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Startups and entrepreneurs gather at the first-ever VIA Startup Summit

MAKATI – Key stakeholders with an entrepreneurial spirit gathered together in the first-ever VIA Startup Summit held in Green Sun, Makati City. Organized by Impact Hub and KMC Solutions, attendees were treated to a full day of insightful sessions tackling the startup ecosystem and developing relationships with the brightest minds in the startup community.

“This summit brings together the best and brightest minds in the startup ecosystem. Throughout the summit, there will be many opportunities for developing relationships with key players who share the common vision of growth and economic sustainability,” said Gregory Kittelson, Chairman and Co-Founder of KMC.

The VIA Startup Summit also served to recognize the valuable contributions of startups to the local economy. “We firmly believe in the Filipino entrepreneurial spirit. All startups have a dream they want to pursue. That dream is their starting point. They face many sacrifices, risks, and challenges,” opined Ces Rondario of Impact of Hub Manila.


Dentsu Aegis Network Philippines’ Donald Lim opened the day with his talk, ‘The Startup Search for the Next Idea’ where he spoke about not focusing on building a ‘unicorn’ business – a tech startup company that reaches a $1B market value – but instead focus on creating new business. “Becoming a ‘unicorn’ is the prize, not the goal.”

The summit had four segments that revolve around the growth of startup companies in the Philippines: Partnerships, Collaboration, Industries, and Inclusion.

The segment ‘VIA Partnerships’ centered in the role of government, academe, and industry network in fostering growth for the Philippine startup and innovation ecosystem. During the ‘VIA Collaboration’, the summit brought startup entrepreneurship two steps forward by allowing startup companies do a 1-minute elevator pitch, including Doctor Now, Burket, Washub, and Empowered Clubhouse, among others.  

During the event, KMC and Impact Hub manila also recognized six startups that completed the ‘Space for Ingenious Program’. This a six-month program which helped entrepreneurs incubate startups through the help of mentors and access to spaces conducive to idea incubation as well as to a vast network of connections and potential investors.

The ‘VIA Industries’ segment tackled trailblazing innovation in crosscutting industries. It was graced by Global Electric Transportation’s Freddie Tinga, who shared how COMET e-jeepneys are taking urban mobility to the next level; Netcore Solutions Pvt.Ltd.’s Sreejith Narayanan, who talked about how innovative conversations lead to higher engagement; and Zennya’s Jonizel Lagunzad, who discussed innovating human service through automation.

Meanwhile, the ‘VIA Inclusion’ segment featured women who champion technology and social impact such as The Coding School’s Ronna Reyes Sieh, Taxumo’s Ginger Arboleda, Angkas’ Angeline Tham, and Globe Telecom’s Donna Paez.

Closing the summit was Google Philippines’ Country Head Ken Lingan who shared how they drive culture innovation in Google. “You can’t force innovation. It’s about creating an environment for the team that cultivates innovation.”

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