With over 60 world-class speakers from 14 countries and 2,000+ expected audience members, this will be the largest IGNITE to date. The two-day conference is filled with keynotes and panel discussions by industry defining experts and exhibitions by top startups from the region. Day 2 is filled with collaborative opportunities thru WILDFIRE, a groundbreaking and redefined regional pitch competition, and MATCH, the largest Innovation-centric business matching activity in the country today that brings together startups, investors and corporations. Don’t miss this chance to attend the Philippine’s premier innovation conference this coming June 24 to 25, 2019.
Ignite Day 1 — June 24, 2019
Startup & Innovation Track
Investment & Acceleration Track
Corporate Innovation Track
Meet the Speakers
A family oriented and passionate man, Drew is driven meaningful activities, putting people first in all aspects of life. As a husband, father, friend, and colleague, he believes that we can all find fulfillment by sharing and supporting each other in relentless pursuit of our respective and collective dreams. ...oh right... from Los Angeles, of Romanian decent. 15 years in digital media, leadership roles, and startups. 7 years in Asia, married in Bali, Singapore born baby. An investor and entrepreneur, risk taker, awful guitar player, decent fly fisherman, avid traveler, and dedicated husband and father.
Jeremy Rolleston is a two-time Olympian, has represented Australia in two sports, and is a two-time World Champion (Masters). He is also CEO and founder of Active8me - an integrated digital fitness & health platform that provides a convenient, all-in-one, mobile solution for the aspirational consumer, and a preventative health solution for tackling chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity. Prior to founding Active8me, Jeremy had a successful career in financial services including Managing Director at Artesian Venture Partners, General Manager at Perpetual Investment and Executive Director at Goldman Sachs. He is also author of A Life That Counts.
Naga is the Co-Founder of Bukas.ph | Dana Cita. Before founding Dana Cita, Naga worked as a fixed income trader at Morgan Stanley in London and in the Hedge Fund Strategies Group at Goldman Sachs. Naga holds an MBA from The Wharton School, an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and a first-class honors degree from the London School of Economics.
James Tan is Managing Partner at Quest Ventures, a leading venture fund for technology companies that have scalability and replicability in large internet communities. Prior to this, James was co-founder and COO of 55tuan, a NASDAQ listed e-commerce group that grew to more than 200 cities and 5,000 employees across China. As the first Singaporean and one of the rarefied few foreigners to found a public listed internet company in China, and for his investments in the next generation of entrepreneurs, James was recognised as an outstanding overseas Chinese by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council of China. For his extraordinary global contributions, James received the Alumni Award from the University of South Australia. James currently serves as advisor, board member or trustee on the Action Community for Entrepreneurship, Applied Innovation Institute, Business Angel Network of Southeast Asia, Beijing CYL Joint Committee on Entrepreneurship Development, Enactus Singapore, National Research Foundation CGAP Fund, Sports Excellence Business, and Vietnam Angel Network.
Alexander Hamilton is a developer, designer, and serial entrepreneur. Since 2015, he has grown Vobling to become Scandinavia's leading agency in the fields of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). At Vobling, he has brought in and managed over 40 projects for clients including Electrolux, SAAB, Tobii and Samsung Electronics.
Originally a business management graduate, in college Alexander taught himself game engine programming in order to found his first company, Mimerse. At Mimerse, Alexander develops and designs award-winning therapeutic VR apps used in groundbreaking clinical trials. His work has been featured by NPR, Techcrunch, Fox News, and CNN.
Alexander has a passion for sustainable innovation and loves to solve real problems with technology. He is currently based in Manila, where he leads the growth of Vobling in Asia.
Hanno is a Director at BCG Digital Ventures, the venture incubation arm of the Boston Consulting Group. At BCGDV he is dedicated to inventing, building, investing in and launching category-changing businesses at start-up speed for the worldâ€™s most influential companies. Previously, Hanno was CEO of the Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG) - the Asia-Pacific Investment JV of Rocket Internet & Ooredoo Group and home to some of Asiaâ€™s most successful internet companies. In this role, he managed around 17 startups in 15 different markets across South East Asia. Prior to his appointment as CEO of APACIG, Hanno spent several years as CFO and Managing Director of SevenVentures GmbH - a leading German venture fund and as Vice President M&A responsible for the digital acquisition projects of ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG. Hanno started his career as a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, where he worked on various strategy and M&A assignments around the globe. He holds an MBA with distinction from INSEAD in Fontainebleau (France) & Singapore as well as a B.A. in Management from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland).
Founded one of the leading IT conglomerates in the Philippines (IPVG Group) with broad range of investments from data centers, online games, internet service chain, payments and remittance, and retail.
Robert W. van Zwieten
Robert van Zwieten is the CEO of The Serendra Group, a CEO advisory firm helping start-up clients across Asia create strategic clarity, scale quickly and build sustainable and profitable businesses. He previously served as President and CEO of EMPEA in Washington DC, as well as Director-Private Sector Capital Markets at ADB in Manila. Prior to this, he served in senior executive roles with Singapore Exchange, Lehman Brothers, General Electric and ABN AMRO Bank. He has his MBA from Chicago Booth, and law degrees from Columbia Law School and Leiden University in the Netherlands. He is based in Manila and Washington DC.
Amarit is the CEO and Co-founder of HUBBA, Thailandâ€™s first and largest co-working space and community. Born as Thailandâ€™s first co-working space, HUBBA grew to become an entrepreneur growth platform serving end to end from early stage startups to large conglomerates and MNCs. Armed with HUBBA CONNECT and Techsauce, our business is run on a digital platform supported by media and one of Southeast Asia best organized tech conference, Techsauce Global Summit. He is also a Fellow of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF), and has been named as one of Forbes Asia 30 Under 30: Enterprise Technology, and Thailand Startup Enabler of The Year 2016. He has been an active Startup Weekend Global Faciltator for the past 7 years, organizing and facilitating over 20+ Techstars related event such as the 1st community-led Startup Weekend in Thailand, Startup Next, Thailand Startup Week, and hosting the Techstars APAC Community Leaders Summit. He have been involved at an early stage with more than 20 ventures during the past 7 years as an angel or advisory capacity. He has also coached and consulted ecosystem hubs and leaders in over 30 cities on how to build tech communities.
15 yearsâ€™ experience in Venture Capital, Private Equity, Investment bank and money lending. Qualified as a Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA), Real Estate Transaction Specialist, and Registered Money Lender.
Ryu serves as Principal at Spiral Ventures, a Japanese venture capital firm with its HQ in Singapore and focusing on investments in SEA region, India and Japan. Ryu is in charge of deal sourcing and growth of portfolio companies across Southeast Asia countries.
Neel Chowdhury is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford University, where he studied English Literature and Philosophy. He has worked as a Writer for FORTUNE Magazine and a Page-One Editor of The Wall Street Journal Asia. He is currently CEO of Sycamore Media Holdings, the parent company of Inc. Southeast Asia, a regional media company, and Seekscribe, an online video production platform. He is based in Singapore.
Nguyen Phi Van
Nguyen Phi Van holds an MBA from Australia majoring in marketing communication. Her experience spans over 20 years as a senior executive in retail & franchising, SME development, & startup ecosystem development across global emerging markets in Asia, The Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Phi Van is currently Senior Advisor to Project 844 - Building the startup & innovation ecosystem in Vietnam under the Ministry of Science & Technology, chairwoman of Vietnam Angel Network, and chairwoman of Saigon Innovation Hub. Phi Van is 2015 award winner of Retail Leadership presented by Asia Retail Congress, and 2017 award winner of 100 Top Great Retail Minds presented by World Retail Congress. She is the author of five books, “Franchising – The Short Route to Global Markets” published in 2015, “Cross The Rice Field, Reach The World”, “Global Citizen Handbook - Version 4.0” published in 2016, “Go Global: An MSME’s guide to global franchising”, and “I, Myself, & The World” published in 2018.
Adrian Avendano Monterrubio
Adrian Avendano is the founder of GlobalSouthTech (GST), a global community in more than 45 different countries and with 25+ chapter leaders worldwide linking emerging technology communities primarily in emerging markets with the purpose to generate successful cross-border expansions, soft landings, partnerships, and investments. Adrian has more than 10 years of experience in the technology and startup ecosystems of Latin America, Europe, and a computing engineering background with more than 14 years of experience in programming.
Mathew has over 25 years of management and financial services experience in Asia. His experience covers a diverse range of businesses across Asia, including strategy consulting, investment and wholesale banking, asset management, and private equity. Mathew has worked at a variety of financial institutions including Standard Chartered, Temasek Holdings, ING and Daiwa Capital Markets. At Temasek, Mathew was MD in the Financial Institutions industry group where he also worked closely with Fullerton Financial Holdings, and served on the Boards of various Temasek investee companies. At Standard Chartered, Mathew was Global Head of Banks and Head of Financial Institutions Coverage in Asia. Mathew was also one of the founding members of the Financial Institutions Practice for McKinsey & Co. in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Yuki serves as Dentsu Ventures’ Venture Partner. He has over 10 years’ experience as an account executive; providing marketing solutions, business development support to Japanese and global multi-national corporations at Dentsu Inc. Currently, at Dentsu Ventures, the CVC arm of Dentsu Group, Yuki is in charge of global startup investment for Dentsu Group, mainly covering Tech & VR companies in New York, SF and LA, as well as Consumer Services & Mobility companies in Japan and India. Yuki executes cross-border investment to open-innovation business development.
Samuel is the Market Lead of Google Philippines, a team he joined two years ago with a special mission to help digitize Filipino businesses. Prior to this role, Samuel was part of Google France, where he was working with leading advertisers and agencies. He has a deep knowledge of marketing and leadership and a keen understanding of how digital is providing opportunities for companies of all sizes and shapes. Outside of work, Samuel is an eager diver, surfer and hiker, his favorite locations are Siargao, Baguio and diving in the ship wrecks of Coron.
At Grab Philippines, Brian oversees operations for the entire country. He ensures quality service is provided to both drivers and passengers alike. He is responsible for the day to day operations of the Philippines for Grab. He is also the co-founder of Zalora Philippines and previously served as the Managing Director of Zalora PH, handling operations. He spearheaded the introduction of cash on delivery services for the Philippines eComemerce market. Prior to entering the startup space, he was a project leader with the Boston Consulting Group and tackled projects in strategy, sales and distribution, and marketing for various industries. He graduated with a major in Finance and a minor in technopreneurship from the National University of Singapore with 1st class honors.
Tristan de Belloy
After being the CMO of Lazada for several years, Tristan launched a Performance Marketing Structure. Quanta Digital helps brands to unlock their digital sales. Bringing data into digital to support clients into E-Commerce and Fin-tech.
Graduated in ISEG Lisbon School of Economics and Management with a B.S. in Economics, his last position before coming to Manila was General Manager for UBM Novomania in Shanghai, China. During the first decade of this millennium he was in Tokyo, Japan, where he had various positions: Overseas Manager for E-Four Corporation, Marketing Manager for Pirelli and Commercial Diplomatic Affairs/Trade Manager for the Embassy of Portugal. As an entrepreneur, he has started various successful businesses and is presently the Co-Founder of Penbrothers International and a Managing Partner of Upteam Corporation (a 500 startups portfolio company).
Karl is the CEO and Co-Founder of Hepmil Media Group. Hepmil Media Group runs the popular digital content platforms such as SGAG (Singapore), MGAG (Malaysia) & PGAG (Philippines). Their original content is seen by over 10 million millennials across the region weekly. His work at Hepmil Media Group has led him to establish strong partnerships with the largest brand partners in the region to co-produce some of the most viral and award winning content.
Kartini Andri Wardhani
Before joining Venturra, Andri practiced as a corporate lawyer for almost two years at a Magic Circle law firm, Allen & Overy. She focused on M&A and project financing.
She also spent time working for human rights causes at Amnesty International.
She received her bachelor's degree in Corporate Law from the University of Indonesia.
Mr. Sean Byrne is the President and CEO of Cortex Technologies Corporation, a subsidiary of Concepcion Industrial Corporation focused on research and development in emerging technology. Prior to this he held various positions across the CIC group of companies - Chief Information Officer (2015-2016), IT Director (2014-2015), Director of Consumer Service and Support (2009-2013), and the Contact Center Manager (2008-2009). Mr. Byrne was also the National Contact Center Manager for Carrier Australia (2007-2008), and the Customer Service Manager for Dodo Australia (2006-2007). Prior to this Mr. Byrne owned and managed his own IT consultancy in Sydney and Melbourne from 1999 to 2006.
RJ was previously a consultant at Balmater Consulting Company, where he led a small team to advise family-owned SME's in Indonesia. Prior to that, he was a financial analyst at Fortman Cline Capital Markets in Manila focusing on local sell-side deals in the region. RJ holds a bachelor's degree in finance from California State University of Fullerton (CSUF).
Ong Le Yu
Leyu heads the Technology and New Markets team within Equity Capital Markets, and is active in reaching out to the start-up ecosystem to help innovative growth companies in their fundraising plans. This is her second time back with SGX, having previously covered the Southeast Asian markets, including Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar to work with regional businesses interested to list in Singapore, before she left in 2015 to join Capbridge, a fintech startup that leverages on technology to match professional institutional investors to growth companies seeking funding, and regulated by MAS. She then joined PricewaterhouseCoopers' Singapore Venture Hub, a one-of-its-kind initiative to create a one-stop shop for investors and startup founders. She rejoined SGX in late 2018.
Khor Qianyi is a Senior Analyst & Head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Quest Ventures, a leading venture fund for technology companies that have scalability and replicability in large internet communities.
As head of the multi-dimensional environment, social & governance (ESG) initiative at Quest Ventures, Qianyi supports a range of social good initiatives across Asia for female empowerment and youth entrepreneurship. She was most recently responsible for the successful launch of the National Youth Entrepreneurship Awards - Singapore's highest accolade for young entrepreneurs.
Qianyi concurrently serves as CEO and Country Lead in a voluntary capacity at Enactus Singapore, the global organisation that is the world's largest experiential learning platform dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators.
Qianyi has been guest speaker at events such as Entrepreneurship Launchpad, IGNITE PH, Techfest Vietnam, and is a frequent host for international delegations to Singapore. She is a mentor at Asian Development Bank initiatives such as MIST and WISE in Vietnam, Phildev in The Philippines, and Social Innovation Festival in Singapore.
Qianyi has a B.Sc. (Hons) with Major in Quantitative Finance. She was a recipient of the NUS Undergraduate Scholarship from the National University of Singapore, the Hwa Chong Diploma (Distinction), and the Hwa Chong Outstanding Student Award. She is an active volunteer for the underprivileged and has completed projects with youths-at-risk, persons with special needs, and elderly, disabled women and children empowerment. For leisure, she plays the piano, and enjoys scuba-diving, ultimate frisbee, and wushu.
Jojo is Co-Founder at Plug and Play Tech Center, a Silicon Valley based technology startup accelerator, which he started in January 2006. At any given time, there are at least 400 startups at Plug and Play from all around the world that access a network of over 200 angel investors, 180 venture capital firms, and 300 large corporations. Since inception, Plug and Play startups have been able to raise in excess of $6 billion in funding. Plug and Play Ventures have close to 1000 companies in its portfolio, including PayPal, Dropbox, Lending Club, N26, Soundhound, Guardian Health, among others.
In the Philippines, Jojo is Co-Founder of Launchgarage, which started operations in March 2016. Patterned after Plug and Play, Launchgarage is an accelerator and investor in tech startups in the Philippines and the ASEAN region. Jojo currently advises over startups in the country, including Appsolutely, Taxumo, Acudeen, Magpie, Social Light, Mober, Veer, MiCab, Galileo, among others.
In addition, Jojo serves as a Board Member and Vice-President in the Science and Technology Advisory Council to the Philippine government and leading universities, helping them bridge technology entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley.
Jojo completed his BS Business Administration studies in 1989 at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.
Bhavna Suresh officially took on the role of Chief Executive Officer of Lamudi Philippines in 2016. She is currently helming the countryâ€™s top real estate platform with a 100-strong team to change the real estate landscape.
Todd Schweitzer is co-founder and CEO at Brankas, an open banking API and payments platform based in Southeast Asia. Todd has held senior roles in private equity and management consulting, spanning technology, public sector, and financial services. He holds a dual Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Irvine and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University.
After joining Cap Gemini and Coca Cola, Kohki Sakata joined Revamp Corporation where he managed projects as a turnaround manager in various sectors including F&B, healthcare, retail, IT, manufacturing, logistics. He currently heads IGPI Singapore as the CEO, helping clients achieve their growth ambitions. He graduated from Waseda University Department of Political Science and Economics and earned an MBA from IE Business School
Tina Marie Stockdale
Our speaker considers herself to be a “start up” professional. She is passionate about finding innovate ways to solve problems and grow businesses. She believes in the impact empowering people can have on driving culture change and business transformation. To her, innovation goes beyond technology. It also involves an outlook that links people and processes to ensuring service excellence. Our speaker has previously served as the President and CEO of multinational organizations that have blazed trails in data analytics, and using “software as a service” in the finance field. She is currently the Chief Transformation Officer of Security Bank- the Philippines’ 2018 Bank of the Year, and one of the country’s leading proponents of using excellent banking services to propel genuine financial inclusion. She is set to talk to us today about how switching gears towards “reimagination”- to avoid “stagnation”- can make a world of difference.
Gilberto Gaeta is the Regional Director for Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Emerging Markets for Google Customer Solutions. He is responsible for Googleâ€™s advertising business with advertisers and agencies, and for extending Googleâ€™s solutions to new advertisers through partnerships. During his tenure at Google, he was previously in roles heading YouTube content monetization and APAC Strategy and Sales Operations. Prior to joining Google, Gilberto was VP APAC at FSG, an Advisory and Information Services company focusing on emerging markets globally. Previously, he worked at Bain & Company, across Asia and Europe, advising clients in the Technology and Consumer industries. Gilberto has an MBA with Honors from INSEAD and a Master degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Aalborg (Denmark) and University of Rome â€“ Tor Vergata (Italy). He has been based in Singapore since 2006.
Yutaka has been an active angel investor for more than ten years. He recently joined a US based Venture Capital Firm called 415 as a Venture Partner to leverage his network and experience as an angel investor. 415 is a VC firm that leverages its extensive operating expertise and global network to invest in and actively help the best start-up entrepreneurs build valuable, impactful, responsible companies.
Yutaka is also an entrepreneur and has been running his boutique research and consulting firm in Tokyo for ten years. He also serves as a board member and advisor to several companies including Edulab, a Japanese Edu-tech company, MerryBiz, a Japanese BPO startup and Digital Entertainment Asset, a Blockchain game startup in Singapore.
Yutaka holds BA from Waseda University and EMBA from INSEAD.
Vincent G. Tobias
Vince heads innovation at Ayala, a 185-year old Philippine conglomerate with interests in property development, financial services, telecommunications, power and water utilities, public transport infrastructure, electronics and auto manufacturing, and recently education and healthcare. The varied perspectives and capabilities of the verticals make for rich ingredients with which to cook up unique new offerings.
Vince serves as a Board Director of the Global Innovation Management Institute, the world-wide standard professional certification body for innovation management. The Institute's mission is to develop innovation management as a management discipline, while democratizing innovation capability.
Vince started his consulting career with Arthur Andersen's Strategy Consulting practice in the Asia-Pacific region, and later, its global Revenue Enhancement Competency Center in Chicago. He later joined the Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), a top-tier strategy and innovation consulting firm founded by Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter.
Vince has helped scale start-ups internationally, serving as Managing Director (Malaysia) of K2, a digital agency now part of media giant the Publicis Groupe; and Regional Manager (Asia) of Intermedia Games U.K. (now Tombola), then the world's biggest creator of cross-channel interactive games.
What do I love, what am I good at, what the world needs, what do I get paid for?
Simple: I love eCommerce and Digital Business
My thinking: "Do it the entrepreneurial way". No matter the size of the company thinking as an entrepreneur will give you the advantage to win and grow faster than the average competitor.
Execution is 95% of the success
My focus is eCommerce growth. Full stack.
- Building the whole company structure, from first hirings to >400 people
- Sales, buying, sourcing.
- Online Marketing
- Technology and data
I always mix Market and non-market strategies to get sustained growth. (Think Uber how is using non-market strategies to win the world! )
Region focus in SEA: Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and overall Asia.
Raising capital: No company grows without petrol in the tank.
Venture capital and private equity for online business and eCommerce.
Start-ups, from ideation, bootstrap, rapid growth, fundraising, valuation and exit planning.
Created Agile organisations and OKRs driven organisation to enable rapid growth.
Call it GROWTH not marketing: Disruptive marketing and guerrilla marketing. Online marketing and online strategy. Marketing strategy and online marketing growth. Go-to-Market strategies and execution.
Sales, Business development and partnerships, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Internet Business & e-Commerce, Start-ups, Channel management, marketing, business development, strategic planning, and business operations with strong expertise in technologies. I have started and grew several internet startups and managed fundraising, due diligence for venture investments. I am focused, execution and result oriented person.
Passionate about growing businesses regardless of the size.
Lately with Digital Transformation
Alex obtained his MBA from IE Business School ( Dean's class )
Hobbies: Alternative investments, motorbikes and cooking for friends.
Johanna L. Wiese
Johanna is a member of Mistletoe, a social impact collective founded by Japanese serial entrepreneur Taizo Son, in November 2018, and looks at emerging market opportunities in Southeast Asia with a strong focus on agritech. Prior to joining Mistletoe, Johanna spent three years with the Manila and Tokyo offices of global nonprofit Endeavor. She was part of the founding team of Endeavor Philippines, and helped select, mentor, and accelerate some of the Philippines most promising entrepreneurs. Johanna's work also includes consultancies for Singapore based healthcare startup mClinica, the UK and Swiss government, the International Labour Organization, and Chevron, and she is an active member of the Innovation Advisory Council of the World Food Programme (WFP) where she promotes a stronger relationship between UN agencies and the private sector.
Vaibhav Agarwal is an engineer turned entrepreneur and the CEO and cofounder of Inc42 Media — India's leading media and information platform, known for its end-to-end coverage of the Indian startup ecosystem.
Under his leadership, in a span of five years, Inc42 has achieved the top slot in the online startup and business media space in India with a monthly reach of 15 Mn+. Inc42 is known for its mission to empower, connect & grow the Indian Startup Ecosystem by providing a deep understanding of the startup economy through data-backed news and analysis.
Vaibhav had started his career as a journalist with Iamwire, and later he moved to NextBigWhat. In January 2014, Vaibhav started Inc42 along with Pooja Sareen & Utkarsh Agarwal at the age of 23.
Inc42 is one of the few Indian startups which has been backed by over 50+ renowned entrepreneurs and investors including the likes of Mr. Mohandas Pai, former CFO and Board Member at Infosys, Anupam Mittal of Shaadi.com, Freecharge Founders, InMobi Founders and many other India's leading tech entrepreneurs & HNI's as its investors and supporters.
At Inc42, Vaibhav currently heads Sales, Fundraising and Strategy as CEO at Inc42 and is involved in team building, drawing up the strategy and setting targets for the various company's divisions as well as looking after the launch of new initiatives and strategic tie-ups.
In past, Vaibhav has been a speaker at prestigious conferences like — Nasscom Product Conclave, Surge (by Web Summit), IIT Bombay E-Summit, TieCon Mumbai, TieCon Delhi among others.
Joshua is currently serving as the Vice President of Investments in MDI Ventures, leading all MDI Ventures' investment, divestment, portfolio management and post-deal integration activities. Joshua is highly experienced in corporate innovation with a demonstrated history of leading multi-stage tech investments, starting from seed stage up to pre-IPO and M&A activities of Telkom Group. Besides investing activities, Joshua is also highly involved in industry and market research where he co-led MDI Ventures' 2 whitepaper publications.
Joshua holds a bachelor degree (Cum Laude) of Economics from University of Indonesia, and currently is one of the youngest senior leaders in Telkom Group.
Kylie has been a communications specialist for seven years, both in the public and private sector. In her previous role as a consultant, she has observed some of Asia's leading families, who are also heads of large companies, put their money in environmentally or socially impactful projects and investments. Since co-founding WVN Home Textiles, she has been working with women in weaving communities in the Philippines, and has seen firsthand the profound effect of investing in those that need it the most.
Nathan is co-founder and MD of ZEN Rooms, now one of the leading hospitality companies in South East Asia, dedicated to changing the state of budget hospitality in the region. ZEN grew to become in 4 years the largest and best rated budget hotel franchise in the Philippines. ZEN is proud to be backed by several leading investors including Rocket Internet. He was previously Economic Advisor to the French Foreign Ministry and an Investment Banker at Deutsche Bank in London. Economist by training, he graduated from Cambridge University.
Supachai Kid Parchariyanon
Dr. Kid is a serial entrepreneur who, at the age of 19, developed and sold the first mobile stock trading application for the Stock Exchange of Thailand (now #1 stock trading app in the country) in 2005.
He's now Co-Founder and CEO at RISE - Corporate Innovation Accelerator where he consults large conglomerates MNCs to innovate faster throughly RISE's Corporate Innovation Platform which includes RISE Accelerator, RISE Academy, RISE Ventures and RISE Experience.
RISE is now one of the largest accelerators in SEA with 1,000+ startups graduated from the program and combined valuation of over $900 million. In the past 2 years, over 1,800 Corporate Innovators from C-suites of Fortune 500 to middle management and talents have joined our signature Intrapreneur Program and successful launched multiple spinned-off companies.
Kid holds MS in Biomedical Informatics from Oregon Health and Science University and MD from Mahidol University. He is also the former President of Digital Advertising Association Thailand, Stanford's GSB Alumni and fellow and member of a number of professional associations in the US and Asia.
Steve D. Benitez
Steve D. Benitez is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bo's Coffee. Mr. Benitez founded Bo's Coffee on June 1996. He has held the titles President since 2000 and the Board of Directors elected him to the post of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in November 2008. Mr. Benitez earned AB Management Economics from Ateneo de Manila University. He completed an EO Entrepreneurial Masters Program (EMP) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology He took up Executive Education programs in London Business School and Wharton School of Business. Mr. Benitez has cross-functional specialization (Economics, Marketing, Business Development, Law and Executive Development) with strong emphasis on Entrepreneurship. He has over twenty years of professional and entrepreneurial track record of ensuring the growth of Bo's Coffee. He has been the ship captain expanding Bo's Coffee to 100 stores by end 2016 and making Bo's, the Philippines' biggest homegrown coffee chain.
Mohan Belani is the Co-founder and CEO of e27, a startup and tech ecosystem platform focused on help startup founders build and grow their companies. He believes that startups can make the world a better place, and in order for Southeast Asia's tech ecosystem to be relevant, it needs to be driven by sustainable and impactful companies solving problems at scale. He enjoys working with Founders and helping them alleviate the challenges of building great companies specifically around the areas of talent, funding and market access.
John Aguilar is the serial entrepreneur producer and host of "The Final Pitch (TheFinalPitch.ph)", a business reality TV show on CNN Philippines inspired by the Emmy award-winning shows â€œShark Tankâ€ and â€œThe Apprentice.â€ He is the President and founder of StreetPark Productions Inc., a television content production company. He is the CEO of Dragon's Nest, a Philippines-based venture builder.
John holds an undergraduate degree in BS Psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University, a Master in Entrepreneurship from the Ateneo de Manila Graduate School of Business, and is an alum of Singularity University in Silicon Valley.
Minette B. Navarrete
Minette is Vice-Chairman and President of Kickstart Ventures, Inc., the corporate venture capital subsidiary of Globe Telecom. She is a member of the Ayala Corporationâ€™s Innovation Advisory Council, and of Globeâ€™s Innovation Advisory Board. She is a Senior Vice President at Globe Telecom, focusing on New Business, and a member of the Board of Directors of AdSpark, Globeâ€™s wholly owned digital advertising subsidiary. Minette has held a number of CEO/COO positions in various industries, ranging from scrappy Philippine startups to iconic global companies.
James currently serves as the Impact Investing Director of Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government. Working with impact investors in Southeast Asia, he develops blended finance instruments to move capital with a gender lens to the region in support of women-owned and women-led SMEs.
Prior to joining Investing in Women, James held economic roles with USAID, as a Foreign Service Officer (Private Enterprise), where he received a number of awards and distinctions through tours in the Philippines and West Africa. Spanning the public and private sectors, he has over 18 years of international experience in economics, trade, and investments. James honed his analytical skills as a quantitative analyst on Wall Street (at Credit Suisse and Moodyâ€™s Investors Service). But his passion for humanitarian causes has taken him from the Peace Corps (as a mathematics teacher), into the field of microfinance, and many stops in between (non-profit work, impact investing, and development consultancy).
A Lao-American, James holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He is fluent in English and French and conversant in Thai and Lao.
Carmina is the CEO and Co-Founder of InvestEd- the Philippines' leading provider of education loans to student dreamers. InvestEd enables the public to invest in loans to unbanked college students, through a pro-poor and pro-student credit scoring algorithm and a borrower success program. With its mission to revolutionize student loans for the developing world, InvestEd has provided financial aid to hundreds of students across 98 schools, and garnered numerous awards such as Cartier Women's Initiative Award, Dubai World Expo's Top 100 Global Innovators, and World Education Congress' EdTech Leadership Award.
Carmina strongly believes that education is the key to any nation's advancement. As a college student, she was already managing multiple scholarship funds through her youth organizations. Over the past 8 years, she has also trained more than 6,000 youth in topics of employment, financial literacy, peace building, and entrepreneurship. Following her curiosity about how business models played a role in social change, Carmina worked with Smarter Good Inc. to raise millions of dollars for youth-focused social enterprises. She also worked on projects with leading institutions such as Ashoka, Australian National University, Lutheran World Relief, UNDP, and USAID.
After years of immersion in the problem of education financing, both locally and globally, Carmina decided it was time to start InvestEd. Her dream to this day is to see a world where every young person has the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and help others do the same.
Vijay is the Managing Director at Techstars, the worldwide network supporting entrepreneurs to succeed. He proactively recruits promising high growth technology start-ups into accelerators and makes seed stage investments. He works closely with Techstars corporate partners like GINCO, Rakuten and Mubadala.
He was the former Global CEO and Chairman of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) based in Washington D.C.; where he lead the growth of 15,000+ successful global entrepreneurs represented in 200 cities around the world.
His early career was in fashion retail and clothing manufacturing and later as an entrepreneur, he founded several businesses including cycling helmets, events productions and association management shared services across Asia.
Vijay has had served in active leadership at the Young President Organization, Young Entrepreneurs Organization, as a trustee at Richmond University in London, amongst other organizations. He also been involved in organization the 16 th Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Vijay split his time between Dubai and Singapore and is proactively developing entrepreneurial ecosystem and serves on numerous company boards. Vijay has previously lived and worked i Washington D.C, London, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Hong Kong. He is passionate about exploring world heritage sites.
Angelito M. Villanueva
Mr. Villanueva, a known Financial Technologies (FinTech) industry leader, brings with him over twenty (20) years of combined experience and expertise on telecommunications, payments, money transfer,consumer banking, digital transformation, strategy, and marketing.
He is an award-winner, with over 50 local and global accolades on digital transformation, including digital innovations. He has been named as the first and only Filipino in the Top 100 Asian FinTech Leaders.
He started the PLDT Groupâ€™s FinTechâ€™s business. He is among the founding executives of PayMaya wallet, responsible for creating and securing its BSP electronic money issuer license as well as Visa issuing and acquiring license.
Mr Villanueva was the Managing Director of FINTQnologies Corp, the FinTech arm of Voyager Innovations from June 2013 to 31 March 2019. He was also a Member of the Board of Directors in FINTQnologies (June 2017 to March 2019) and FINTQSurelite Insurance Agency (June 2017 to March 2019).
William Valtos Jr.
Mr. Valtos is Chief Executive Officer of Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines and Group President – Financial Services for the ICCP Group. He oversees the investment banking, venture capital, and asset management business units of the ICCP Group. He has over 30 years of experience in growth company financings, asset sales, and complex deal structurings across multiple jurisdictions. Mr. Valtos has been a senior executive with the ICCP Group for over 22 years. He is a member of the firm’s Deal Committee and Board of Directors.
Mr. Valtos is a member of the Board of Directors of several companies, including ICCP SBI Venture Partners (a partnership with SBI Holdings of Japan), Fiducia Asset Management Pte. Ltd. (regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore), PhilWeb Corporation (Listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange); formerly on the Board of Directors of Rustans Supercenter Inc. (formerly majority owned by the Dairy Farm Group of Hong Kong now owned by Robinsons Retail, Inc.) and serves as Chairman of the Board of DirectWithHotels Ltd. (a co-investment with NTT Finance of Japan).
Prior to joining the ICCP Group, Mr. Valtos was Managing Director of Strategic Asset Management, Inc., a Chicago-based private equity firm managing over US$600 million in assets.
Mr. Valtos holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He earned a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Illinois, where he was a Rhodes Scholar Candidate. Mr. Valtos is an active member of the Philippines-Singapore Business Council, and a member of the Board of Directors of Investment House Association of the Philippines.
Martin Lichauco was part of pioneering teams that introduced US-style cross-border private equity/venture capital investing in Asia. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, he was involved in several investments that have led to successful regional and local public listings or profitable corporate acquisitions.
He is currently Managing Director and Country Manager (Philippines) of Crescent Point, a China and Southeast Asia focused private equity firm and is in charge of daily operations in the Philippines. Concurrently, he assists the firm in its business development endeavors for its portfolio companies in the region.
Prior to this, he was Managing Director and Head of Origination and Distribution of Fortman Cline Capital Markets (FCCM), a corporate advisory firm with offices in Manila, Singapore and Jakarta.
He was also Managing Director of Wavemaker Partners’ investment banking division extending the firm’s global reach by executing client mandates throughout Asia. He started his private equity/venture capital career with Quist Asia Pacific (“QAP”), a division of US investment banking firm, Hambrecht & Quist and spent 12 years with Walden International (“Walden”) including a stint as Country Manager of the Philippines. He spent 4 years in Walden’s Head Office in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Both H&QAP and Walden are the two private equity/venture capital firms that started cross-border US-style value-add investing in Asia.
He was also a Director for ING where he sourced, negotiated and closed buy- and sell-side mandates for conglomerates in the Philippines and local subsidiaries of multinational companies in the FMCG, healthcare, tourism, media, telecom, energy and education industries.
Martin was a Venture Judge at the 8th Kauffman Fellows Program, a 2-year transformative opportunity designed to radically accelerate innovator success through self-reflection, peer learning, mentoring and a structured curriculum taught by venture capitalists and global thought leaders. He was a member of the US National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). He is a graduate of the 5th NVCA Venture Capital Institute Graduate Management Program (2004) and the 29th NVCA Venture Capital Institute Management Program (2003).
Martin received his MBA (Honors) from the Arthur D. Little School of Management in Chestnut Hill, MA., and BA Economics degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.
Main organizer of Slush Tokyo + student in modern art and film + barista. Speaks Japanese, English, and a tiny bit of French. In love with the startup ecosystem and entrepreneurship, hustling to make Japan a better place.
I am passionate about the relationship between people, technology and art & design, and always trying to invent new interactions creatively with entrepreneurial mindset. Interests in: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Passionate in: Traveling, Photography, Design, and Outdoor activities
Amra is the Co-Founder, Partnerships and Operations Director at Accelerating Asia, a regional startup acceleration program and corporate innovation consultancy and General Partner at Accelerating Asia Ventures, where she overseas operations and manages partnerships with corporates, government, education institutions and other third-party entities.
Prior to Accelerating Asia, Amra looked after Community & Operations for muru-D Singapore and led Project Inspire – a global social entrepreneurship program in partnership with Mastercard. She also oversaw the launch of UN Women’s HeForShe Initiative in Singapore and Project Aspire – a youth-driven social entrepreneurship program for female students in Singapore.
A strong advocate for business driving impact, Amra has facilitated cross-sector partnerships between government; multinational corporations including MasterCard, Facebook, Telstra, Microsoft, and BHP Billiton; media partners including BBC, CNBC, Channel News Asia, and Mashable; government; and, education partners.
Amra is also the Curator for the Global Shapers Singapore Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum and is the host and creator of the Doing Good Podcast. She regularly speaks about the intersection of business and impact, including at global events such as Money 20/20 (Singapore), Singularity University Impact Challenge (Poland) and the Asia Corporate Sustainability Summit (Philippines).
Moritz Gastl is the Country Manager of Philippines and Thailand for CompareAsia Group, the largest financial comparison network in Asia. Before joining CompareAsia Group, he spent 5 years in the Asian investment banking sector.
Will Kim started his career as an equity trader for Goldman Sachs (Tokyo). He then became an M&A / IPO lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. After 5 years, he joined Unison Capital, specialized in mid-cap private equity buyout in Japan and South Korea. Will then became a serial entrepreneur, managing multiple startups in Japan, Korea and the U.S. In 2018, Will founded Mission Capital, a Japan-based boutique fund investing in both private and public equity. Will holds BA from UCLA and JD from Boston University
John is a serial- entrepreneur with global experience in developed and emerging markets, playing a key advisory and investment role in startups, as well as enterprise growth and diversification planning. He is highly regarded for driving offshore delivery and regional business development for high-growth companies, as well as identifying IP, talent and market opportunities in early-stage ventures. His domain of expertise are CRM, Cloud Computing, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business applications, Private Cloud Solutions, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) application development and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) deployment.
John shares his expertise to twenty-two (22) fast growing tech Companies as part of Future Now Ventures, whose portfolio includes Barhead, Kalibrr, Billingplatform, Hammerjack, NowInfinity, Flyspaces, Advvy, Simple, AutoDeal, Salarium, AFDigital, Booky, Reekoh, Recruitday, MyCheckpoints, Cloudswyft, Itemhound, JESI, Shirt.ly, Salt.ph, Ambidextr and Stash Lending.
John founded and established OKERE in New York City, which was the first Salesforce.com consulting firm to focus on enterprise vertical solutions. OKERE would later become a leading consulting partner of Salesforce.com, which was acquired by Fujitsu Consulting North America, and have fully-operational offices in New York, London and Sydney. With his first company acquisition by Fujitsu, John was hopeful of repeating his success with another company similar to OKERE.
John also set up GlobalOne in 2007, which later merged with Cloud Sherpas. Five years after the merger, Cloud Sherpas was generating US$150 million annually in revenue. The Company’s growth was attracting the attention of much larger tech companies and in July 2015, Accenture made a decision to acquire Cloud Sherpas.
As the startup ecosystem in the Philippines was already thriving starting early 2013, Orrock managed to set up his third consulting firm - Barhead Solutions, a leading consulting partner of Microsoft. Barhead provides implementation services for the most compelling cloud business application stack on the market today – the Microsoft Cloud Stack. Barhead bagged the 2018/2019 Inner Circle for Microsoft Dynamics and ISV Partner of the Year award.
Pedro Paez is an AI/ML Specialist Solutions Architect for AWS covering ASEAN. He has a background in applied mathematics in Ecuador, US and France. He has experience as an analyst for the Ecuadorian government as well as a Data Scientist for IBM.
Maria Corazon I. Bulatao
From innovating the Credit Card Customer Loyalty landscape of the Philippines at AIG, Bankard, and BDO, to leading the CRM and Marketing groups of LBC Express, to designing, building and managing the Customer Value Management capabilities of SMART Communications to drive growth through targeted, one-to-one marketing - Mia isn't just about go go go. She's about grow, grow, grow as proven by driving QuadX's market share up 700% in just a year's time. As President and Chief Operations Officer, Mia makes sure that the Founder and CEO's vision has the legs, the arms, and the muscle it needs to transform into commercial success.
I engage with Asian innovation ecosystem by working with corporates and governments to form platforms to develop the region.
I organised the largest hackathon (Malaysia Book of Records) which led the way for hackathons to be organised in the country, including advising Telenor and working with Tourism Ministry and Telekom Malaysia (TM) for Visit Malaysia Year campaign. This led to TM visiting Microsoft US to sign MoU for technology transfer.
During the Malaysia Communications Ministry ASEAN conference, I worked with AT&T to address the US Ambassador to Malaysia on development opportunities. I worked with MaGIC (Malaysia Startup Ministry) - launched by President Obama - to sponsor ASEAN startups Microsoft software, the largest contribution.
My team worked with the Education Ministry for Microsoft Imagine Cup to get Malaysia universities to defeat 45 countries worldwide, leading them to the US finals - this led to the organisation of SEA Imagine Cup. My team organised the first Microsoft //build/ conference outside of US, Malaysia's largest, keynote by Prime Minister's department, for national Big Data initiative launch.
I co-organised Asia's first VR hackathon in Beijing with China Government's VR initiative, partnering with Coke & HTC Vive. I also advised Malaysia Airlines & AirAsia on their hackathons.
During 1997 Asian financial crisis, I founded a startup to offer businesses solutions when MNCs exited. I am a mentor in Naisa Global US (DC) which grooms Asian American leaders, NASA space hackathon, & MaGIC ASEAN program. I am also a Hyperloop participant & an adjunct faculty of Laureate universities.
I speak at conferences on FinTech to Space Economy (UK Space Agency & NASA), at GSMA, Web Summit, Dentsu, Australia, & I'm an advisor to Malaysia Government.
I have been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for industry technology contribution & my university has awarded me Malaysia's Top 10 Creative Achievers for expanding the horizon of businesses.
Karena Belin, CEO of WHub and COO/CFO of AngelHub, is passionate about helping startups succeed. She successfully co-founded WHub and AngelHub with her forever partner and associate Karen Contet Farzam. Together they are on a mission to empower startups to drive wealth and economic growth.
Since 2013, she has been passionate about entrepreneurship and a leader in the startup scene. She acts currently as speaker, mentor and judge at events and organisations such as the APK (Asia Pacific Conference of the German Industry), Chicago Booth GNVC, Google EYE, RISE Conference and Web Summit, Jeju Peace and Prosperity Conference, FinTech Valley Vizag India, Techsauce Thailand, Tech Open Air Berlin, IFLR, Nexchange, Techstar’s StartupWeekendHK, global YPO YNG+ and more.
Karena is also a member of the Global FinTech Core Group at the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Ex-Com member of The Indus Entrepreneurs Network (TiE) HK, member of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong (FTAHK), President of the board of the parent organisation (PFO) at Hong Kong International School, as well as driving diversity and inclusion as board member of WOW at the American Women’s Association.
In addition, Karena holds a double diploma in business and administration from the University of Mannheim and the MBA business school ESSEC in Paris. She has worked 15 years for Procter & Gamble in various roles including Finance, Sales and Strategy across Europe, North East Asia and Greater China before co-founding WHub & AngelHub. She has extensive background in business and financial planning, business acquisition and integration.
Karen Contet Farzam
Karen Contet Farzam, CEO of AngelHub and Chief Hustler of WHub, is passionate about helping startups succeed. She successfully co-founded WHub and AngelHub with her forever partner and associate Karena Belin. Together they are on a mission to empower startups to drive wealth and economic growth.
Immersed in the startup scene, she is also a French Foreign Trade Advisor, Community Leader for Techstars, Accelerator Programs Mentor, and International Conference Speaker.
Karen is also the founding board member of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong, a non-profit, membership-based organization representing over 1,500 members from established banking institutions to FinTech disruptors. It is organized through 14 committees, where Karen is the board sponsor for the Policy and Advocacy Committee.
In addition, Karen holds a double diploma in engineering from the EPF (France) and ETS (Canada)Universities, and graduated from the Master in International Finance at HEC Paris. She has been working in Asia for 13 years, starting in Tokyo as JP Morgan Exotic Equity Derivatives Trader. Then, she pursued her development in the tech ecosystem as a Software Engineer for an IoT Startup and teaching Front-End Web Development.
Jeffrey Seah is a Partner at Quest Ventures, a leading venture fund for technology companies that have scalability and replicability in large internet communities. Its portfolio of 40+ venture-backed companies operate in more than 150 cities across Asia, creating employment and advancement opportunities for more than 4,400 employees, while its Enterprise and Environment, Social &; Governance (ESG) efforts directly impact thousands more.
Concurrently, Jeffrey manages Mettle & Salt Partners, a South East Asia Transformation Advisory partnership across he co-founded with services in go-to-market,corporate venture capital, digital transformation and corporate reorganization strategy and implementation for Asia-based MNCs.
Prior to that, Jeffrey spent 22 years with WPP and Publicis working across the globe. He witnessed first-hand the mutating impact of the digital economy to the homeostatic going concern environment of public listed companies across various industries.
Jeffrey was CEO, Southeast Asia and Chair, Asia Digital Leadership Team of Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) where he led it to become an established digital-driven business entity in Asia Pacific and beyond. He also served as CEO of Mindshare, overseeing the Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia markets.
Jeffrey established cultures of partnership with industry and emerging players across his corporate roles, especially those in the Digital, Data, Content & Commerce arenas to the benefit of his Asia and MNC clientele. Those relationships and experiences ultimately drew him into the Digital Transformation and Venture Capital worlds.
I'm a Digital Businesses Executive, General Manager, Consultant and Entrepreneur, with deep roots in Marketing, Advertising, Branding and Technology. Whether I’m leading complex digital marketing programs with US$ 6M+ annual budgets, structuring creative branding insights, integrating cutting-edge technologies, hiring and coaching large teams, or setting up new venture, raising funds, I take charge of all with the mindset of a lifelong obsessive result driven leader.
Leading teams and driving results in challenging and/or rapid growth environments, I’m a dedicated leader. A puzzler and problem solver, I employ a scrappy, agile approach to everything I do. My leadership style is hands-on from the user experience & creative thinking through operational launch & tactics with a relentless customer focus/high business discipline around execution.
Pinky T. Yee
Ms. Pinky T. Yee is the President of 3030 DPP Express, Inc., an affiliate of the Goldilocks group of companies, which operates the Domino’s Pizza business in the Philippines.
Ms. Yee started her career in retail in 1984 with Dylex Ltd. of Canada, in one of the company’s women fashion brands, Fairweather. She was part of the company’s management team that opened stores in Western Canada, particularly in Vancouver and Edmonton. She joined Goldilocks group of companies in 1987, and moved to the Philippines in 1988.
Armed with a strong operations background, she was appointed as the Store Operations Director for Philippine operations in September 1988. It was under her stewardship when Goldilocks launched its franchising program in 1991.
She was next appointed Marketing Director in November 1999. Her professional experience has instilled a deep passion for innovation and an intimate understanding of consumer trends. Consequently, under her leadership, the Goldilocks marketing team formulated some of the most successful advertising and promotional campaigns for the brand in its 52-year history.
Ms. Yee was appointed to lead Domino’s Pizza Philippines in October 2014. She brings the experience and expertise to meet the challenges of this designation through a proven track record of operational leadership, strategy development, teambuilding, and financial and relationship management for the past 30 years. Indeed, after more than four years of being at the helm, Domino’s Pizza Philippines has established brand presence through market expansion, consumer engagement, and in-store and digital experience.
Following her vision and guidance, Domino’s Pizza Philippines has implemented technological innovations including GOLO. With 50 stores and counting, the brand is now further positioned to be a significant QSR player, and is fast approaching its vision to be the number 1 pizza brand in Filipino neighborhoods.
I took my undergraduate studies in Organizational Communication at the University of the Philippines – Manila. I've always been fascinated with how people connect to each other. My research papers and thesis were focused on communication networks and team cohesion. As a student I almost always had a side gig to make some extra money.
In 1995 as newlyweds, my husband and I started a business. We experienced the challenges of running and starting a business, doing all the government requirements ourselves, borrowed money, ran out of money, did not research enough, had no support structure. In short, in less than a year, we closed shop. The lack of grit sent me into depression. I cried for 2 days straight, because we failed.
Failure and understanding I needed more wisdom to run a business, I decided to put my dreams of becoming an entrepreneur on the side and joined the Philippine Government in 1996 in a support role to the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. I had the great privilege to see the country and be part of government missions to China, New Zealand and Costa Rica.
In 1998, I returned to the private sector and spent close to nine wonderful years in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. My last post as manager of the Total Quality Management Program of Analog Devices Philippines, allowed me to experience the joy of enabling innovation in the workplace.
I joined the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation in 2009 as Executive Assistant to the Head of Strategy for First Pacific Company Limited and one of his pet projects was IdeaSpace. In early 2012, First Pacific launched IdeaSpace, and I gladly took the role of Executive Director.
Empathizing with startup founders when funds are low, when government is a pain, when conflict arises, when big business is bullying them, the importance of support and to be their cheerleader - that's me. I can now connect the dots.
Rosie Keller is the Regional Manager for Asia at Seedstars. Seedstars invests in and supports tech entrepreneurs in more than 70 countries across Asia, Africa, MENA, CEE and Latam, with the aim of impacting lives in these regions through innovative, economic development.
Having found the combination of entrepreneurship, innovation, and emerging markets incredibly powerful as a force for progress and development, she joined Seedstars to scale her work in this field through their global platform.
For the past two and a half years, Rosie has been traveling extensively throughout the 18 markets in Asia that Seedstars is active in sourcing and screening the most promising seed-stage tech startups, and building the local ecosystems by setting up co-working spaces and long-term capacity building programs via the Seedstars Acceleration, Academy and Investment Readiness Programs.
Gerard is a Partner at VisVires New Protein, a Singapore based Venture Fund focused on investing in transformative solutions for a healthier, safer and more sustainable food and feed system.
Most recently, Gerard was the right-hand to the former Chairman of the holding company of the Firmenich group, the world largest privately-owned fragrance & flavour company, where he was Head of Special Projects, investing across multiple asset classes.
Previously, he worked for Saratoga Capital, an Indonesia- focused private equity fund.
Scaling early stage FinTech companies across Southeast Asia.
Miguel graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management Engineering from the Ateneo De Manila University. He has been involved in financial technology (fintech) since 2003 with global solution providers such as FIS, SunGard and GFG Group (now Wirecard). Miguel has worked with banks, mobile payment operators and payment schemes (Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay) across South East Asia to deliver card, mobile and cross border payment solutions for consumer and business-to-business (B2B) payments. He is now leading the SEA region of Payoneer, the digital payment platform empowering businesses around the world to grow globally.
Pailin Pie Vichakul
Pailin Vichakul is the Principal at Digital Ventures, Siam Commercial Bank’s Corporate Venture Capital arm. Prior to Digital Ventures, Pailin was the Manager of Disruptive Technology Office of Siam Commercial Bank where she managed key projects involving new technologies and innovative business models. In 2016, She was responsible for setting up the FinTech venture capital fund of Digital Ventures and successfully closed the first VC deals, then transitioned to her current role in late 2017 to manage the Bank’s US$100 million fund. Pailin earned MBA from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and Bachelor of Accountancy from the Chulalongkorn University.
Ravi’s digital career started way back in 2007 with an agency serving small-medium industries in central India as a web strategist. After that, he moved to Australia where he worked with a boutique agency on digital projects for local and international clients & pursued his higher degree in Project Management from Griffith University. He later moved to Singapore where he worked heavily in e-commerce startups where he helped these startups to grow their digital activities in APAC markets along with building a high performing digital team. In the Philippines, he has worked with Mindshare where he led digital media operations for multinational corporations. He then moved to Carat Philippines as the Digital Director where he led the award winning digital team for multinational clients where Ravi was being pivotal in uplifting the digital media for all clients as well as working on the key projects like digitizing the complete organization, bringing the advance solutions for the clients on board & moving client digital media activities to always-on ROI based business model. Currently, he is working as General Manager of iProspect Philippines where he is building performance marketing to deliver end results-driven solutions.
Kurt is a senior associate at Openspace Ventures, a Series A/B venture capital fund investing in Southeast Asia companies with over US$225 million in assets under management. To date, Openspace invested in 23 companies to date, including Go-Jek, CXA, Love, Bonito, BeautyMNL and Halodoc and is currently deploying capital from its second fund from a range of global and regional institutional investors. A Filipino national, Kurt graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Economics under the ASEAN Scholarship by the Singapore government.
Dr. Donald Patrick Lim is the Country CEO of the Dentsu Aegis Network Philippines. Prior to his current role, he is the Chief Digital Officer of ABS-CBN Corporation, and before that, as Chief Innovation Officer of McCann Worldgroup Philippines and Managing Director of the digital arm of McCann, MRM Manila, 2011 4As Agency of the Year for Digital Excellence and Campaign Southeast Asia Philippine Digital Agency of the Year. Before McCann, he was the former President and CEO of Yehey! Corporation and also President and CEO of Media Contacts Manila.
Dr. Donald is a true student of management, being a product of the management program of the Ateneo de Manila University, finishing his MBA with distinction from Murdoch University, and then moved on to finished his Doctor in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Apart from these, Donald also has a diploma in Interior Decorating, a Diploma in Executive Management, and a Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Finally, Donald has finished Pelmanism from the Pelman Institute in Sydney, Australia. Currently, Dr. Donald is an adjunct professor at the Asian Institute of Management, and also teaches eMarketing at the graduate school of De La Salle University and the IMC program at the University of Asia and the Pacific, Advanced Marketing at the Bradford University, and Advanced Marketing and Advanced Strategic Management for the doctoral program at San Beda College.
Aside from his full time job now with the Dentsu Aegis Network, he oversees five other businesses of his own, and also does management consulting for up and coming brands and businesses. Dr. Donald is one of the only 24 Certified Professional Marketers in the country, and one of the first in the Philippines to be awarded the Certified Entrepreneur title by the Canadian Institute of Entrepreneurship. He used to sit as part of the technical panel of the Commission of Higher Education, and has also been awarded the Dr. Bienvenido R. Tantoco Sr. Professorial Chair in Marketing by the Jose Rizal University.
Considered one of the founding fathers of digital marketing in the Philippines, Donald has been awarded by various institutions and organizations, most recently being awarded the The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for Community Building in Digital Media. He is the first awardee of the Agora Award for Marketing Communications by the Philippine Marketing Association, a 2015 Young Global Leader conferred by the World Economic Forum, and the only Filipino to receive the DMN 40 under 40 awarded in New York. On top of these, he was conferred Digital Marketer of the Year at the Asian Leadership Awards in Dubai, UAE by the Asian Confederation of Business, the Young Market Masters Award in Online Marketing by Mansmith and Fielders, and is the first recipient of the Digital Leader of the Future award conferred at the World Brand Congress in Mumbai, India.
He is the youngest to serve as President of the Philippine Marketing Association, the biggest gathering of marketing professionals in the Philippines. He is the founding president of the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines. He sat as a board of Governor of the Management Association of the Philippines, currently being its Vice President, and was a past board of director of the Manila Junior Chamber. Finally, Dr. Donald served as a board of Trustee of Operation Smile, a non-profit, volunteer service organization that provides free reconstructive facial surgery for children with cleft lips, and a board of trustee for the World WildLife Fund Philippines and the Knowledge Channel Foundation.
Dr. Rafaelita M. Aldaba
Dr. Rafaelita “Fita” M. Aldaba is Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). She fulfills a key role in the formulation and implementation of the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i3S), which puts innovation at the heart of the country’s new industrial policy. Usec. Aldaba is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI).
Apart from manufacturing resurgence and industry roadmaps, she is leading DTI’s initiatives in establishing an inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in collaboration with other government agencies, industry, and the academe under the Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap. She is also in-charge of the competitiveness and research work of DTI, focusing on supply chain and logistics, e-commerce, accreditation of conformity assessment bodies, and trade and industrial policy.
A researcher turned policymaker, Dr. Aldaba was Senior Research Fellow and Acting Vice-President of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies prior to her previous appointment as Assistant Secretary of DTI’s Industry Development and Trade Policy Group (IDTPG). She has extensive research experience, authored various publications on development issues, and conceptualized and managed research projects with various international organizations, including The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development.
Meet the Host
Rene A. Ledesma Jr.
Mr. Ledesma holds a double degree in Applied Economics and Business Management from De La Salle University (1995) and a Masters Degree in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2001). He was the first Asian to deliver the valedictory speech at MIT Center for Real Estate. He is a sought after motivational speaker, 3-Time Best Male Emcee Awardee at the Aliw Awards, 3-time National Book Awards finalist and the best-selling author of 6 books. He is a GoNegosyo Mentor and an Agora Awardee for Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship for Small Scale Enterprises. He is the host of One News/Bloomberg TV Philippines' show Bright Ideas - a show featuring start up businesses - and one of the hosts of CNN Philippines Philippine Realty TV. He serves as the Honorary Consul of Monaco in the Philippines, he is the Co-Founder Mercato Centrale - the largest night food market and food business incubator in the Philippines, Enterph - a consultancy firm that enables foreign investors in setting up and growing their businesses in the Philippines; and EasyFranchise.com - a digital platform that connects franchisors with franchisees/franchise investors.
April Ong Vano
April plays an active role in the local startup ecosystem in the Philippines. She helped design and implement the startup development program driven by the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry as well as organizing the Slingshot ASEAN conference. She has worked as policy associate at TradeLawyers and TradeAdvisors focusing on policies and programs advocating competition, integration and innovation. She has executed Corporate Social Responsibility programs with Travellers International Hotel Group/Resorts World in Manila. She builds communities of innovators from professionals and entrepreneurs through Monday Minds Manila as well as among young Filipino students with MillionIdeas workshops. She is a strong advocate for sustainability and social enterprise which ignited her to launch a gift curation business supporting local brands and social enterprise products.
Dae Lee is the managing partner of The Fourth Wall a firm that specializes in company culture design. He focuses on building shared cultures by using unorthodox tools and methods for organizations to reach and sustain their peak potential. His human-centered approach emanates from deep-seated empathy and disciplined structure, further cemented through a profound understanding of the human psyche through intensive practice of military psychology under the United Nations Armistice Commission. Currently, he is a certified Lego® Serious Play® Facilitator, finishing his PhD in organization development, while giving lectures and workshops to university students and companies internationally.