Ivan John Uy, secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), confidently opened the two-day Geeks On A Beach (GOAB) 2023 international conference on Thursday, November 23-24, stating that the Philippines’ vibrant startup ecosystem has been promisingly growing, with more than 1,100 startups, 60 incubators and accelerators, 50 venture capitalists, and more than 200 co-working spaces nationwide that enable collaboration.
“It is truly an honor to stand before you as we kick off the sixth edition of Geeks on a Beach. As we gather here, it is heartening to see that through our joint efforts, we have transformed the Philippines into a pivotal regional hub for startups and digital innovation. This is a statement of fact. Our vibrant startup ecosystem has been promisingly growing,” Secretary Yu said.
Yu said that the heart of Geeks on a Beach resides in the confluence of varied minds, and he is hopeful that this year’s event will have infinite potential and provide the ideal setting for breakthrough ideas to take flight.
After a five-year absence, Geeks On A Beach 2023 in Panglao attracts about 1000 guests, technopreneurs, investors, startup hustlers, venture capitalists, angel investors, and others.
Secretary Uy also stated that the DICT is committed to accelerating digital transformation and nurturing the growth of the country’s startup community via the implementation of initiatives consistent with the Innovative Startup Act of 2019.
“This law provides the blueprint for the advancement of the Philippine Startup Ecosystem and supports our startups by providing funding and mentorship mechanisms and streamlined processes,” Uy noted.
The conduct of the GOAB in time for this year’s Philippine Startup Week shows the limitless potential inherent in Filipino technopreneurs. “Investing in Filipino Homegrown Heroes as Global Game Changers,” encapsulates our unwavering dedication to providing the necessary support for our local Startups to thrive,” Secretary Uy concluded.
Founder’s panel discussion insights
Following the keynote by the DICT secretary was a panel discussion with some of the country’s startup leaders, including Roland Ros, CEO and Founder of Kumu, ER Rollan, CEO and Founder of GrowSari, and Steve Sy, Founder of Great Deals Ecommerce.
These three founders agreed that the most difficult difficulty in the startup market is understanding the whys and the attitude required to start a firm and create a startup.
According to Roland Ros, risking everything for the homeland is worthwhile to make a difference in the environment by effectively expanding into a unicorn and becoming a sustainable firm.
ER Rollan stated that understanding the whys and hows of starting a company, as well as being prepared to be the final beneficiary of your enterprise, is important. “That is the toughest part of a startup. The next unicorns of startups will come from the Philippines,” he added.
Steve Sy of Great Deals E-Commerce said that for every issue, there is an opportunity, which provides consumers with value. The problem is to adapt to the evolving e-commerce technology.
“As an entrepreneur, you don’t get much sleep but getting up and thinking in upscaling, growing your revenue with minimal expenses. The key to startups is an efficient scale/upscaling for all founders,” he said.
These three are all homegrown prominent startups in the country that have still faced many challenges in efficiently managing their startup companies, but with the Philippines emerging as an emerging and fastest-growing economy in Asia, they see 2024 as an opportunity for the PH startup ecosystem to grow.