Startup Workshop gives Entrepreneurs ICT Edge

 
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The Startup Workshop in Manila was held June 10, 2015 at the Bayview Park Hotel in Manila. Organized and hosted by eInnovation Group of the DOST-ICT Office, it is the pilot of its format that is to be a series of workshops all around the country. The workshop covered basic concepts and skills that are crucial in building technology startups. This is in line with the eInnovation’s seedPH program which seeks to cultivate the startup ecosystem in the country which will in turn lead to more job opportunities for our locals and national economic growth.

Participants came from 7 universities within the city of Manila: Adamson University, Mapua Institute of Technology, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Technological Institute of the Philippines, Technological University of the Philippines and University of the East.

The attendees were welcomed by the opening remarks of Ms. Emmy Lou Delfin, the program manager of the eInnovation Group, which was followed by the presentation of the digitalPH and seedPH projects by Ms. Karla Legaspi, the eInnovation project lead. She gave the participants an overview of the project objectives, programs and the coming Startup Challenge and Lean Startup Bootcamp.

Idea Generation and Identification and Validation of the Market

Misss Goldy Yancha of Ideaspace Foundation, INC started the workshop by making clear the definition of a startup which, according to her, was defined best by Dave Mclure on his quora.com answer, “A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about – (1) What its product is, (2) Who its customers are, (3) How to make money”.

She further discussed the steps on generating startup ideas. “Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel; you don’t have to look far,” she said. However, having a completely bright idea is not everything there is about a startup, identifying a market for your proposed solution and validating them, your product and yourself is also important.

During these parts, the schools were asked to come up with their startup ideas by thinking of a problem and following the steps that Ms. Goldy Yancha gave. All the participants enthusiastically obliged having little tolerance for lack of detail as teachers and students worked together as teammates.

Discussing

Unique Value Proposition

The activity were set aside for the meantime while Mr. Ari Bancale, Founder and CEO at Cyburban, Autotelic Corporation, continued the flow and stirred up the crowd with his fun hashtag activity and discussion on unique value proposition. Summarizing his talk, he explained how ideas don’t just need to be new; startup owners should also be able to know how to identify the unique value that their products have and how to sell it. You have to think like you are the missing piece of the puzzle.

Cost and Revenue

Of course, no matter how good a product is, no startup could ever survive and grow without considering what Mr. Gian Paulo Dela Rama, CEO of InnoVantage, has brought to the program. He talked about the importance of managing costs and revenue and how it affects startups. “Kahit gaano kaganda o ka-altruistic ang startup mo, it still needs to be sustainable,” Mr Dela Rama emphasized in the beginning of his talk.

Pitching

Mr. Paul Pajo, Developer Evangelist for Smart Communications, had a lot of tips to share before letting the groups share their startup ideas. He discussed how to develop attractive and concise pitches including the 3 types of pitches every inspiring ITpreneur should prepare: the 5 minute pitch, the 30 second pitch and the 5 second; also known as the elevator pitch. Mr Pajo, included gems of ideas on how to deal with rejection as well as the equally nerve racking positive response.

Everyone was interested to know more and was given the chance to ask Mr. Pajo questions. After the discussion, they were asked to finally present their startup ideas in front. The groups were able to identify problems and propose tech solutions for each. There were apps that give you traffic updates via SMS, apps for purchasing medicine, even for pet care. At the end, Mapua Institute bagged the prize with their Tutors To Go app and website that connects teachers with students looking for quality tutors.

The event ended at 5:30 PM, and all the participants left the Bayview Park Hotel Ballroom with bigger brains and stronger hearts than when they entered. The startup workshop’s goal is to inspire promising technopreneurs into pursuing the startup path. And with the eagerness each college shown in presenting their pitches, the efforts done by the eInnovation group proved to have moved that goal a little closer to reality.

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