Philippines positioned as prime market for startups

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The Philippine startup ecosystem is rapidly gaining traction, positioning itself as the fastest emerging startup hub in the world after Manila’s startup ecosystem recently doubled its valuation, according to experts at a recent forum led by startup incubator Brainsparks. 

 

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The forum, which gathered key stakeholders from the startup and venture capital communities as well as the government, underscored the vital elements driving this robust growth and the promising future of the country's startup landscape. 

"The growth we are seeing in the Philippine startup ecosystem is encouraging for both startups and venture capitalists. There are immense opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship here. Our startups are becoming more competitive in the region,” Brainsparks Co-Founder Artie Lopez said. 

In fact, according to startup ecosystem platform e27 Co-Founder Thaddeus Koh, the Philippines is becoming the prime market for startups, emphasizing its potential and funding opportunities. 

"The Philippines is a thriving hub for tech companies. Its strategic location in Southeast Asia, coupled with a highly skilled and affordable workforce, grants access to a massive regional market and acts as a gateway to neighboring economies,” he said. 

Koh explained that with a rapidly growing population and a government that actively promotes foreign investments through sound policies, the Philippines has a “vast potential consumer base for business.” 

“The Philippine startup ecosystem is now the fastest emerging startup hub in the world,” he said. “We need to showcase the Philippines in the region.”

According to the recently published 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report, Manila’s startup ecosystem was valued at $6.4 billion, almost double the $3.5 billion valuation the year prior. 

"This growth is a testament to the hard work and innovation of our startups through the support of the local startup community, and we are committed to supporting this journey,” Department of Trade and Industry Division Chief of Innovation and Collaboration Division Karl Pacolor said. 

He also highlighted the support from the government in nurturing the startup ecosystem, citing the Innovative Startup Act (ISA), which mandates the government to support startup companies and businesses in the Philippines. 

“With the recent growth that we’ve seen in the startup scene in Manila, the government is cognizant of the importance of its role in sustaining this growth. We are employing a whole-of-government approach to ensure we will continue to tread on an upward trajectory. Part of that goal is to ensure that the momentum of the Philippine startup ecosystem is not just sustained but also expanded to other parts of the country,” Pacolor said. 

The Philippines has been making significant strides in innovation, recording steady rises in the Global Innovation Index. In 2023, it ranked 56th, a jump from 100th in 2014. According to the Philippine Development Plan, the country should break into the top 50 by 2028. 

"We have plans to bring startup growth beyond Manila, creating a more inclusive and widespread startup culture throughout the Philippines," Pacolor said. 

Echelon to put spotlight in PH 

As the Philippines establishes itself as the fastest emerging startup hub in Southeast Asia, Brainsparks and e27 partnered to introduce the first ever Philippine edition of Echelon, a tech and startup business conference. 

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Scheduled for 26-27 September 2024 at Level 2, SMX Convention Center Manila, Echelon Philippines 2024 will unite the collective expertise of the Philippines and Southeast Asia's startup leaders, visionary entrepreneurs, and forward-thinking investors to drive the next phase of growth in the country's startup ecosystem. 

Echelon Philippines 2024 will feature showcases and business matchings that foster regional partnerships, facilitating funding and investments crucial for startup growth. The conference will share insights from thriving and emerging sectors, revealing new opportunities and inspiring participants to explore untapped markets. 

Echelon Philippines 2024 will also focus on nurturing new talent entering existing markets, ensuring a steady influx of fresh ideas and perspectives to fuel sustained growth. 

e27 started Echelon a decade ago to foster tech ecosystem resilience by promoting deeper collaboration, sharing new knowledge, and driving collective innovation. Echelon X, the 10th edition of the tech business conference, featured 65 exhibitors and was joined by over 7,000 attendees. 

“The Philippines is an ideal location for the tech community to flourish. We want to put the spotlight on the Philippines and create more opportunities for everyone through Echelon Philippines 2024,” Koh said. 

To learn more about Echelon Philippines, visit the event website