Collaboration is one of the key things that will help grow a startup ecosystem. Philippine-based incubator Kickstart Ventures is getting into high gear with collaborating with venture builders around the world in order to broaden the sights of startups in its portfolio. After partnering with Pollenizer and launching Pollenizer @ Kickstart in the recent weeks, Kickstart now announces a partnership with SingTel Group companies.
The collaboration will provide Philippine startups a better and faster way of accessing key markets in the Asia Pacific region, mostly in the mobile space. The SingTel Group will implement purpose-built programs that can help startups scale, with a path to SingTel’s market of about 468 million mobile customers across telcos in its portfolio throughout Asia Pacific and Africa.
Kickstart itself is no stranger to the SingTel Group, being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, which is a joint venture between the 180-year old Ayala Corp and SingTel. Other members of the Singtel family that are building ventures across the region include SingTel Innov8 in Singapore, AIS The Start-Up in Thailand, and the Optus-Innov8 Seed Program in Australia.
SingTel Innov8 CEO Edgar Hardless cited the gaps in the local ecosystem and said these can be addressed through support, mentorship and resources. “There are a lot of passionate people with great ideas who want to start businesses but struggle because they don’t have the necessary support in the ecosystem. This is where SingTel Innov8 and other SingTel Group members can collaborate to nurture and create our own ecosystem in this part of the world.”
Edgar further echoes Kickstart’s goals of aiming for a global audience. “We want the Kickstart portfolio companies to be successful in the Philippines, and help them expand into other parts of the region.”
Kickstart president Minette Navarrete highlights that the venture builder aims to build bridges across markets and encourage engagement between startups and the business community. Seven startups from the Kickstart Portfolio – Apptivate, AVA, Kalibrr, Lifebit, My Legal Whiz, Work Inspire and ZAP — were in attendance at Echelon 2013 to connect and mingle. My Legal Whiz was, itself, part of the top 10 pitching startups that vied for the Most Promising Startup award.
Minette stresses the value of bridging the divide between startups and established business entities. “What we do is empower the startup founders to give them a better chance for success. With the help of other companies within the SingTel Group, we are able to open the door for founders: the founders’ pitch, close the deal, execute, and hopefully win big. But getting the door to open is really hard if you’re unknown and don’t have an existing relationship, and getting business is tough if you can’t demonstrate prior experience.”