Seven Thirty Lectures takes a short hiatus with a new series on entrepreneurship

Hiatus by Seven Thirty Lectures is a semi month-long series on entrepreneurship––a hiatus from our regular content releasings––which aims to discover different stories of those who have participated in this field. Hosted by Emilio Aquino, Renan Larcia, and Zachary Sy, Hiatus aims to capture insights on various phenomena in this career space, including that of student entrepreneurship, as well as the post-COVID economic impacts on the very field of entrepreneurship. The name “hiatus” alludes to the situation we are living in now––a hiatus from normal life––and how such presents both challenges and opportunities to businesses and entrepreneurs. The month-long series will be including several Hiatus Shorts that will be featuring different entrepreneurs. This will all culminate with a special two-day online event series on August 29 and 30, 2020, with different talks posted on our Facebook page on those days.

On the first day, August 29, 2020, we will be tackling the emerging phenomenon of student entrepreneurship.

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To give you a sense of context: with a lot of changes during the COVID-19 pandemic––from the academic freeze in the first few months of the lockdown, to the economic struggle of many families and businesses––we, a college-centric independent media group, noticed many of our own peers opening small businesses. Many of these small businesses share similar characteristics: they are run primarily by college students, they adapt to the new normal with their operations going online, they utilize their network on social media to market their products, and they become regular clients of online delivery (e.g. Grab, Lalamove) and payment (e.g. GCash) services. Beyond focusing on these primary aspects, the live event also hopes to cover several nuances among the stories of our guests. Speakers that have confirmed are the following:

  • First is John Young, the co-founder and chief operating officer at Avion School. Aside from being a fellow schoolmate in Xavier School, we chose Mr. Young for his outstanding accomplishments. Avion School is an educational platform for Filipinos to learn software development. The co-founder of Tinder, Mr. Justin Mateen, in fact, is leading the pre-seed funding of this project.
  • Second would be Audrey Pe, the founder and executive director of the WiTech (Women in Technology) organization. She is also an incoming freshman at Stanford University. We were inspired by her accomplishments and advocacy of pushing for the role of women in an emerging tech-centric economy; we would want fellow college students to listen to and be inspired by her story.
  • Third would be Migi Dabatos, the founder of his own small business, Vroomai Siomai, and a rising sophomore at the Ateneo de Manila University. Coming from Ormoc, Leyte, Mr. Dabatos’ story comes out fairly unique compared to his fellow schoolmates. Moreover, while his online food-selling business model is very much similar to fellow student entrepreneurs, his story of getting into the Ateneo––with the hard work he had to endure, and the work/entrepreneurial experience he already gained growing up––compelled us to have him inspire others on our show.

Other contributors to our Hiatus Shorts include:

On the second day, August 30, 2020, the topics will shift to a more macro view on the state of entrepreneurship in the post-COVID economy.


Many businesses have gotten affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown restrictions that came with it. And while it may have been difficult, many businesses have been forced to move their operations online, with limited face-to-face contact. Even with the easing of restrictions for businesses, the past few months have begged the following questions: a) how were businesses able to adjust to the situation, b) to what extent will these solutions be present in their respective businesses after the pandemic, and c) what did these few months prompt onto business owners on the role of technology in their respective ventures? To discuss the state of doing business in the post-COVID economy, we aim to address all those questions––along with many more concerns. So far, the speakers that have confirmed for this topic are the following:

  • Vice President Leni Robredo, our introductory speaker. She will be giving her insights on the state of the Philippines and its economy. She will be providing her take on how businesses can adapt to the new normal, as well as her take on the government’s role in aiding these enterprises. Moreover, she will be giving her advice to student entrepreneurs and others business students in relation to her vision for the country.
  • Sen. Bam Aquino, a senator whose primary advocacy was the push for entrepreneurship. His vision for how we would achieve inclusive growth as a country was truly inspiring for us, and it made him the perfect candidate for our series. With his legislative accomplishments and his work with Hapinoy and the National Youth Commission, we hope to have him discuss his story and his insights on the future of entrepreneurship in our country.
  • Mr. Steve Benitez, the CEO of Bo’s Coffee. It was his entrepreneurial mindset that allowed his interest in coffee to propel him into the coffee business. Now running a big company, he will be a speaker on our show, discussing his own story, and his plans for the next few years. His insights would be valuable too, since he himself runs a brick and mortar company, and will be going through a lot of changes in this new normal for business.
  • Ms. Niña Terol, the chief marketing officer of Talino Venture Labs. They are an enterprise venture builder whose goal is to create a more inclusive and sustainable world. With their projects like Saphron and SafePass, they aim to help businesses build tech products that are more inclusive, as well as scale their businesses to reach even more people.

Seven Thirty Lectures is very fortunate to have WhenInManila.com as Hiatus’ exclusive blog partner. Student organizations like Ateneo de Manila’s John Gokongwei School of Management Sanggunian, and Xavier School’s Model United Nations organization are also cooperating to spread the word about the series.


Seven Thirty Lectures is an independent media production for college students, by college students. Our content ranges from an audio/visual podcast on day-to-day stories, lessons, and encounters of “the college life”––the #730podcast, to a Humans of New York-esque project on Facebook and Instagram that features the stories of different college students––#730stories.


Run by three close friends who grew up together in high school, Emilio Aquino is an information technology entrepreneurship sophomore at the Ateneo de Manila University; Renan Larcia is an economics sophomore at St. John’s University in Queens, NY; Zachary Sy is a computer science sophomore at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.


From the very beginning, Seven Thirty Lectures has always been about empowering college students by informing them and by telling their story.