In Photo: Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez (seventh from left) on October 20, called on start-ups and investors to take part in transforming Asean into a regional hub for innovation during his keynote speech during the Slingshot Asean Startup and Innovation Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center. Lopez said by linking and collaborating with other businesses and investors within the Asean region, local start-ups can scale up their operations and create more opportunities for jobs and employment. Lopez, with Asean NOC Director General for Operations Marciano Paynor Jr. (sixth from left), Trade Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado (fifth from left), Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada (left), Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion (fourth from left), and YEI Advisory and Operating CEO Victoria Elenowitz (second from right) also led the opening ceremony of the Slingshot Startup Alley, which featured over 50 technopreneur exhibitors across the Asean region.

THE local start-up community was given a rare opportunity to meet potential business partners as several investors from Asean countries and their partners attended Slingshot Asean Summit 2017.

The summit brought together entrepreneurs and innovators into one conference set on October 20 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.

Organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Slingshot Asean 2017 aimed to highlight the milestones of the start-up community in the Philippines and across Asean. With the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World,” the summit presented a platform for a new breed of businesses in various sectors, such as information technology, agriculture, health care and finance, and among others.

“We are encouraging the growth of start-ups in the country as part of the government’s efforts in boosting the economy and creating jobs for Filipinos in the country,” Trade Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group and Asean Committee on Business and Investment Promotion Chairman Nora K. Terrado said.

“Start-ups are able to utilize and promote new technologies that drive future economic growth, and contribute to a continue changing social environment and global economy,” Terrado said.

Slingshot Asean featured plenary talks, learning hubs and pitching competitions with government representatives and industry experts, including venture capitalists, angel investors, representative from the private sector and academe. Asean Startup Alley was also expected during the event where over 50 start-ups showcased their products and services. DTI said the event had over 1,000 local and international participants.

Panel discussions included topics on disruptive enterprises, regional network building, and funding opportunities for both Philippine as well as Asean start-ups.

Slingshot Asean is the third staging of DTI’s SlingShot Summit, with a larger audience representing 10 Asean member-states as part of the Philippines’s official hosting of the Asean Summit and related meetings this year.

In 2015 and 2016 Slingshot Philippines took initiatives to form series of dialogues between public and private sector with its output as the creation of Startup Ecosystem Development Program. These programs have been rolled out as building blocks for linkages between government and private-sector initiatives in enhancing the Philippine startup ecosystem.

Artie Lopez, cofounder and Startup Coach at Brainsparks, a start-up incubator and one of the private-sector partners of Slingshot Asean, said, “One of the problems for start-ups is getting potential investors to know about them. Slingshot helps with that by bringing in both foreign and local investors in one place at one time to learn more and get involved with the local start-up ecosystem.”