IdeaSpace gathers top 'technopreneurs'-A A +A
Thursday, January 3, 2013
IDEASPACE Foundation Inc. recently gathered a stellar roster of successful disruptors and game-changers aptly dubbed as the “Faces of Change” with an aim to inspire the future generation of technopreneurs.
"Today we see how simple ideas can potentially come true; and how they actually, eventually did," said Earl Valencia, president of IdeaSpace Foundation.
Chikka founders Dennis Mendiola and Chito Bustamante; Maria Ressa of Rappler.com; Ann Villar Jacobe of Shoephoric.com; RJ David of Sulit.com.ph; Kuyi Mobile founder and Streetfood Tycoon creator Erik Garayblas and Morphlab's Winston Damarillo were given tribute by IdeaSpace as the "Faces of Change."
The said event was held at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and was attended by an expanded community of startup founders, students, teachers, developers, digital citizens, industry experts and whom Valencia described as "anyone who wants to make things happen for themselves, for others, for the country and for the world." It was co-presented by the AIM, Stanford Club of the Philippines and Smart Communications Inc.
"We’re actually at a tipping point in our country today," Valencia said.
"There's a lot of good news: 7 percent growth; 50 percent of the population is below 23 years old and we’re one of the more stable economies in Asia. A former professor in Stanford told me that if you’re a tornado, chickens will fly; and right now, the Philippines is in a tornado right now. The question is how do we make sure that we sustain this tornado?"
IdeaSpace Foundation believes that one of the ways to do this is by, quite simply, enabling the Philippines to become next Silicon Valley.
This is of course, in reference to the trend at Silicon Valley, center of the Dotcom Bubble that emerged in the mid-1990s. Here, real-estate prices would reach unprecedented levels as engineers and venture capitalists worked to push technological innovation in software and Internet services.
IdeaSpace, as program designed to help budding technology entrepreneurs turn groundbreaking solutions into successful commercial products is a push in this direction.
"The challenge posed to us was how to create an incubation or a start-up fund in the Philippines and the journey to IdeaSpace started from that. Sillicon Valley is not a just a place, it’s a mindset. We hope to promote and foster that kind of mindset here." Valencia said.
Rappler's Maria Ressa added that the opportunities for young entrepreneurs here in the country are boundless; provided they make right use of it.
"This is a great time; not just for technoprenuers; but for the entire country. The CSIS or the Center for Strategic and International Studies says that the Philippines is part of the top 2 or 3 fastest growing economies in the world—and trends say that we can grow tremendously in the next 3 years," she said.
The Faces of Change remind budding technopreneurs that the road to success is not without its pivots and challenges.
Ressa had to contend with altering the entire business model of journalism in the Philippines.
"The first problem was that the business model of traditional journalism is dead. And the challenge was how to change journalism in terms of processes and philosophy," she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 04, 2013.