StartUp Hub Manila
The Philippine startup ecosystem is still in its infancy, but innovation is picking up and it is expected to further accelerate with a number of public-private initiatives laid down. In its Philippine Roadmap for Digital Startups in 2015, the Philippines targets to have 500 startups with a total valuation of US$2 billion by 2020. Currently, there are over 150 start-ups in the country, which also shows that the ecosystem is evolving. Additionally, through its Startup Ecosystem Development Plan under Slingshot Philippines, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) aims to address key gaps in capacity building, funding and policy support for startups.
Big Corporates help building the basis
The Philippines’ youthful population, high urbanization rate and advanced digital development make it a popular choice for startups, SMEs and larger corporations. Furthermore, it is rich in resources and rife in local and international trades. The likes of IBM, HP, BlackBerry and Google have already set up shop in Manila, attracting investors and entrepreneurs to the city. In fact, only last year, Facebook’s internet.org chose the Philippines as a location for its pilot projects. This is fitting, as around 94 per cent of the Philippines’ internet users are on the social media site.
Every year, more and more SMEs are aggressively taking advantage of the growing economic status of the country. Filipino startups have been expanding regionally, participating in startup events like the Ricebowl Awards or the World Summit Awards. Some of the big startup groups include Awesome Lab/ Retail Sork, Kalibrr or Lenddo. Startups like xurpas or NetBooster have already managed to exit.
Startups also get support from business incubators like IdeaSpace, Kickstart and A Space. International accelerators like Impact Hub are also deciding to set up their flagship offices in the Philippines.