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Philippine Startup Week 2020 Set to be PH’s Largest Virtual Conference

The Philippine Startup Week will return to center stage for its second year this November 23 to 27, 2020 in a new, fully virtual format.

Philippines Startup Week

The Philippine Startup Week will return to center stage for its second year this November 23 to 27, 2020 in a new, fully virtual format.

Set to be the country’s largest virtual conference, the Philippine Startup Week 2020 will feature more than 80 speakers from leading local and international tech companies, institutions and VCs working in diverse industries including big data, AI, blockchain and cryptocurrency, and renewable energy.

Guest speakers include the Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo, Department of Information & Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, Facebook Philippines Country Director John Rubio, Partner at Y Combinator Kat Mañalac, Vanson So Head of People at Canva, Roland Ros of Kumu, CEO of PayMongo Francis Plaza and Bloom Solutions CSO Luis Buenaventura to name a few.

This year, the Philippine Startup Week takes a deeper look into the role of disruptive Filipino startups in powering up the new normal, working together with stakeholders in the government and the private sector to help build economic resilience for the country.

A main highlight of the virtual conference is the launch of Microsoft’s Emerge X regional pitching competition on Day 3 as part of the expansion of Microsoft for Startups’ Highway to 100 Unicorns initiative to help boost the startup ecosystem in the Asia Pacific. 

Microsoft will announce five to 10 of the country’s top startup entrants from each of the 16 participating countries which will be undergoing a comprehensive year-long mentorship program. From this pool of participants, the top startups will get to pitch their innovations to a panel of VCs and investors who would decide on the top three startups in the whole region.

On Day 4, BlockDevs Asia will be leading a panel discussion entitled “BUILDing DeFi Projects – Projects and Pitfalls” which explores the transformative power of decentralized finance and its underlying blockchain and distributed ledger technologies and how startups and prospective entrepreneurs can leverage on them. The BlockDevs team of Tracy Li, Chris Verceles, Rafael Padilla and Caspar Oostendorp will be joined by Gustav Arentoft of Maker Foundation and Colin Goltra, Binance’s Southeast Asia Director to discuss the current state of DeFi. 

Day 5 will see Bloom Solutions, who have a long history of harnessing crypto to provide access to financial services in the Philippines, host “How Startups Disrupt Traditional Business.” The session discusses the broader role of the startup scene in disrupting and evolving traditional business providing firsthand accounts and advice from founders who have been successful in disrupting their respective industries.

“We have seen great success stories coming from the Philippines’ vibrant startup ecosystem for both innovators and investors. Ultimately, we want to continue multiplying that success and events such as the Philippine Startup Week are a great way to help motivate more Filipinos to follow in their footsteps.” said James Lette, the executive director of Manila Angel Investment Network (MAIN), one of the conference’s community partners.

Day 5 of Philippine Startup Week will also witness the launch of the Philippines’ first Venture Capital Report presented by Foxmont Capital’s Managing Partner Franco Varona and Principal Santo Ongsiako. The Philippine Venture Capital Report details all venture deal activity in the country, providing greater insight into the local startup community as well as to “encourage participation” from local and foreign investors.

The Philippine Startup Week is a celebration of the country’s thriving startup scene and its potential for innovation while endeavoring to encourage more Filipinos to become startup entrepreneurs. The five-day, nationwide, virtual conference is the Philippines’ premiere, large-scale collaborative initiative between the Departments of Science and Technology (DOST), Trade and Industry (DTI), Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and other stakeholders in the public and private sectors. 

The large undertaking is made possible with the support of more than 50 partner companies and institutions including the QBO Innovation Hub, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Australia’s Investing in Women, the Youth Business International and Paymongo.

Individuals interested in participating may register or know more about the virtual conference at the Philippine Startup Week’s official website. As an additional incentive, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is offering $5,000 in AWS credits to all startups who will register for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning on AWS on Wednesday November 25.

This article is first published on BitPinas: Philippine Startup Week 2020 Set to be PH’s Largest Virtual Conference

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