Startups have become instigators of change in reimagining the way business is done in the Philippines. In recognition of these local game-changers, Philippine Startup Week 2021 (PHSW21) will be held online from November 15 to 19, 2021.
Organized by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and QBO Innovation Hub, in collaboration with various community partners across the country, PHSW21 is themed “Beyond Recovery: Filipino Startups Redefining Opportunity,” focusing on startups as engines for recovery and growth.
“Witnessing how Philippine Startup Week has grown has been incredibly exciting. Every year, we see an increasingly diverse group of participating startups, partners, and startup enablers, which shows that the startup ecosystem keeps getting bigger and better. There is no better time to come together and do our part to revive the Philippine economy, through innovation and collaboration,” said Katrina Rausa Chan, Executive Director of QBO Innovation Hub.
This year’s esteemed lineup of speakers will include Vice President Leni Robredo; DICT Acting Secretary Jose Arturo de Castro, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Roland Ros and Rexy Dorado, co-founders & CEO and President, Kumu; Cathy Yap-Yang, FVP and Group Head of Corporate Communications, PLDT; Minette Navarrete, president and Co-Founder, Kickstart Ventures; Franco Varona, Founding Partner, Foxmont Capital; Xelia Tong, Managing Partner, ScaleUp Malaysia; Phi Vân Nguyễn, Chairwoman, Vietnam Angel Network; Maureen Alexandra Ramos-Padilla, Managing Director, National Book Store; Dado Banatao, Founding Chairperson, PhilDev; Stephan Kuester, Partner and Head of Ecosystem Consulting, Startup Genome; Francis Plaza, Co-Founder and CEO, Paymongo; and, Toby Claudio, President, Toby’s Sports.
Through the initiatives of the DICT, DTI, DOST and QBO, Philippine startups will not only bring technological breakthroughs, but will also have a big role to play in the country’s post-pandemic future.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez shares how startups continue to innovate and thrive despite the pandemic. He acknowledged how startups are integral in helping MSMEs better navigate the challenges of the pandemic.
“Amidst the pandemic, we have seen our people’s unwavering entrepreneurial spirit. Having been hit hard by lockdowns, our MSMEs have adapted to the digital economy and are increasingly adopting disruptive technologies, not only to keep their businesses afloat, but also to thrive in today’s marketplace. For these, our startups have been at the forefront in offering innovative solutions and digital services that our enterprises are taking advantage of to become more productive and competitive,” said Secretary Lopez.
Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña lauds the Philippine Startup Week for bringing industry leaders once again in one venue to open another pathway for collaboration.
“This annual gathering of our local startups and its fast-growing community in Philippine Startup Week 2021 is a testament to our unified commitment to innovation and collaboration. By bringing in leaders from various industries who have made significant changes in their respective fields, we get to learn from their best practices and get inspired on how we can further utilize science and technology for the betterment of our community,” said De La Peña.
DICT Undersecretary Jose Arturo de Castro rallies the whole Philippine startup ecosystem to work together in helping the country bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government cannot do this alone. We need the support of the private sector, the established businesses, and the whole community in addressing our pressing problems. This annual gathering is the best example of different communities coming together to formulate innovative solutions that will help guide the country’s path forward,” said de Castro.
The event features five tracks to give startup founders, investors, corporations, SMEs, and the academe various opportunities to engage members of the local startup community: Discover by promoting awareness on technopreneurship; Develop by providing resources and information; Collaborate through exploring synergies across sectors; Invest by creating venues to link up startups and potential investors; and Showcase the accomplishments of various startups.
The event is expected to draw over 5,000 participants from over 150 startups, investors, corporate partners, academia, media, and government are expected to join PHSW21. Over 70 community events are also organized by accelerators, tech companies, schools, investors, and other organizations from across the country, covering a diverse array of topics and sectors.
The PHSW has played host to notable events such as the Startup World Cup in 2019, Seedstars Manila Competition in 2020, and the Startup Pinay Tech Sheroes. This year’s conference provides opportunities for participants to showcase their work through pitch competitions, expo booths, and segments that recognize excellence in the industry such as the QBO Top 100 Startups and the Venture Pilipinas Startup Showcase.
Philippine Startup Week 2021 is co-presented by Accelevents, PLDT, Paymaya, and 917Ventures, along with AWS, Dream Bigger Ventures, Facebook, Jobstreet, Multisys, Openspace Ventures, PayMongo, The Final Pitch, and UBx, and with additional support from Red Havas and Unionbank.