Department of Trade & Industry Undersecretary, Filipino Startup Enterprises Executives Participated in the Panel Discussion at Innovfest Unbound 2019

Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap (third from left) together with the speakers (from left) Ron Hose, Joan Yao, Trade and Industry Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba, Katrina Chan, and Trade Counsellor Maria Cynthia Ricafort and QBO Program Lead Incubation Rosstyn Fallorina. (Singapore PE Photo)

Singapore — Trade and Industry Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba and executives of Filipino start-up enterprises spoke on the Philippine Startup Ecosystem during the Innovfest Unbound 2019, the annual event of Smart Nation Innovations. The conference was held at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore on June 27-28, 2019.

The Filipino startup executives comprised of  Kick Start Ventures Vice President Joan Yao, QBO Director Katrina Chan, and Coins.Ph Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ron Hose.

Undersecretary Aldaba stated that the Philippine startup ecosystem is relatively young but is full of potential and embedded capabilities. The startups, which are currently in the activation phase, comprise financial technology, enterprise solutions developers, artificial intelligence and machine learning companies.

The Trade and Industry Undersecretary cited low access to capital requirements, low early stage funding and regulatory requirements as some of the challenges encountered by startups in their thrust to globalize. Currently, the Philippines has at least 500 startups having a combined worth of US$378 million dollars.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have a joint program called Start-up Pilipinas (formerly Start-up Ecosystem Development). The program supports startups by providing opportunities to participate in outbound business missions and international pitching competitions. In addition, a facility called the QBO Innovation Hub Project—a public private partnership of DTI, DOST, IdeaSpace and J.P.Morgan—provides an incubation hub for startups to learn, develop, modify and scale up their business models.

In addition to participating at the panel discussion, Undersecretary Aldaba also spoke on how Philippines is preparing for Industry 4.0 at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) Yusof Ishak Institute last June 27, 2019.

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