The startup scene in the Philippines is booming. Just this year, nine local businesses were included in Forbes Asia’s 100 to Watch List, which highlights small companies and startups on the rise in the Asia-Pacific region.
Glenfiddich, the world’s most-awarded single-malt Scotch whisky since its inception in 1887, recently launched the second year of the Where Next Club, which looks for and rewards an innovative venture ready to scale up and create a lasting impact in the Philippines and eventually, the world.
It’s interesting that a brand of single-malt Scotch whisky is powering the next outstanding startup, but Glenfiddich’s core values are the same as any maverick business aspiring to succeed: the desire to live out one’s passions and create positive and lasting change.
Since it launched last year, the Where Next Club has become a stepping stone for entrepreneurs and businesses embodying the core values of Glenfiddich. Last year, the club focused on Filipino micro, small, and medium enterprises.
“This year, it’s all about tech-driven or tech-enabled startups that are ready to scale, go beyond their limits, and set the bar higher,” says Kate Osmillo, William Grant & Sons’ Philippine ambassador.
The prizes for the selected startup include a non-equity dilutive grant worth P1 million and organized mentorship from a well-seasoned and esteemed panel. This is exciting, as not every startup is given access to mentorship from business titans. What makes it even more special is that the panel is offering their time and advice at no cost.
This year, Glenfiddich is proud to partner with three industry trailblazers who will help pick the startup for this year’s Where Next Club and provide strategy and one-on-one mentorship.
Meet the three industry pillars asking “Where Next?”
Manny Ayala is the managing director of Endeavor Philippines, a global nonprofit organization committed to accelerating the growth of high-impact entrepreneurs. Under his leadership, Endeavor Philippines has provided support to 30 different companies, generating over $500 million in revenue in 2022 alone and over 29,000 jobs in just eight years.
For the Where Next Club, Ayala is looking for someone with a purpose-driven mindset. He asks, “Are they deeply committed to pursuing something much larger than themselves?”
Anne Gonzales is the co-founder and president of Terry S.A., a retail company that manages top brands like Havaianas, Dupe, Bensimon, Common Thread, and Aura Athletica. In 2016, she was the recipient of Go Negosyo’s 55 Inspiring Women in Business.
For Gonzales, the next outstanding startup should solve a real and relevant problem, or address a need. According to her, “Does their proposed business have a meaningful impact that is realistic? Do they have the grit, humility, sincerity, and tenacity to see their vision through?”
She added, “My hope is for them to add real value to the landscape, and do so with humility, an open mind, and a genuine willingness to do what it takes. A healthy balance of opportunism and altruism would be best.”
Martin Cu is a partner at 500 Global, an early-stage venture fund leading the growth of equity investments in Southeast Asia. He is credited for building and scaling Ninja Van to become one of the top startups in Southeast Asia. Under his helm, Ninja Van grew from zero to 10,000 employees, eventually dominating the country’s logistic space.
Cu said, “I hope to find someone who has a big problem that they are trying to solve. A startup that focuses on making the lives of Filipinos better.”
His advice for aspiring participants? “I hope they would lean into our uniqueness as Filipinos and not just copy and paste ideas from abroad. Beyond that, I hope that they have a more altruistic point of view and would create startups with a bigger purpose for the future.”
To find out more about Glenfiddich’s Where Next Club, you may reach out to email@example.com or check out their social media channels:
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Glenfiddich is available at all leading liquor stores both offline and online.
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