idea here is it’s biased towards Filipinos, because its contents should be biased towards Filipinos.”
Individual investors are asked to provide an initial level of funding of about US$100,000. However, since the investors get to choose the startups and projects they fund, founders will need to pitch effectively. “Investors in the fund will select which companies they would like to invest in. So you still have to sell yourselves to investors of the fund.”
Winston says the Philippines is lagging behind its Asian counterparts in terms of fund facilities for startups. “We need to do it fast because we are so far behind,” he says, pointing out that similar angel funds are helping entrepreneurs throughout the region.
We spoke to our contacts from PhilDev who are familiar with the planned angel fund, but we were told the organizers are not ready to disclose additional details yet, but will share more information once details on partnerships and timelines are firm. For now, Winston shares that he believes passion is key to success in entrepreneurship. “I’m looking for people who believe in what they are trying to do and who will commit to whatever it takes to be successful. And you can detect that very quickly so, that’s what I advise people. Find your passion.”