Archive for February, 2015

Women Power

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

7FES Logo

Women entrepreneurship continues to be a growing sector; in fact, a prime mover in the economy especially if we talk of the micro and SME segment. They are the force behind the millions sari-sari stores, bakeries, fashion and accessories, salons, processed food and beverage stores around us. Around 70% of new enterprises are started by women.  They are known to be more frugal, detailed, efficient, sweet and caring, and yes, can multi-task.  That is why we see a lot of women moving up in our society.  They are successful, taking leadership roles in corporations, government and NGOs, in many sectors of our economy, even in elected positions.  We are used to being governed by women, not only as presidents of our country or corporations, but as CEO’s in our homes.


Kidding aside, women in our country are relatively more empowered than in other countries, but statistics showed that there are still segments in our society where women have not yet enjoyed true freedom and empowerment. They remained subservient to their male partners or family heads. Go Negosyo remains committed to raising the awareness of some marginalized sectors on their unlimited opportunities and that everyone has the chance to succeed in life.  Everyone can be inspired. Be inspired to dream and improve capabilities to move up in life.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Grace Poe, Sen. Loren Legarda, Cong. Leni Robredo, Tessie Sy-Coson and Kris Aquino are among the many Filipina icons who will join us in our 7th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Grace Poe, Sen. Loren Legarda, Cong. Leni Robredo, Tessie Sy-Coson and Kris Aquino are among the many Filipina icons who will join us in our 7th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.

This coming March 6, we wish to reach out to as many women as possible, for them to have exposures, inspiration, much learnings on how they can also become successful.   We shall have the Go Negosyo 7th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.  We are fortunate to have the presence of inspiring and successful Filipinas who want to give back and touch the lives of our kababayans.  We shall be joined by Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Grace Poe, Sen. Loren Legarda, Cong. Leni Robredo, Tessie Sy-Coson and Kris Aquino, Nanay Coring Ramos of National Bookstore, Esther Vibal of Vibal Publishing, Karen Davila, Alice Eduardo (Sta Elena Construction), Yati Abdullah (DHL), Kat Abelarde (PLDT), just to name a few.  They are joining us because they simply would like to help bring back hope and rekindle the dreams of many women out there wishing to improve their lives.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, has been an active partner of Go Negosyo for the past years. Even before her legislative position, she has helped many Filipinas through their Villar Foundation and their programs including trainings and seminars for different livelihood projects. As the managing director of Villar Foundation, she continues to initiate projects that will help uplift lives of many Filipinos: from overseas Filipino workers and their families to youth and women. She is worthy of her descriptor, Mrs. Hanepbuhay.

Sen. Grace Poe, one of the role models of today’s Filipinas, has continued to shine in Senate and as she leads the Senate inquiry on many issues, including the current Mamasapano tragedy.  She believes in Go Negosyo’s program to empower the Filipino women. She shared in her Keynote message last year that creativity is the key to success as it distinguishes one from the others.

We will be also joined by Sen. Loren Legarda who is known to be a passionate leader in protecting women’s rights and welfare. She has also been a lead advocate on environment protection.  She will be leading a forum in the afternoon.

An example of a brave and strong Filipina is Cong. Leni Robredo. We have known her humble story as a wife to the late Sec. Jesse Robredo, but now as a congresswoman, she has shown good works and great examples for many. She was actually the founder of Lakas ng Kababaihan ng Naga and a past president of the Naga City Council of Women. She is definitely a Filipina supporter!

Coming from the business sector is Tessie Sy-Coson.  She is highly regarded as a smart and strong leader in the huge SM empire. She is also the chairperson of the fast growing BDO Unibank. In 2013, she made it to the Forbes Asia magazine’s list of top 50 stellar women leaders. She exhibits passion and excellence in all that she does and I can say that many Filipinas look up to her.

Kris Aquino, the queen of all media, will also join us in the 7th Filipina Entrepreneurship summit. Aside from the many hats she wears in her show business life, she is also a mother, a sister and an entrepreneur. I am sure that many of you know that she recently bought a franchise of a fast-food company which she endorses. She will lead the discussion in the first forum.

Aside from the above mentioned Filipina icons and entrepreneurs, we will be also joined by key entrepreneurs in the business such as Rosalind Wee (W Group), Myrna Yao (RichPrime), Marife Zamora (Convergys), Maria Fe Agudo (Hyundai), Joy Abaquin (Multiple Intelligence),  Emma Imperial (Imperial Homes), Ria Lu (Komikasi), Riza Mantaring (SunLife), Stella Sy (Mint), and Patis Tesoro (Patis).

The program will have different fora which will be participated by Ali Sotto, Tintin Babao, Miriam Quiambao, Nicole Hyala, Erlinda Binanitan, Arianne David, Marta Hernandez, Karla Ilacad, Kim Lato, Vanessa Ledesma, Nester Raneses, Darlene Tan,  Celestina Ocampo, Rebecca Bustamante, Josephine Costales, Amor Maclang, Patsy Paterno, Danella Yaptinchay, Ines Fernandes, Girlie Lorenzo, Atty. Gianna Montinola, Menchie De Guzman, Patricia Chilip, Beverly Aquino, Erlinda Bartolome, Jill Borja, Vernie Farro, Bing Limjoco, Lirio Posadas, Josie See, Joey Sarmiento, Jun Pangilinan.

We are only a few days to March 6 and I still invite everyone to register and join us in the biggest women event of the year!

Go Negosyo Empowers Filipinas

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Go Negosyo, for the past 10 years, has placed greater focus in helping Filipina entrepreneurs improve their lives. Usually, many micro and small enterprises are home-based thus managed by many mothers. Mompreneurs, as we call them, are also the largest borrowers from microfinance institutions. These small businesses are often direct selling, sari-sari stores and retail of home-made products in wet markets. Many are into agribusiness, covering poultry, fishery and other farm-related businesses. They need the greatest help in terms of managing their humble businesses. That is why we invite them to participate in our summits and receive mentorships from the many experienced entrepreneurs who are eager to share tips and tricks from their own entrepreneurial stories. Through this, they can graduate from being micro and small and level up into medium enterprises.

This is also the reason why Go Negosyo continues to empower Filipina entrepreneurs through our Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit. For the past seven years of this summit, we have invited countless of Filipina entrepreneurs who are willing to help mompreneurs and give them mentoring. One of the successful Filipina entrepreneurs we have always invited is Alice Eduardo of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation. She is the co-chair of this Filipina Summit.

One can never imagine that the company she leads is involved in construction of high-rise buildings and other plants, harbours and factories. Many will say that it is a man’s industry but for Alice, she proved it all wrong. Before Sta. Elena is established, she is part of the family business. But passion will always push one to pursue a different field. Alice have always wanted to be an engineer that is why when the opportunity came that one company asked her to supply materials for their construction, she grabbed it and used it as a stepping stone.

A woman with a heart of gold, Alice supports several advocacies including Go Negosyo. She believes in our advocacy that through entrepreneurship, people can level up in their lives and slowly, the country can eradicate poverty.

Aside from Alice, we also have several Filipina personalities who will share their insights on March 6, 2015 including Sen. Cynthia Villar, Cong. Leni Robredo, Tessie Sy-Coson and Kris Aquino. Kris, who is an entrepreneur herself, will be leading a forum in the morning program.

Aside from them, we also have other invited power speakers for the full-packed program. Here are some of them:

Female Entrep Set 1

Female Entrep Set 2

Female Entrep Set 3

Female Entrep Set 4

 

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We are inviting you to register as we are extending the registration! For more information, call our hotlines 6379229 / 6379347 / 09183465101 / 09154747762 or visit www.gonegosyo.net and www.facebook.com/gonegosyoofficial.

 

Luck or Destiny

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Kung Hei Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year to all our Chinese-Filipino fellowmen who will be celebrating the Spring Festival today.  I am sure that all Chinoys and even most Pinoys will welcome the year of the wooden sheep with some kind of celebration. Chinese people have been part of our culture, history and race that is why we received many influences and values from them including hard work, determination and of course, good food!

 

Aside from that, they have also shared the practices of Feng Shui. I, who come from a pure Filipino family, do not really practice Feng Shui always. As I believe that it is not merely luck that can help one achieve success.

 

The leading aircon and refrigerator company Concepcion Industrial Corporation, a family corporation that we are a part of, was made public thru an IPO last November 2013.  It took some time before I was able to convince our family to go public, and now it seems that it was the best move as we were able to unlock the real value of the company.  The stocks did extremely well from an IPO price of 26 pesos per share and after a 30 percent stock dividend in September last year, the share price even climbed to current levels of 60 pesos per share. The company consulted Feng Sui experts for its operations. I do it sometimes too but I just practice the basic elements because I still believe that skill, hard work and destiny make up the 75% of one’s life and the remaining 25% would be luck. But my cousin Jojo Concepcion who heads the CIC follows Feng Shui. So now, my wife did roll out 888 oranges inside our house, following his advice. Funny but we will do it as there is nothing to lose, except our weight gain after eating all those oranges!

 

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PNIOT February 19 Photo 1

Speaking of Chinese New Year and business, I met the other day two Chinese-Filipino entrepreneurs who became close to me and the Go Negosyo family as we share in the same vision to build a country of enterprising Filipinos, prosperous and free from poverty. They are successful in their respective industries as they possess passion and perseverance in leading their companies, and did not depend on plain luck. Both are self-made and inspiring as they started from humble beginnings in the province. And for the past years, they continue to build and grow their respective enterprises which are now leading players in their fields. And as part of the Go Negosyo advocacy, both want to share their stories to as many as possible, empowering them with the right attitude and approach in facing challenges and adversities.

 

These two inspiring colleagues are Injap Sia of DoubleDragon Properties and Justin Uy of Profood International. Justin is one of our original Go Negosyo trustees who joined our advocacy from the start, 10 years ago. Injap, on the other hand, was one of the awardees from our Iloilo summit back in 2008.

 

We all know the story of Injap who starteed Mang Inasal. I can consider his story as one of the most inspiring stories, starting with his first branch in the province until it grew to around 300 stores in about 7 years until it was acquired by Jollibee. Today, he is moving beyond Mang Inasal. He is venturing now into building hotels and other high-rise buildings. With his Injap Investments Inc. and other partners, they have built several Hotel 101. This is the type of hotel where one can become an investor by acquiring a unit from the hotel which will be pooled and managed for leasing. Hotel of Asia Inc., the company formed for this venture is also the master franchisee of Jin Jiang Inn, the biggest hotel chain operator in China. The Philippine branches of the Jin Jiang Inn will soon open but this is mainly positioned for the growing Chinese Market.

 

Aside from the hotels, Injap’s DoubleDragon Properties, in partnership with Tony Tan Caktiong of Jollibee, is formed. Today, DoubleDragon is projecting to build many Citymalls in different key cities in the country. We can see the aggressive vision of Injap’s team as they are targeting 25 CityMalls by the end of 2015 and 100 CityMalls in a couple of years.  

 

As for Justin, he is still the country’s top exporter of dried mangoes and processed fruits through his Profood International. He has innovated into various packaged food products for the export market. He is definitely one of the taipans from Cebu, who has also expanded into malls and hotels. The J Center Mall in Cebu, which we used during the last year’s Go Negosyo Creativity and Innovation Summit, is expanding and now adding a hotel in the area, while his Imperial Hotel in Mactan continuous to provide quality service to Cebu visitors, both local and foreign.

 

Starting with virtually nothing, our two friends have really gone a long way and the good thing with them is that they have not forgotten to help and reach out to others through Go Negosyo, by sharing their uplifting stories and giving mentorship and assistance to those in need.

 

They are among the many entrepreneurs in the Go Negosyo community who are making a difference in the lives of others. We wish all the entrepreneurs a Happy Chinese New Year!

 

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Chris Chilip opens second store in Magallanes.

Chris Chilip opens second store in Magallanes.

 

May I congratulate my friend Chris Chilip who has recently opened his second store of TireShakk in Magallanes. His first store is located in Ortigas. The store opening was attended by Charlie Rufino, Earnest Cu, Sen. Sonny Angara, Yasuhiro Nemoto of Dunlop Southeast Asia, Tammy Campos and Judes Echauz. 

 

 

Powering the Business Sector

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

The other week, Unilever’s Country Chairman and CEO Rohit Jawa and I, together with my brother John who is the Managing Director of our Selecta ice cream JV with Unilever, met Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla and his team and we got to discuss the power situation. Selecta is the market leader in ice cream with close to 80% share of the market and with several thousands of freezers deployed in many sari sari stores that are adding more income to sari-sari store entrepreneurs.  It is in the peak summer months that they benefit the most from selling ice cream. We wanted to get an assessment on how bad the power situation really is and whether or not we would be having brownouts that could affect the businesses of many micro entrepreneurs as well as the operations of all those in business.

Sec. Petilla had a very comprehensive and objective assessment of the situation. We believe he is on top of the situation and he is one of the best Energy Secretaries that we ever had.    In summary, he mentioned that while there is an ample supply of power even during the summer months, there is still a risk or a probability that short brownouts may occur if there will be a breakdown in any of our power plants or if there is a drastic jump in demand during the summer period. The problem is that the supply is just enough and at the same time, demand is not static. It moves up and down and can swing even within the day by 1,000 or more megawatts during the peak hours of 11am to 2PM, i.e., from 7T to over 8T megawatts. There is not enough buffer or ample reserve capacity that can easily be tapped when the need arises.

Thus, in a possible worst case of breakdown in one power plant, or jump in demand, there can be a short one or two-hour brownout, during the peak hours of the day.  There are ways taken to address the issue.  One is more long term, such as building new capacities, which are private sector led. The other solution is a bit more short term and may be costly as well and will yield higher cost of power.  These are the use of modular diesel run gensets that can add 200 MW or more in an area.  The immediate option being adopted is through Interruptible Load program (ILP) where big users like manufacturing plants, commercial establishments like malls are encouraged to use their gensets, where government subsidizes the companies with the fuel that will be used. In this way, power supply can immediately be increased, and at the same time, demand is brought down as these companies use their own power supply.

The next campaign will also be focused on educating the users and even household users with energy saving practices that can lower demand and also bring savings to households.  An example would be teaching the habit of say, putting the thermostat of our aircons or refs at lesser cold levels, resulting in lower power consumption and savings in electricity bills.

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Go Negosyo Executive Director Mon Lopez presented the books and DVDs to DTI Sec Greg Domingo, Sen. Bam Aquino, Regional Dir. Wilhelm Malones and Iloilo MSMED Chair Valerie Maravilla, to symbolically show the support  being given by Go Negosyo to the Negosyo Centers, in terms of helping develop entrepreneurial mindset and competencies via seminars, trainings, mentorship network,  product and market development​.

Go Negosyo Executive Director Mon Lopez presented the books and DVDs to DTI Sec Greg Domingo, Sen. Bam Aquino, Regional Dir. Wilhelm Malones and Iloilo MSMED Chair Valerie Maravilla, to symbolically show the support being given by Go Negosyo to the Negosyo Centers, in terms of helping develop entrepreneurial mindset and competencies via seminars, trainings, mentorship network, product and market development​.

Another empowering activity took place last week when Go Negosyo joined Sen. Bam Aquino and DTI Sec. Greg Domingo in the launching the Go Negosyo Center in Iloilo. Supporting the Center were the dynamic Iloilo local officials led by Mayor Jed Mabilog, Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa, City Councilors and City Administrator Col. Bautista.  The Negosyo centers are to be rolled out in all the provinces, cities and municipalities, as mandated by the Go Negosyo Act, R.A. 10644, which is the law initiated by Sen. Bam.  DTI was tasked to implement the law through the opening of more than 1,600 of these Centers that are meant to bring the business assistance services closer to the people.  We were told that the target is around 100 this year and 500 in the next couple of years.

Sen Bam confided in us that this is in a way meant to bring back the trust of the people to government institutions, which should be service-oriented and promotional.  Private organizations like Go Negosyo and the local business chambers, MSMED Council and the local governments all lend a helping hand in ensuring that the right services are provided to aspiring or existing entrepreneurs, from start-up stage to business registration facilitation, access to finance, mentorship in product development and linkage to market, trade and technology information, entrepreneurial management.  It is also tapping to the network of negosyo organizations and the academe for mentorship.

In the end, these efforts are meant to uplift the capacity and competitiveness of Filipino entrepreneurs to level-up and become bigger and globally competitive.  We need smarter and empowered SME’s, the 99.6% of all the negosyos in the country.  Empowering and elevating their capabilities is like empowering the bottom of the pyramid that will create more jobs, which to us is the lasting solution to poverty alleviation.  It is not enough that only a few are prosperous. We should make all Filipinos prosperous!

 

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On a related topic, Sen. Bam and I met the other day our good friend Doris Magsaysay Ho, who is the current Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council.  We were glad to learn that the APEC that will happen on November has a particular conference that will focus on SME Development. Go Negosyo will be partnering with her for this summit.  We thank her and the APEC for prioritizing SME in their agenda and we shall work on having a one-of-a kind gathering among successful entrepreneurs in APEC and we will make sure we open up these sessions to our thousands of micro and SMEs to get the needed inspiration, exposure and mentorship.  I shall discuss that topic soon in this column.

Go Negosyo’s Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Three weeks from now, we are once again celebrating the Women’s Month: March. And for the past six years, Go Negosyo has celebrated the contributions and the successes of many Filipinas through our Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit. This summit is dedicated to all Filipinos, particularly Filipinas, who strive to improve their lives and contribute to the country’s success. For six years in a row, this Summit, which usually has over 5,000 attendees, empowers our Filipinas by equipping them with a positive mindset and the tools and concepts necessary for them to pursue the path towards success most especially by being entrepreneurial and enterprising.

This year, on our 7th Filipina Summit, we continue to recognize a new batch of Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur Awardees who have inspiring stories of success in their own different fields. We all know that the business sector is no longer dominated by men. Even Pinays can be champions in various fields and industries of this country.

Before we name the latest batch of Filipinas, let me share with you some of our Most Inspiring Filipina Awardees for the past six seasons of Filipina Summit. They have shared their stories, inspirations and advices to many. We hope that as we release the latest batch of Filipinas, you can learn a thing or two from the challenges they conquered and triumphs they experienced.

A Set 1

1. Helena Benitez – One of the Mother of All Mother Entrepreneurs is Helena Benitez. She was the chair of the Philippine Women University, the first alumna who become the president and chairwoman of the university. She was an active educator, society leader, legislator, and a women’s advocate.

2. Socorro Ramos – The mother of the largest bookstore chain in the country, Socorro Ramos. Along with her husband, they opened their first bookstore in 1942. She is the chairman and CEO of National Bookstore today. Even in her 90s, she is still hands-on in managing the business. She was one of the Mother of All Mother Entrepreneurs.

3. Marixi Prieto – One of the featured entrepreneurs in our first book. She is the chairperson of The Philippine Daily Inquirer. She is a successful entrepreneur and an inspiration to many Filipina. She was awarded by Go Negosyo in 2010.

4. Esther Vibal – One of Go Negosyo’s trustees, Esther Vibal is the founder and chair of the Vibal Group of Companies. Recently, she was awarded as one of the MVP Bossings 2015 along with her son, Gus. Esther Vibal was one of Go Negosyo’s Most Inspiring Women of the Year 2010.

5. Rosalind Wee – Rosalind Wee is a co-founder of Marine Resources Development Corporation which is the country’s biggest producer of carrageenan or seaweed powder used as a natural additive for food products. She is also one of Go Negosyo trustee. She was awarded by Go Negosyo in 2010.

A Set 2

6. Victoria Belo – The beloved doctor of many celebrities, Victoria Belo was awarded in 2011 as one of the Filipina STARpreneurs. An active advocate of Go Negosyo, Vicky shares the gift of beauty to all Filipinas through her Belo Medical Group.

7. Natividad Cheng – Aside from being an awardee in 2011, Natividad Cheng also shared her story in Go Negosyo’s latest book, 50 Entrepreneurs of Passion. She is the CEO behind the Uratex Group of Companies and provides the country with quality mattresses, pillows and other foam products.

8. Lydia De Roca – Lydia De Roca is the founder and owner of the popular Lydia’s Lechon.  Her negosyo has become the leading lechon wholesale and retail restaurant with more than 20 branches in the Philippines. Go Negosyo awarded her in the 3rd Filipina Summit in 2011.

9. Rosalinda Ang-Hortaleza – Another Filipina entrepreneur who empowers women through quality products.  Rosalinda Ang-Hortaleza is chairman and CEO of HBC Inc., one of the biggest retailers of health, beauty, personal and home care products. She was Go Negosyo’s awardee in 2011.

10. Pacita Juan – Pacita ‘Chit’ Juan, is another inspiring entrepreneur who promotes social responsibility and environmental awareness through her successful ECHOstore (Environment, Community Hope Organization). She is one of the Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs in 2011.

A Set 3
11. Genevieve Ledesma-Tan – She was awarded as one of the Go Negosyo’s Filipina STARpreneurs 2011. She was also featured in the 50 Entrepreneurs of Passion. Aside from that, she was also one of the MVP Bossings and was recognized for her contribution to the academe through her Southville International School and Colleges.

12. Myrna Yao – She is the Founder and CEO of Richwell Trading Corporation. Myrna started her entrepreneurial journey by selling anything that is available including blouses, yarns, melaware and other products. Today, she is a leading distributor of children’s toys and products. She was an awardee in the 2011 Filipina Summit.

13. Olivia Limpe-Aw – Olivia Limpe-Aw is the president of the Distileria Limtuaco & Co. Inc. which is manufacturing quality and world-class liquors to different parts of the world. She was awarded in 2012.

14. Marife Zamora – The chairperson of Convergy’s Philippines, Marife Zamora is one of the inspiring women entrepreneurs of today. She is also one of the featured entrepreneurs in the Go Negosyo 50 Entrepreneurs of Passion. She was an awardee in the 2012 Filipina Summit.

15. Fe Agudo – Fe Agudo is a successful Filipina entrepreneur in the automobile industry. She is the president and CEO of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. She was awarded by Go Negosyo in 2013.

A Set 4

16. Corazon Ong – Corazon Ong is the owner and founder of the CDO-Foodsphere, a leading manufacturer of meat products in the country. She has been in the business since 1975.  Go Negosyo awarded her in 5th Filipina Summit.

17. Siu Ping Par – Siu Ping Par is the president of PR Gaz Hauz which she opened with her husband, Nelson, in 2001. PR Gaz Hauz is one of the Philippines’ providers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Their company is also known for innovating the country’s first LPG store. She was awarded in the 5th Filipina Summit.

18. Cynthia Villar – She was awarded in 2013 as one of the inspiring Filipinas. And active advocate of Go Negosyo, Senator Cynthia Villar uplifted the lives of many through livelihood programs.

19. Maria Ressa – Maria Ressa is the CEO of Rappler.com which is the leading social news network. She maximized the social media and integrated the current news and headlines.  She was awarded in the 6th Filipina Summit of Go Negosyo.

20. Milagros How – Milagros Ong-How is the founder of Universal Harvester Inc. Founder of Universal Harvester Inc., Her business is a leading distributor of fertilizers and agri chemicals. Milagros was awarded in the 6th Filipina Summit 2014.

3 Philippine teams to compete today for the Asia Pacific Mobile App Challenge Finals

Friday, February 6th, 2015

The challenge was pretty straightforward: to be able to come up with a mobile app solution that addresses a specific problem, issue or concern of its target market. And it sure promises to be interesting as it is challenging for the 27 competing teams representing nine countries in Asia Pacific including Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The mobile app showdown is set to happen today 6th of February at the Prinsep Building in Singapore with each team given three precious minutes to get the buy in of the illustrious panel and another three for the question and answer.

This is the inaugural year for the challenge in the Asia Pacific region finally expanding from United States of America where it was launched and West Asia.

The organizers of the challenge are Starhub, JSeed Ventures and GMSA.

Southeast Asia Mobile App Challenge Philippines

The Southeast Asia Mobile App Challenge (SEAMAC) in the Philippines, the pre-finals qualifier, saw the participation of more than a hundred registrants with 68 actual entries. The entries were further trimmed down into 20 finalists who were given the chance to pitch their app ideas during the Philippine finals held last 20th January at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Rockwell, Makati City.

The app ideas varied: from customer service enhancement, to logistics and transportation service to tourism promotion, disaster management and microfinance to content management, health awareness, and volunteer mobilization.

Ten teams were recognized and awarded with One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00)-worth of seed capital. Among the 10 teams are the three official Philippine representatives who will vie for the slot in the ‘global’ finals to be held 6th of March in Barcelona, Spain. The three teams are – HistoriA, Siglo and Volo.

The top ten teams receive a total of One Hundred Thousand Pesos-worth of seed capital while the other ten teams get Thirty Thousand Pesos each.

The top ten teams receive a total of One Hundred Thousand Pesos-worth of seed capital while the other ten teams get Thirty Thousand Pesos each.

The Philippine teams – HistoriA, Siglo and Volo

Team Volo is composed of John Paul Barcelon, Kleo Sanghio and Ron Pascual who are student leaders at the Far Eastern University Manila. They are all officers of the Tamaraw Volunteers, FEU’s 12-year-old student-led socio-civic organization that promotes volunteerism and civic engagement to its members and key stakeholders. Their app Volo is an extension of what they do in the organization. It aims to be the platform that would link volunteers to various organizations and advocacies that need them in an easy and accessible manner.

Team Volo with Mr. Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo Executive Director) and Mr. Joey Concepcion (Go Negosyo Founder).

Team Volo with Mr. Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo Executive Director) and Mr. Joey Concepcion (Go Negosyo Founder).

The future husband and wife entrepreneur tandem of Alvin Tan and Kristelle Chow make up Team Siglo. Siglo is a mobile-based microentrepreneurship platform that aims to empower individuals belonging to the unbanked sector by linking them to major players in the industry specifically the borrowers, lenders, suppliers, the government and private sector in a virtual ecosystem. Their mission is to provide better access to capital, market, technology, and information.

The future husband and wife entrepreneur tandem of Team Siglo with Mr. Ramon Lopez.

The future husband and wife entrepreneur tandem of Team Siglo with Mr. Ramon Lopez.

Meanwhile, enhancing the tourists’ experience is at the core of what team HistoriA would like to achieve. The team is composed of Diana Pacapac, Benedict Carandang and Maria Teresa Criselda Dumlao who have deep regard to our country’s culture and heritage. The goal: provide a more fun way of discovering and learning about historical places in the country through animation technology.

Team HIA with Mr. Ramon Lopez, Mr. Paris de L'etraz (IE Business School) and Mr. Robert Calingo (PEF).

Team HIA with Mr. Ramon Lopez, Mr. Paris de L’etraz (IE Business School) and Mr. Robert Calingo (PEF).

SEAMAC in the Philippines is organized by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (GoNegosyo) and the Peace and Equity Foundation.

We wish these three teams wise use of every pitch second but whether or not they make it to Barcelona (for the much anticipated GSMA conference and for the additional seed capital), the Philippines is already a winner once these apps are made available in Apple Store or Google Play.

Salute to Fallen 44

Thursday, February 5th, 2015
Runners of the Condura Skyway Marathon 2015 stopped and saluted the framed pictures of the slain PNP-SAF members. (Photo from Condura)

Runners of the Condura Skyway Marathon 2015 stopped and saluted the framed pictures of the slain PNP-SAF members. (Photo from Condura)

Last January 25, the whole Philippine nation was saddened to learn about the massacre of the 44 Philippine National Police – Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) which happened in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. It was a costly clash between the SAF and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). As stated in the reports, those SAF were there to serve the arrest warrants to high-profile international terrorists. They did kill one of the two targets but unfortunately, these brave men lost their lives as well.

Many Filipinos sent their sympathies and condolences to the bereaved families of the Fallen 44. Many are calling for justice and would like to know how this disastrous event happened.  We will need to wait for the investigations to roll in in order for us to know the facts behind this Mamasapano clash.

After hearing about this, my cousin, Ton Concepcion and his team, decided to give tribute to the Fallen 44 through the Condura Skyway Marathon 2015. He is the chief organizing officer of this yearly marathon and the President and COO of Condura. This is the seventh year of the marathon which has a theme of “Run for a Hero.” More than 15,000 runners participated in the event. It may seem that it is a simple marathon but it turned out to be an emotional tribute.

Some 4.4 kilometers from the finish line, 44 members of the PNP formed a line and held framed pictures of their comrades who died in Mamasapano. As runners passed by, they saluted and paid their respects to the soldiers. Some even stopped in front of the pictures to send their condolences. Some even ran barefoot just to show their deep respect and homage to the SAF members. It was also their way to say their gratitude for protecting and sacrificing their lives for the safety of the nation.

Participants had to hold back the tears as they felt the emotions of everyone who wanted to give respect. It was a heart warming event, seeing the runners’ eagerness to mourn with the slain SAF’s families.

Investigations will start right away and I’m sure that it might take a while to see the end of this issue. We in Go Negosyo send our sympathies and prayers to the fallen heroes and their families. We offer our services and programs to the bereaving family members of the SAF 44. We hope that their death will be given justice and that those who are responsible for this will be held liable.

Salute to the Fallen 44 and congratulations to Condura!

***

Right after the Papal Visit, the final Philippine round of SouthEast Asia Mobile App Challenge was conducted. Last January 20, the top 20 semi-final teams pitched their creative mobile application ideas to our panel of judges which included Myla Villanueva (MDI Group), Paris De L’Etraz (IE Business School), Jeff Char (JSeed Ventures), Chellapa Panickar (Asia Cap PTE Ltd.), Mon Ibrahim (DOST-ICTO Office), Paco Sandejas (Narra Ventures), Robert Calingo (Peace and Equity Foundation), Bettina Quimson (DOST-eSociety), Ibba Bernardo (Sari Software), Carlo Calimon (MobKard), Beverly Tantiansu (IdeaSpace) and Mon Lopez (Go Negosyo).

The top three teams of the SEAMAC Philippines with the board of judges.

The top three teams of the SEAMAC Philippines with the board of judges.

Teams were given only three minutes to pitch their concepts to the judges and another three minutes for the question and answer portion. The top 10 teams were given a cash grant of 100,000.00 courtesy of our program partner Peace & Equity Foundation. The top 10 teams are: Team Filterr (Filterr), Team Kargadoor (Kargadoor), Team Rocketeers (Made2Order), Team HIA (HistoryA), Team WOT (PasaHeroes), Team Volo (Volo), Team Siglo (Siglo), Team Rio J (RescueWhere), Team Orderee (Orderee) and the Team Help App (Help App).

The top three teams were also selected to represent the Philippines in the regional finals of SEAMAC in Singapore this week on February 6. They are: Team Siglo led by Alvin Tan; Team HIA led by Maria Teresa Dumlao and Team Volo led by John Paul Barcelon.

We would also like to thank SMART for their support in selecting the People’s Choice award which was given to Team Leaf.

We send our support to the three teams who will be flying to Singapore today for the Regional Finals. We hope that one of you will reach the SEAMAC Finals in Barcelona!