The Philippines’ premier Innovation Conference

The Conference

With over 25 world-class speakers and 1,000 expected audience members, this is the biggest event by the Ignite team yet. The two-day conference is filled with talks by industry defining experts, exhibitions by the best local startups, and opportunities to work with the Philippine’s leading corporations. Don’t miss this chance to attend the Philippine’s premier innovation conference this coming July 16 to 17, 2018.

Meet The Speakers

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Paul Papadimitriou

Founder, Intelligencr

Paul is the founder of Intelligencr, the global innovation scouting firm.

Paul flies around the planet to witness what the technological revolution actually means for the future of our youth, businesses, work, cultures and societies — the geopolitics of disruption.

With this new reality, he architects innovation and marketing strategies for experiential journeys shaped around a new augmented, nomadic & tribal human.

As a sought-after futurist keynote speaker, Paul inspires audiences on five continents, at major events and at Fortune 500 companies’ private gatherings. He has shared stages with leaders like President Barack Obama, Microsoft CEO Staya Nadella, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and many others. Renowned for his chairmanship skills, he occasionally emcees extraordinary events.

Paul has been an entrepreneur for more than 20 years. Active in numerous startups ecosystems worldwide, he advises and invests in era-defining companies.

He is the creator of multiple shows such as the critically acclaimed Layovers, on air travel innovation, or Notion Capital, on the future of the enterprise.

Paul’s understanding of our time has appeared on The Economist, ABC, TF1 or the Japan Times. Organizations such as Microsoft, Conde Nast, eBay, Fujistu, Lagardere, SABMiller, EDF, Ubuntu, EY, Criteo, Siemens, Tumblr, the EU or the ITU have trusted him to challenge them.

Paul is a Swiss, a Greek and a Finn. He has lived in Geneva, Tokyo, Manila and now resides in London. He’s an air travel nerd and chocolate lover.

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Barbara Guerpillon

Head of SEAA & LEVEL3, Unilever Foundry

Barbara works at the intersection of corporate innovation, entrepreneurship and technology. She leads Unilever Foundry in Asia, which enables the company’s global brands to accelerate experimentation and pilot new technologies more efficiently, effectively and speedily.

For the last 10 years, Barbara has worked with a variety of startups in Singapore from e-commerce platforms, to digital mapping. She is an advocate of Singapore’s startup ecosystem and entrepreneur community and believes they have the power to transform the region and create real business opportunities.

A mentor for young startups, Barbara speaks regularly on corporate innovation and the importance of inspiring entrepreneurial spirit within companies.

Born in France, she spent her childhood in Algeria and Congo. Barbara completed her EMBA from INSEAD and lives in Singapore with her partner and three children.

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Ramses Gallego

Strategist & Evangelist(Symantec)/Professor, IE Business School

Ramsés is a security professional with 20+ years of deep expertise in Risk Management and Governance areas. In his current role as Strategist & Evangelist at the Office of the CTO in Symantec, he defines the vision of security discipline and evangelizes its mission and strategy. Previous experiences include positions in Dell Security, CA Technologies, SurfControl, and in Entelgy where he was Chief Strategy Officer of Security and Risk Management. An internationally recognized public speaker, Ramses has visited over 24 different countries in the past 12 months and believes that a revolution (rather than an evolution) is needed when considering the move from technology to enterprise risk and that the cloud dimension offers incredible opportunities for businesses today.

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Cindy Wang

Chief Marketing Officer, Uxin Group 

Uxin Group, is China’s Leading Used Car Platform and completes in total over $1BN financing so far. Founded in 2011, Uxin has undergone five years of rapid and robust growth, during which the company created a comprehensive ecosystem of businesses and provides disruptive autotech in the used car industry.

Prior to join Uxin Group, Cindy was Head of Marketing of Uber China in Beijing, lead user growth practice and marketing strategy.

Cindy has extensive experience in strategy, M&A and entrepreneurship. She has worked in Oliver Wyman and Booz & Company, covering Auto and TMT sectors. She has worked in Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America.

Cindy holds a bachelor degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Master degree from Yale University

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Paul Kittiwongsunthorn

Co-Founder & CPO, TenX

Paul is the co-founder and CPO of TenX, a leading blockchain company that makes multiple virtual currencies instantly spendable anytime anywhere in everyday life. It raised USD $80 million in its initial token sale to bring cryptocurrencies to the masses and connect all the blockchains through COMIT network.

He has a background in human-computer interaction and part of teaching team of ME310 Design & Innovation course at Stanford University bringing innovation to top companies like NASA, Deutsche bank, etc.

Paul is a frequently invited speaker at global Tech/FinTech events as well as a regular commentator in the media on current blockchain trends, the future of cryptocurrency and best ICO practices.

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Jonathan Hwaseong Jeon

CEO & Founder, CNT Tech Co., Ltd.

Jonathan Hwaseong Jeon is the CEO & Founder of CNT Tech Co., holding approx. 96% of market share in Foodtech Platform and with 800 billion transaction. He has kept the balance in black for 9 years and continuous sales increase for 12 years. He has also founded the Adventure of Hwaseong Jeon, a venture accelerating program, which has coached over 50 early-stage technology ventures. He has also taught on graduate programs for different universities such as ChoongAng University, Dongguk University, Sogang University, Dankook University.

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Koichi Saito

Founder & General Partner, KK Fund

Koichi Saito was previously a Director at IMJ Investment Partners and responsible for IMJ’ investments throughout Southeast Asia such as iMoney, Bukalapak, and Zipmatch.

Prior to IMJ, Koichi worked at Private Equity Fund founded by George Soros, and was engaged in corporate and hotel acquisitions.

He previously served as an arranger at investment banking division of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. He was also at Orix Corporation, responsible for providing loans to SMEs in Japan. Koichi holds an MBA form IE business school in Spain.

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Ikuo Hiraishi

Founder & CEO, DreamVision Inc.

He has been involved in Internet related business since the late 1990’s and participated in the planning and setup of WebCrew Inc., whose automobile insurance price comparison website became a hit and was later listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers. In 2000, he co-founded and became the CEO of Interscope, Inc. (Online Research Service), which was sold off to Yahoo! Japan in 2007, and later emerged with Macromill in 2010. Also, he co-launched an Internet research society, Internet Research forum of Japan assuming the position of chairman; a field he has made great contributions to.

In March 2011, he assumed the position of Tokyo Officer of SunBridge’s seed acceleration activities, and in May of the same year, in cooperation with Mr, Takeuchi of VentureNow, he launched “Innovation Weekend”, a Global Startup Pitch Event and networking platform for early stage startups and angel investors.

In January 2012, he co-founded SunBridge Global Ventures Inc. and became its president & CEO. In addition, he served as visiting professor at hosei University Graduate School of Business Administration (MBA), and outside directors of several startups.

In July 2017, he reactivated DreamVision and has started to build a Global Startup Village in the central part of Tokyo as “a Global Community that encourages people”.

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Samir Chabai

Investor, GREE Ventures

Samir Chaibi joined GREE Ventures in 2017. He is based in Singapore and invests across Southeast Asia. Samir graduated from a three-year dual-degree MBA/MPA program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government with a focus on entrepreneurship, finance, and technology policy. Prior to his graduate program, Samir was an Associate at Al Rayan Investment, a Qatar-based affiliate of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), a USD 400bn+ sovereign wealth fund. He was involved in M&As transactions, as well as fund structuring, and private equity investments. He also co-founded DocEx Legal, a legal technology startup in the Middle East. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker at Citi and Lazard. He attended Audencia Business School in France, graduating in 2009 with a Master in Management.

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James Tan

Managing Partner, Quest Ventures

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.

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Kentaro Hashimoto

CEO & Founder, GNB Accelerator

2001-2002: Founded Media Roll Inc. Co-Founder and CEO
2002: Graduated from grad school of the University of Tokyo, Master of Computer Science
2002-2004: Fuji Xerox Information Systems Co. Ltd.
2004-2008: Founded Makpye Inc. Co-Founder and COO
2008-2011: Founded Conit Co. Ltd. Co-Founder and CEO
2012-2015: Contents-One Inc. CTO
2015-Present: Infocom Corporation.
2017-Present: Founded PT. GnB Accelerator Co-Founder and CEO
GnB Accelerator is a collaborative program between Japanese IT company Infocom Corporation and Fenox Venture Capital from Silicon Valley. It is a global network dedicated to progress and innovation that brings together the people, the funding, and the partners that drive business velocity.

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Retno Dewati

SEA Regional Manager, Fenox Venture Capital

Retno Dewati is SEA Regional Manager at Fenox Venture Capital, a global venture capital firm headquartered in Silicon Valley with $1.5 Billion AUM and 90+ investments across the world. She is responsible to lead deal sourcing and investment activities as well as business development for Fenox SEA office. Retno has deeper insight in startups industry and strong analysis in investment decision. She has reviewed more than 500 startups over a year and manage 25+ portfolio companies in SEA. Retno is also the founding member of GnB Accelerator - a joint venture accelerator program between Fenox VC and Infocom Corporation Japan. At GnB Accelerator, Retno is responsible in selecting startups, manage the investment and being in-house mentor.

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Michael Lints

Michael Lints graduated from The Hague University of Applied Science in Management and Information Science and worked briefly as a project manager in NN Group, Netherlands largest insurance and asset management company. His entrepreneurial spirit kicked in right after and he went on to start his own IT business specialising in Microsoft environments and IT project management.

He was the former vice chairman of the Economic Development Board Rotterdam which helped him built an extensive international network. In 2007, Michael founded his own venture fund focused on Dutch’s small and medium-size enterprise to help them with capital financing, development and relevant support and strategy.

Through his earlier Venture in the Netherlands, Michael got acquainted with Golden Gate Ventures and moved his family to Singapore to join Golden Gate Ventures, as Venture Partner in 2013 to help with fundraising, strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions. Michael has helped raised over over $60M USD for Golden Gate Ventures and its portfolio companies and is now a Partner at Golden Gate Ventures since 2017..

Michael graduated from Financial Analysis for Business Valuation, and Private Equity and Venture Capital Executive course in Harvard Business School in Cambridge in 2011. He is a true believer in a work-life balance lifestyle and has completed marathons, cycling and Ironman races all over the world in his spare time and was recently appointed the Singapore ambassador for top cycling brand distributor, Treknology3.

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Kotaro Sasamoto

Managing Partner, Dentsu Ventures

Kotaro Sasamoto is Managing Partner at Dentsu Ventures, a corporate venture capital fund of Dentsu Inc.

He joined Dentsu in 2003 and engaged in a variety of planning works in the strategic planning and account management divisions. He was also involved in several business development projects such as helping launch client business operations overseas and establishing overseas Dentsu branches.

After a period of study overseas, he was transferred to the Corporate Strategy Division, where he is in charge of investing in startups and developing new businesses. He established Dentsu Ventures in April, 2015, and became its Managing Partner. His work has also been recognized at international awards such as Cannes Lions, D&AD, and Adfest. He was a jury member for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2017.

Graduated from the Faculty of Integrated Human Studies at Kyoto University, then earned his MBA at Harvard Business School.

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Hajime Sato

Asia Health-Tech Lead, Infocom Corporation

Hajime Sato is Asia Health-tech Lead of infocom Corporation, public-listed IT company which provide Healthcare IT service / Enterprise IT service / e-comic platform in Japan. Hajime is responsible for business development and investment activities in Asian countries. Hajime founded MEPLA Japan in 2012 and has worked as the consultant with Japanese hospitals and medical related companies for their overseas business expansion in SEA market. With his background as the entrepreneur and investor, Hajime is connecting and supporting the health-tech startups for the healthcare innovation.

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Rina Neoh

Managing Director, PlatformE

Rina is an experienced entrepreneur, angel investor, venture capitalist & education leader with more than 20 years of hands-on experience in incubating and funding early stage businesses and scaling up successful startups in Southeast Asia.

Rina co-founded Mercatus Capital in 2006 and the venture accelerator has since funded more than 60 startups across Asia.

With a passion for education and greenfield businesses, Rina has personally invested in many education portfolios including a Master Franchisee of Mindchamps International PreSchool, Singapore’s Leading Premium Education System, in the Philippines.

Rina was Voted Top 10 Most Inspiring Businesswomen in Singapore by Top 10 Asia (2013), Top 10 Women Venture Capitalist in Singapore by Women Founders Network (2016), Eight Trailblazers Under 40s by The Peak Magazine Singapore ( 2017 ), among others.

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Jojo Flores

Co-Founder & VP Operations, Plug & Play Tech Center

Jojo is currently involved in the overall strategic planning and prioritizing of Plug and Play. Jojo’s immediate focus is on building strategic alliances in the Philippines and other reigns of Southeast Asia. He is also co-founder of Launch Garage, which is tech innovation hub in Manila that provides an venue for open collaboration.

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Santanu Dutt

Head of Solutions Architecture, Amazon Web Services

Santanu Dutt manages and grows the Solutions Architecture teams across ASEAN, which empower businesses from startups to enterprises in their transition to the AWS Cloud. Santanu began his journey at AWS as founding employee and Head of Solutions Architecture covering West India. For over six and a half years, he built the Solutions Architect team from grounds up, focusing on building up skill sets in various domains such as AI/ML, serverless, containers, Big Data and more. There, he scaled the businesses of Reliance Jio, Tata Motors, Tata Capital and Axis Bank, among others, before moving to Singapore to expand the regional AWS business.

With over 15 years of information technology experience across cloud computing, big data and data center infrastructure management, Santanu also worked internationally in the U.S. and UK, and led the virtualization, migration and systems consolidation for various enterprises and system integrators.

Santanu is a regular speaker at leading industry conferences like NASSCOM, eTailing, INFOCOM, CIO Klub, TIE and Cloud Connect, where he drives the advocacy of digital transformation and innovation among businesses with cloud and big data technologies. Santanu holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics from Mumbai University. In his free time, he enjoys experiencing different cultures around the world and spending time with his family.

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Mikko Alasaarela

Founder & CEO, Inbot Ambassador

Mikko Alasaarela is the Founder and CEO of Inbot, an artificial intelligence startup for business growth. Before Inbot, Mikko has founded 6 startups in various areas of technology with 3 exits.

Mikko was born in Finland, and has lived and built startups in Helsinki, London, San Francisco and currently in Berlin. He speaks in conferences about Artificial Intelligence and Emotionally Intelligent algorithms.

Mikko is an influencer in artificial intelligence and a regular speaker at AI and blockchain events and conferences.

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Dino Araneta

CEO, QuadX

QuadX Chief Executive Officer Fernando “Dino” Araneta, fondly known at work as “Dinnovation” has come a long way from overseeing the expansion of LBC Express to a global network of over a thousand branches as its President and Chief Strategy Officer, to becoming the hands-on, work hard/ party harder, category breaking CEO of Quad X, the country’s fastest growing start-up.

Armed with farseeing vision, a sharp mind, and a fearless and generous heart, Dino is reinventing the highly transactional and almost mercenary world of logistics into a business dedicated to fulfilling every Filipino’s dream of becoming an entrepreneur. QuadX, though a very young company, has a very steadfast focus on creating products and services like Shipping Cart, CheckMeOut, and XPost, to make it easier for every Filipino to go into business for themselves.

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Dan Ichikawa Siazon

Senior Vice President & Treasurer, Kickstart Ventures

Dan is a co-founder as well as the Senior Vice-President and Treasurer of Kickstart Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Globe Telecom. He also concurrently supports Globe in M&A activities, which in the past have included acquisitions of Yondu (formerly Entertainment Gateway Group) and Bayan Telecommunications.

Dan’s career track has mostly been in global tech-related companies, particularly in telecommunications, personal portable computers, and over a decade in tech venture investing with JAFCO Asia, with senior-level stints in key global markets including the US, Japan, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

Dan holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, and dual master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute in International Studies (MA) minoring in German studies, and the Wharton School of Business (MBA).

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Pravan Malhotra

Head, Asia internet & Southeast Asia, Int'l Finance Corporation

Pravan heads Internet Investments in Asia for the Venture Capital team at the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group. IFC has invested over $1 billion in venture capital investments in VC Funds and directly into Internet, HealthTech, EduTech and Fintech companies. His investments include Lenskart, BigBasket, NephroPlus, Moglix, Azure Power and Portea Medical in India and Jungle Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, Oway and Reddoorz in Southeast Asia. Prior to joining IFC, Pravan was a Principal with ORIX Venture Finance in New York and started his career in investment banking. Pravan holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and is based in Singapore.

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Miguel Warren

Regional Head of Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, & Sri Lanka, Payoneer

Miguel is the Regional Head of South East Asia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka of Payoneer, a leading cross-border payments company for small businesses and professionals worldwide. Founded in 2005 and based in New York, Payoneer is venture-backed, profitable and ranked in the top 100 of Inc. 5000’s Financial Services companies.

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.

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Krystian Kucharzyk

Founder, PDAX

As Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX), Krystian lends his background in finance and technology to help grow PDAX's business. Prior to founding PDAX, Krystian worked at Samsung as part of the Global Strategy Group, later transitioning into the Mobile Division as a Global Business Development Manager focusing on new products and services for Telcos. Krystian also has several years of experience in traditional finance, working at Goldman Sachs in New York, where he supported the securities sales and trading desks.

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Takeshi Ebihara

Founding General Partner, Rebright Partners

Ebihara has been in the industry more than 20 years as a venture capitalist as well as serial entrepreneur.

His career as venture capitalist started from JAFCO, the largest venture capital and PE firm in Japan in 1994. He also founded and managed several internet companies include Tokyo stock-ex listed public company.

Then he founded Rebright Partners in 2008 investing early stage tech startups in India and SE Asia.

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Mario Berta

Founder & CEO, Flyspaces

Currently Founder and CEO of a tech-start up that empowers SMEs to get access to flexible office and retail space. Raised more than USD 3 Million from regional investors in the SEA’s region.

Senior Consultant in the PLDT Group (Philippines’ largest Telecom and conglomerates) and various Conglomerates. Consulting about innovation, digital transformation, sales and Start-up Culture.

Formerly Nova Founder’s director for growth, a tech incubator and VC firm that boasts among its investor Richard Li (among HK’s richest tycoon) and Asia Regional Co-Founder of Rocket Internet’s Easy Taxi.

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Manny Ayala

Managing Director, Endeavor Philippines

Manny is the Managing Director of Endeavor Philippines, a Southeast Asian affiliate of a global non-profit organization that catalyzes economic growth by accelerating high-impact entrepreneurs.
Prior to Endeavor, Manny founded Hatchd, a tech incubator in the Philippines that has built a portfolio of consumer tech companies, and was a co-founder of IRG Ltd, a Hong Kong based M&A advisory boutique, where he worked on various transactions in the Telecoms, Media and Tech sectors across the Asia Pacific. Manny is also a past president of the Philippine Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization (“EO”) and sits on the Board of Directors of Sky Cable. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Yale University.

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Han Na

Manager, Y&Archer

Han Na is the Manager of Global business team in Y&Archer, a professional global business accelerator designated by Korea ministry of SMEs and Startups. Y&Archer aims to introduce Asian companies to global market that can be engraved in many people’s mind.

She has a background in international business. He previously served as KOICA project manager at Korea Food for the Hungry International(KFHI) in Philippines . He was also a Instructor of the global citizenship education at Korea NGO

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Mitsuru Kikunaga

Investment/Incubate Advisor, REAPRA

KIKU has over 15 years experience in eCommerce and Marketing management position as in Dell, Apple, Uniqlo and AirAsia. And he lead M&A in ASEAN for OPT and support startup companies in ASEAN. He moved in Manila 2 years ago and acquired local company and turn round as CEO. As Reapra, we are opening local office in ASEAN in this year and support more local company

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Reez Nordin

Venture Partner, Monk's Hill Ventures

Reez Nordin is a Venture Partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures, a tech venture fund investing in post-seed stage startups in Southeast Asia. Reez was part of the technology investment team at Khazanah Nasional, Malaysia’s strategic investment fund, focusing on startups in the Enterprise Software space, as well as fund investments across the globe. Closer to home, he led several initiatives to nurture and unearth entrepreneurial talents within corporates and the public at large through angel matching funding and pre-accelerator programs.

Prior to Khazanah Nasional, Reez had stints with iPerintis, helping Petronas embark on its e-learning initiative across the company. He began his career in KPMG Consulting in New York City, helping clients optimize their technology infrastructure. Reez holds a Bachelor and a Masters degree in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. It was at MIT where he dabbled into entrepreneurship by co-founding a startup called Kaymbu.

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Graeme Perkins

As a founder of several businesses over the years, Graeme has been a student of all business aspects. Leadership in PouchNATION's Marketing, business development andm relationship management introduced cashless payments to hundreds of thousands of people across southeast asia solidifying its position as market leader.

Today, Graeme is founder and CEO of Blocnation, the worlds first decentralized ICO. Blocnation's app and BNTN token will be the cryptocurrency that powers the cashless payments and brand activations for events and venues around the world.

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Everett Leonidas

Senior Investment Manager, Aviva Ventures

Everett’s career has spanned investment banking, leveraged finance, mergers & acquisitions, venture capital, corporate strategy, product management, new product development and start-up business development. He has been an advisor, investor and industry practitioner and was previously part of Aviva’s Innovation team with a worldwide remit to capture new market opportunities for Aviva by partnering with start-ups to provide new products and services.

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Takeshi Kitao

Investment Manager, Cyber Agent Ventures

Mr. Kitao joined CyberAgent Ventures(CAV) in 2016. As CEO, he founded ENVROY MENIKA in Mexico in 2013 and created businesses to import and sell Clean-Tech products and to support Japanese companies which would enter into Mexican market. Mr. Kitao is a graduate of Osaka University, department of economics.

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Vikram Bharati

Founder, Tribe Theory

Vikram Bharati is the founder of Tribe Theory which is the world's first Venture Hotel that provides affordable yet soulful hotel accommodation to young startups and entrepreneurs who are traveling on a budget. Vikram's mission is to build Tribe Theory into the worlds largest physical platform for startups and entrepreneurs. He aims to turn Tribe Theory into a global hotel brand with presence in every major city in the world. Previously he was the head of VC investments at the REAPRA Group and Coent Ventures. Vikram spent 7 years in technology corporate banking at JPMorgan in California. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California where he earned his MBA.

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Jaakko Rajaniemi

Born in Finland in 1990, Jaakko started to study programming from elementary school and built an e-commerce platform during high school. Afterwards, he moved to Japan to graduate as a Master of International Business and joined Slush Tokyo, the biggest bilingual start-up conference in Japan as the start-up day leader.

Today, Jaakko works at Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support as a global start-up and ecosystem advisor with focus on Southeast Asia, Japan and the Nordics. His main tasks involve direct start-up mentoring, open innovation consulting to Fortune 500 corporations and ecosystem building. His next big challenge is to solve the global entrepreneurial talent and talent mobility issue in Japan and Asia.

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Abbie Casanova

Head, Consumer Business and Operations, Security Bank

Born in Finland in 1990, Jaakko started to study programming from elementary school and built an e-commerce platform during high school. Afterwards, he moved to Japan to graduate as a Master of International Business and joined Slush Tokyo, the biggest bilingual start-up conference in Japan as the start-up day leader.

Today, Jaakko works at Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support as a global start-up and ecosystem advisor with focus on Southeast Asia, Japan and the Nordics. His main tasks involve direct start-up mentoring, open innovation consulting to Fortune 500 corporations and ecosystem building. His next big challenge is to solve the global entrepreneurial talent and talent mobility issue in Japan and Asia.

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Patrick Gentry

Founder & CEO, Sprout Solutions

Patrick Gentry is the founder and CEO of Sprout Solutions, a software company in the Philippines focused on automating the tedious processes of HR and payroll.

Along with his wife and partner, Alex Gentry, he grew Sprout from being a team of two to more than 100 employees over the last 2.5 years.

Patrick is a recipient of the Rice Bowl ‘Founder of the Year 2017’ award and has spoken at various conferences around the HR and business space such as:

Asia Tech Summit, Asia CEO Forum Clark, Asia Young Leaders Summit, Asia BPM Summit, Innovation + Social Good Summit which consists of the activities: PH + Social Good Expo, RapplerTalks + Social Good, Innovation + Social Good Plenary, and Move Awards Night.

As a thought leader in the HR industry, Patrick is always looking for opportunities to empower HR professionals and companies to understand HR innovation with the ultimate goal of improving business in the Philippines.

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Kohki Sakata

After joining Cap Gemini and Coca Cola, Mr. Sakata joined Revamp Corporation where he managed projects on global expansion and turnaround in various sectors including F&B, healthcare, retail, IT, etc. After joining IGPI, Mr. Sakata has managed projects mainly on global expansion and cross border M&A in various sectors such as logistics, IT, telecom, retail, etc. In addition to his broad experience in implementing solutions that has been developed in Western countries, he has developed multiple methods to turnaround Asian companies with focus on setting clear vision and employee empowerment. He has proven the practicality of these methods by turning around Asian companies not only as an advisor but also as senior management. He graduated from Waseda University Department of Political Science and Economics and IE Business School.

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Ellen Nio

Associate, Patamar Capital

Ellen Nio is leading Patamar Capital's gender lens investment initiative to invest on woman-owned startups in Indonesia and Philippine. Patamar Capital, an impact venture capital based in San Francisco that actively invest in Asia’s fastest growing economies, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and India. The firm is investing in scalable business that provides the livelihoods of low-income population in verticals such as agriculture, education, healthcare, employment access and financial inclusion.

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Kurt Tanyu

Associate, OpenSpace Ventures

Kurt is an associate at Openspace Ventures, a Series A/B venture capital fund with over US$150 million in assets under management investing in technology companies in Southeast Asia. To date, Openspace invested in 19 companies, including Go-Jek, CXA, Rotimatic, Chope, Halodoc, FinAccel, Love, Bonito and TradeGecko, 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.

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Colin Goltra

Head of Cryptocurrency Program, Coins PH

Colin Goltra leads the Cryptocurrency Program at, the Philippines’ leading Digital Wallet provider with more than 5 million Filipino users. He is responsible for setting program direction for’s cryptocurrency wallets, its order book exchange (“CX”), and its Private Client Service. Previously, he helped manage the Product & Development Program at, which he joined in 2016.

Prior to joining, he spent his career in Silicon Valley as both a technologist and financier. He has been actively involved in the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain ecosystem since 2013 and is excited by the impact that the technology will have throughout Southeast Asia.

He studied Economics, Statistics, and French at the University of California and completed the Advanced Software Engineering program at Hack Reactor in San Francisco.

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Paolo Azzola

Managing Director & COO, PayMaya Philippines

Paolo is currently the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of PayMaya Philippines, the digital financial services arm of Voyager Innovations.

He graduated with a degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics.

Prior to joining PayMaya, he was the Managing Director for Rocket Internet AG, where he was responsible for financial technology. He helped grow Rocket's influence in the alternative lending and mobile payments verticals, covering fundraising, idea generation and acquisitions.

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Federico Parenti

Fund Manager, Emerging Market Fund

Federico works in the Finance Industry since 2004, where he started at UBS San Francisco to cover Asian Equity Markets. For the last 14 years he covered and invested in Western, Emerging and Frontier Markets Companies, with a focus on Publicly Listed Equity Markets and IPOs. He manages a Luxembourg based Fund since 2014 for Sempione Bank with a long term, long only, bottom-up, Benchmark agnostic approach. Since 2012 he run as well a multi-family office between Italy and Switzerland, with a specific focus on start-up in the Asian Markets. He is facilitating business ventures between European and Asian Companies as well as structuring Private Equity Investment, from Ivory Coast to Philippines. Born in Italy, he spent his childhood between Italy and USA. Federico after his graduation at Bologna University completed his post-degree program at UC Berkeley.

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Takashi Kawabata

Chief Asia Economist, Uzabase Asia Pacific

Takashi Kawabata is an ex-diplomat turned economist and journalist. He has been doing research on Southeast Asian political economy since his university days by majoring in Southeast Asian Studies at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

Currently, he is SPEEDA Chief Asia Economist at Uzabase Asia Pacific, Singapore and journalist at NewsPicks, Tokyo. He has written substantial research reports and news articles on startups, business, macroeconomics, politics and social issues in Asia. His major masterpieces are ASEAN country reports and analysis on Chinese tech giants such as Huawei, Tencent and Alibaba.

Prior to join Uzabase and NewsPicks, he served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan for eleven years. Most of his responsibilities as a diplomat were involved in research on Southeast Asian affairs, counter-terrorism and geo-politics. He also worked at SMBC Nikko Securities as senior ASEAN economist for five years. His reports were widely distributed to institutional investors in Japan.

He has been active in academic fields as a joint researcher at Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies since 2008. His papers are related with Southeast Asian political-economy, halal industry and medical tourism. Major publications are & Multinationalization of Malaysian Enterprises” (2018), “Halal strategy of Malaysia” (2010) and “Politics of the Pan-Islamic Party of Malaysia” (2006) which are contributed academic books.

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Johan Jannssens

Tech Lead & Advisor, Etaka

Johan is a passionate digital serial entrepreneur, product developer and business strategist. He is driven to create through building, connecting, and automating "things" to design fun powerful new digital experiences using open technologies.

In the past 15 years Johan has spent most his time creating and advocating free and open source software and helping evolve the world wide web. He is most known as co-founder and lead developer of Joomla, an open source content management system used by more than 3% of all the sites on the internet.

Johan is a firm believer in sharing and collaboration, in spreading good ideas and in the power of technology to make the world a better place. He continually pushes the people around him to be creative and connect the dots and he loves to push startups forward either as co-founder, CTO or as startup mentor and advisor.

Johan is CEO of Timble, co-founder at Joomlatools and Foliolabs and advise various startups.

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Diane Eustaquio

Executive Director, IdeaSpace Foundation

Diane is the Executive Director of IdeaSpace Foundation, a non-profit pre-accelerator based in the Philippines. She assumed the role of Executive Director when First Pacific launched

IdeaSpace in 2012 and has had a hand in each of the 68 startups that have entered the IdeaSpace program. She is also the Philippines’ first holder of a Business Incubation Management Certificate from the International Business Innovation Association, the biggest global advocate for incubators, accelerators, educational institutions and regional economic development stakeholders.

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Joey Gurango

Joey Gurango started his IT career way back in 1982, when he got a job with Apple Computer as a product support engineer for the Lisa computer, the predecessor to the Macintosh. In 1986, he worked as a programmer at Microsoft on version 1.0 of Excel for Windows in Redmond, WA. He moved back to the Philippines in 1991 to start Match Data Systems, which he sold to Great Plains Software in 1999 and then Microsoft in 2003. He worked as a Microsoft executive between 1999 and 2003, before founding Gurango Software Corporation, an award-winning global provider of business solutions, serving over 500 customers in 15 different countries.

Joey was President of the Philippine Software Industry Association in 2013 and 2014, and now serves as a Director or Coach for several companies and foundations, such as Xurpas, Kation, Aide, Servio, Cognitv, Coders Guild, and the Mijares-Gurango Craniofacial Foundation.

Joey’s advocacy is to grow our software industry to become a major contributor to nation-building, and to turn the Philippines into a nation of programmers.

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Fam Alonto

Head of Innovation, Insular Life

After pursuing graduate studies at Stanford University at the age of 20, Fam became one of Silicon Valley’s youngest VCs, focusing on corporate innovation and startup collaboration. She assessed founders and teams, analyzed business models and product-market fit, helped a number of companies market their brands, look for corporations they can partner with, and tailor their products to acquire more users. Fam has reviewed over 1000+ startups around the world for potential investments and partnerships with F500 companies. She has also co-founded the PnP Travel and Hospitality Innovation Platform, an incubator in Silicon Valley, in partnership with JetBlue Ventures, Lufthansa Innovation Hub, and more.

Fam managed 25 tech companies as the Head of Ventures and Advisory at Launchgarage, while co-teaching a Leadership & Strategy class to business management students. She has also done research about the PH Startup Ecosystem, which was presented at GOAB International Conference last Aug 2017.

Currently, Fam is one of the youngest senior executives in APAC, as she heads the Innovation Unit at Insular Life, a multi-billion dollar financial institution. She is responsible for creating a long-term Innovation strategy to achieve business goals, for the implementation of approved innovation projects, and for championing the culture of innovation in the organization.

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Prakash Somosundram

Head of Syndication, XSQ Global

Prakash built his career in the Digital Advertising world. He was one of the founders of Yolk which was acquired by WPP in 2011 and now known as Grey Digital. Prakash exited the business in early 2014 and has been deeply involved with startups.

Through his service as the Vice Chairman of Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) he has been involved in startup ecosystem development work since 2008. He was part of the committee that was involved in the setting up on Launchpad in Ayer Rajah Crescent.

Prakash has also been very passionate about Fintech especially in Fund Raising. This lead him to be part of a group that was responsible for bringing a consortium of Creative Agencies to be listed in NASDAQ OMX in Sweden in 2016. He was also the rainmaker for Zeemart in the early stage supporting their fund raise.

Prakash got active in the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency space from late 2016. He was one of the co-founders of Aditus , a luxury platform for crypto affluents, and they raised USD$7.1M through an Initial Coin Offering.

Concurrently he was head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Lalaworld a platform that was targeting unbanked migrant workers with a suite of Financial projects. Lalaworld raised close to USD$ 20M in their crowd sale.

Prakash currently serves as the Director of Acceleration at XSQ Global. This is a Singapore based Digital Assets business which is involved in Cryptocurrency Mining, Investment in Digital Assets and acceleration of Token based businesses. Since its inception they have participated in more than 20 Token based projects including projects like Wabi, Bluzelle and Sentinel Protocol. XSQ also takes an active role in ecosystem building efforts in SE Asia and North Asia including co-organizing events like Decentralize and regular monthly investor meet ups.

Prakash believes that the Blockchain is the biggest technological disruption that we have seen and will lead society into a new era of economic growth and happiness. He is excited about Universal Income and the harnessing the power of the Blockchain to disrupt age old models like co-operatives.

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Regina Lay

Former Anchor & Head of News, Bloomberg TV

Regina Lay was most recently an anchor and the Head of News on Bloomberg TV Philippines, running a team of more than 2 dozen and overseeing the daily editorial agenda for the network. The channel aimed to connect the dots for a broad audience–between politics and the economy, between macro and micro, between the movement of billions of dollars in the capital markets to the buying power of OFW remittances. In the 3 years that the channel was on air, BTVPH successfully overtook its main competitor in business news, in terms online viewership and engagement.

Before joining Bloomberg TV Philippines, Regina was a Senior Producer/Evening Editor on the Business Desk at Channel NewsAsia in Singapore, helping produce the channel’s coverage of business and financial markets globally. She holds a Masters in Business and Economic Reporting at New York University.

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Yuto Kono

Principal, Genesia Ventures

Yuto Kono is the principal of Genesia Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on seed/early stage internet and mobile technology startups in Asia.

He works with startups in the consumer mobile/internet, digital media, marketplace, fintech, healthcare and education with a focus on Japan and Southeast Asia.

Prior to Genesia Ventures, he lived in India for three years and led launches of new businesses at a Japanese startup. He also worked at YourStory which is the biggest tech media platform in India. At the same time he ran market research in order to support startups and venture capital firms expanding their businesses to India. Previously he worked at Quipper, an e-learning platform from UK.

Meet The Hosts

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RJ Ledesma

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, 2-Time Best Male Emcee Awardee at the Aliw Awards, 3-time National Book Awards finalist and best-selling author of 6 books. He is the host of Bloomberg TV Philippines' show Bright Ideas and the ANC show Philippine Realty TV. He serves as the Honorary Consul of Monaco in the Philippines and Co-Founder of the popular night food market incubator Mercato Centrale Philippines.

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April Vano

April is a policy associate and project consultant in the Philippines with experience in startups, innovation, sustainability, youth empowerment and corporate social responsibility. She played an active role in the creation of the Startup ecosystem development program and implementation of Slingshot driven by the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry. She concurrently serves as policy and business development associate of Abad Alcantara Associates Law and T/A Trade Advisory Group Inc. which specialize in policy and programs advocating competition, integration and innovation.

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