“What is a Startup?” and Other Things You Need to Know to #ElevateYourCity

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This coming month of August, the DICT and Impact Hub Manila will be launching The Elevate National Startup Roadshow, a 5-stop event across The Philippines designed to build awareness and empower startups (and aspiring startups) to help bring their ideas to reality.

But let’s take a step back— what is a startup? Why would I want to build one? How do I become one? And what are the first steps that I should take to bring my startup idea to life?


What is a Startup?

Facebook, Google, Instagram, Apple, and Microsoft. What do these 5 well-known companies all have in common?

Besides being worth billions of dollars today and in the hands of billions of people around the world, they all share the same origin story— they all started as a Startup.

What is a startup? In technical terms:


“A startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.” – Steve Blank

In simple terms? A startup is a business you build off the ground with three simple objectives:

  • Reach a lot of people
  • Help a lot of people
  • And make a lot of money

Another thing in common with these 5 superstar companies? They’ve all shaped the way we live, work, and interact with people, each and every day of our lives.


What’s the difference between a Small Business and a Startup?

With small businesses, most entrepreneurs are usually driven by two key factors: Profitability, and Stability

Think of like a small coffee shop or a t-shirt store inside your nearest mall. They’re there to make money, and they fight to stay alive.

Whenever they want to grow their business, it’s always through hiring more people, and building more store branches. This costs a lot of money, and a lot of time. Most small businesses take years to expand to a dozen store, even decades sometime.

A startup, on the other hand, is driven by two key factors: Growth, and Revenue

Uber, a ride-sharing app, has been in operation for over 8 years now. Their impact? Around 40 million customers per month, while earning over $20 Billion in a year.

Within a decade, they’ve changed the way how people commute, and disrupted the taxi industry. All with the aid of an idea, a team, and technology.

Comparing startups to small businesses, startups are able to scale their operations without the need to hire more and more people each and every time. With Uber, all they needed was knowledge of their technology, and a scalable business model that helps both users of their app, and the drivers they give jobs to.


How Do You Start A Startup?

All startups start with two key things: An Idea, and a Team.

A startup idea, first of all, needs to actually work to help a lot of people. A common pitfall that startups face is *falling in love with their idea* without even testing it.

This could pull the startup into a slippery slope of running with their idea, building their product, hiring their team, and then eventually, falling flat on their face because their idea never took off.

Startup ideas need to be viable, and must address a real problem. Go out, ask people, test your solution, before you even start trying to execute.

Second, a startup must consist of a team.

What’s the point of having an awesome idea when you can’t have anyone execute it? It doesn’t matter if you have an idea that you think could change the world. If you don’t have the right people to push through with it, how do you turn it into reality? How could you build an app if you don’t have a programmer on your team? How could you design your website if you don’t have a designer on your team?

Ideas are cheap. Execution is key.

How Can The Elevate National Roadshow Help Me?

Still curious how you could refine your idea and take your startup off the ground? That’s where The Elevate National Roadshow comes in!

Here you’ll get to consult with startup mentors, meet LGUs where you could get ideas from, learn from Startup 101 workshops, and meet like-minded people!

Each city will also choose one participant to join the Impact Hub Innovation Summit in November, the biggest Impact Hub event featuring partners and possible investors to cap off all Impact Hub programs at the end of the year.

The roadshow consists of 5 stops across the Philippines:

Dumaguete – August 6 – 7

Clark – Aug 13 – 14

Baguio – Aug 16 – 17

CDO – Aug 23 – 24

Iloilo – Aug 27 – 28

How Do I Join?

For Operating Startups, you can join here:


And for aspiring startups and students, you can join here:



Q: Can I come even if I’m not from the 5 cities?

A: Yes! Definitely. Make sure to bring your friends too!

Q: Where can I find more info about the roadshow?

A: Go to bit.ly/elevateroadshow2018

Q: I’m still a student / my startup isn’t registered yet / I don’t have a team yet. Can I still come?

A: Yes, for sure! The roadshow is open to ALL aspiring startups!

Q: Until when can I apply?

A: Registrations will close on July 20! Make sure to send in your applications on or before July 20!

Still interested in Elevating Your City?

Don’t let your startup ideas go to waste. Be part of the Elevate National Roadshow and bring your ideas to reality!