Geeks on a Beach to foster entrepreneurship culture

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Monday, August 4, 2014


FOR its second year, the Geeks on a Beach (GOAB) international tech conference seeks to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit in the local IT and startup community, associates of the GOAB advisory council said in a meeting last month.

Composed of local business and tech luminaries chosen for their experience and expertise in their respective fields, the GOAB advisory council was formed by GOAB lead organizer TechTalks.ph to give advice on issues that have a significant impact on the event.

An estimated 300 participants will be joining GOAB, the biggest event in the country dedicated to startups or innovation-driven web-based companies.

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Geeks on a Beach promises to bring together some of the biggest names of the startup, tech, and design world from different countries in a yet to be disclosed five-star resort-hotel here in Cebu come August 22 to 23. It was first organized in Boracay Island September last year.

“There is a need to assess the potentials for tech entrepreneurs in the country to create more startup success stories. Training and development of startups should then be towards gearing them where there is a potential,” said Jay Aldeguer, CEO of the Island Groups and member of the GOAB advisory council.

Needed skills

He said that events like GOAB can help nurture a set of entrepreneurial skills that startup founders need to move their products forward. He stressed the need for budding startups to focus on the business model, how do they sustain it, how do they break the market, etc.

“Just because you can come up with a good tech idea or product doesn’t make you an instant entrepreneur. Many are very methodological about processing their ideas. But that’s it. The pitch is the end game when in fact it’s just the beginning,” said Aldeguer.

“There is a huge gap between the technical knowhow and talents possessed by tech startup founders and the business skills and other related requisites for them to actually succeed,” said Dave Overton, founder of Symph, a design and development studio in Cebu.

“This is where our initiative comes in. Startup events like GOAB will help them erase that gap by exposing them to best practices and helping them network with the people behind some of the biggest startup success stories from all over world,” added Overton.

Wilson Ng, Ng Khai Development Co. CEO and founder, said that efforts should be made to support local startups to make it big in the tech world. He said that creating local heroes can provide the impetus to jumpstart the local community.

Success stories

“Silicon Valley has many success stories of startups that really made it big like Steve Jobs of Apple to Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. If a Pinoy can be successful in the local tech scene, then his or her story can inspire more people to do the same,” said Ng.

According to TechTalks.ph founder Tina Amper, around 300 world-renowned startup founders, tech entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts from 17 countries attended last year’s GOAB and linked up many promising startups with investors and companies.

“Our goal is really to nurture the environment to have more successful startups. GOAB gained a lot of attention last year with majority of the startup community in the country present. We are confident to do more this year,” said Amper.

One of the success stories from last year’s GOAB is ZipMatch.com, a real estate property listing site co-founded by Chow Paredes and John Dang, which closed a deal with international investors IMJ Fenox and 500 Startups and other local funders.

GOAB is organized by TechTalks.ph, co-presented by the IdeaSpace, Smart, and Smart Bro, co-organized by the DOST-ICTO, powered by Sym.ph, branding by HappyGaraje, and PR and event management by PRWorks.

For more information on registration and accommodations, visit www.geeksonabeach.com, follow them on Twitter and Facebook @geeksonabeach.com, or email hello@geeksonabeach.com. (PR)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 05, 2014.

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