“Advancing the Competitiveness of Philippines’ Start-ups”


Location: Philippines

Date: October 14, 2021

Participants: 250 – 300 (Zoom), 898 (Facebook Live views as of October 25)

Partner: Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, QBO

Overview: On October 14, 2021, there are around 250 – 300 owners and executives of the Philippines start-ups participated in the workshop titled, “Advancing the Competitiveness of Philippines’ Start-ups”. The workshop was a collaborative event between the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Philippines, and QBO which aimed to empower Filipino start-ups to be enhance their competitiveness in this digital age.

The workshop was hosted by Ms. Norika Pineda, Country Manager – Philippines, US-ABC, and moderated by Ms. Margarita “Margie” S. Lim, Country Representative – Philippines, US-ABC, and Ms. Katrina Chan, Director - QBO. Amb. Michael W. Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of US-ABC, began the workshop by delivered his welcoming remarks followed by Ms. Clare Amador, Head of Public Policy, Facebook Philippines. And the workshop was officially opened by Ms. Rafaelita Aldaba, Undersecretary from the Competitiveness and Innovation Group, DTI Philippines, who deliver her remarks and keynote address.

The workshop was divided into two-panel sessions and one breakout room session. The first-panel session focused on discussion around policy update on Join Administrative Order – Innovative Startup Act. There are four distinguished panelists in the session; Mr. Karl Pacolor, Chief of the Innovation and Collaboration Division (ICD) of the Competitiveness Bureau, DTI Philippines, Ms. Emmy Lou Delfin, Director IV, ICT Industry Development Bureau, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Philippines, Dr. Enrico Paringit, Executive Director for Philippine Council for Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Philippines, and Ms. Cherry Murillon, Founder/Lead Innovator, CawilAI.

In the second panel session, the discussion focused at topic on building a strong and innovative start-ups community in the Philippines. In this panel, Mr. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Former Senator of the Philippines, Mr. Ragde Falcis, Co-Founder and CEO/CTO, ChatGenie, and Ms. Anna Melissa Nava, Co-Founder and CEO, 1Export discussed on Philippines’ start-up environment and initiatives to strengthen the community. Lastly, the workshop provided breakout sessions which divided into two topics: 1) Challenges and opportunities to strengthen the Philippines start-ups; 2) Identify start-ups’ needs and “wish list” to thrive during and after COVID19. The breakout room session was facilitated by Mr. Rosstyn Fallorina, Head of Strategy, Investments, and Partnership, QBO, and Mr. Angga Antagia, Senior Country Representative – Indonesia, Innovation, Energy, US-ABC. To wrap up the breakout room session, Ms. Margarita “Margie” S. Lim, Country Representative – Philippines, US-ABC, moderated the final and consolidated discussion. Please find the attached discussion notes for your perusal. Finally, Ms. Guia Dionido from the Philippine Trade and Training Center gave a presentation around PTTC’s initiatives to support Filipino start-ups’ advancement. To close the workshop, Ms. Elizabeth Magsaysay- Crébassa, Chief Representative – ASEAN, Philippines, US-ABC, summarized the whole workshop session through her closing remarks.