Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Juan Great Leap: Startups Unplugged

Juan Great Leap's (JGL) event dubbed “Startups Unplugged” at UP Ayala Technohub in Diliman, Quezon City was inspiring, spontaneous, up close and personal with vivacious entrepreneurs structured like speed dating with the entrepreneurs.

The venue was set up with small tables and seven chairs in each table. In this manner, attendees can ask the entrepreneur in a small group discussion regarding their enterprise and related matters. It was like a buffet of entrepreneurs where participants ask questions on how to improve their business model and if the 15-minute time period allows, the talks can even go further to the product or service details.

The JGL Founders
The dynamic entrepreneurs were also founders/volunteers of the JGL movement where like minds come together, collaborating, sharing and helping through their experience to build a great nation of Filipino entrepreneurs.

About three hours of startup conversations for around 200 attendees with 20 successful founders/entrepreneurs: 

Peter Cauton, a serial entrepreneur and organizer of the event

Matthew Lapid, a Fil-Am and co-organizer of the event 

David Cruz, a Technical (Hardware) expert from Blackfort Electronic Surveillance Systems Corporation; Mistral Global Gaming; Neugent Technologies; One-Touch Communications
David Cruz, one of the founders discussed with the event's participants
Joey Gurango, Technical (Software) entrepreneur from Gurango Software Corporation

Nix Nolledo, IT (E-commerce) expert from Havoc Digital; Xurpas, Fluxion

Mark Ruiz, Microfinance guru, Microventures Inc. (Hapinoy), Rags 2 Riches Inc.

Noreen Bautista, a fashion entrepreneur of EcoIngenuity (Jacinto & Lirio)

Justin Garrido, Social entrepreneur (crowdsourcing) using socialproject.ph

Danella Yaptinchay, business woman from Co-lab and Homegrown Media Inc.

Estelle Osorio, Consultant of BizWhiz Business and Training Consultancy

Karen Yao, Consultant of Congruent Partnerships

Raffy Taruc, Beverages retailer of Katipunan Craft Ales

Mike Go, Apparel trader, Bagong Payatas Community Ventures Inc. (TRESE)

TOP: JGL Founder Peter Cauton, (right); Michi Barcelon (second from left), senior manager of Ayala Foundation, Juliet Cruz (second, right); Yannie Valmero (left) and Valerie Ligas (middle); BELOW:Noreen Bautista proudly showed her products (bag and diary) made of water lily fiber
Luis Buenaventura, Technical (E-commerce) expert of Infinite.ly and HACK2HATCH

Gian Javelona, Technical (Application Development) junior entrepreneur from Orange Apps

Tembong Yambao, distribution expert from Apollo and Urban Chef

Maoi Arroyo, Biotech consultant, Hybridgm Consulting

Odell Ramirez, Finance, Tech expert from Babypips and Lulu

Reese Fernandez, Retailer, Rags2Riches

Anna Meloto-Wilk, Natural Personal Care manufacturer/ trader, Human Nature

Fun and exciting gathering like this was an awesome experience. Entrepreneurs were so motivated and sincere in how they respond to the queries of the attendees mostly would-be entrepreneurs and those who would like to improve their businesses.

Wisdom from Entrepreneurs
Anna Meloto-Wilk during the conversation with the participants
Anna Meloto-Wilk, 33, narrated the metamorphosis of Gandang Kalikasan Inc. (GKI) as an organic manufacturing company. Like other enterprise, they also encountered startup challenges. 

At first, she was excited to do all the plans, all the targets, all the calculations to reach the quantities they need, but in the end she said, "mahirap pala" (not that easy executing your goals). Being positive and having supportive husband and family helped them sustain the momentum of their business since its inception back in October 2008. 

Her family support was her inspiration. “We love it, so they should love it! (Human Nature products),” her husband’s remarks to push her to go on with their venture.

Their social enterprise provides livelihood for farmer community. Wilk emphasized social entrepreneurship: “a social enterprise is not a charity or NGO (non government organization), it needs to make a profit too.” 

Wilk has the heart of promoting Filipino global brands and wanted to make Philippines with a reputation to manufacture world class products.  

Mike Go in one of the rounds of discussions with participants

"Less for self, more for others." Positive prints on T-shirt captured participants  of Mike Go.
Mike Go ventured into making T-shirts with positive prints and eco-bags in which they called the social enterprise as TRESE, after the street name in Payatas community. He pointed out that in making an organization, values formation of their people was molded first.

Inculcating integrity, productivity and quality of products were something they promote in their company. In 2008, they were small but now, Go's enterprise is proud to be a reliable supplier of printed T-shirts in wholesale trading (not yet into mass retailing).

During the coffee breaks and snacks, I was amazed to know Gian Javelona, a college student who initiated the concept of mobile payment of school fees through his “Orange Apps,” an idea that works to fruition! Meeting new acquaintance served as appetizer in this event too!

With the growth of startups and the entrepreneurial mind set among Filipinos, taking calculated risk to mount a business of our choice is now more open. Studying higher education to aspire for higher corporate positions and bigger pay are wishes of parents to their children but now Filipinos are becoming and developing to be the entrepreneurs with global standards, brands and capacity that will compete to make a better Philippines. 

Kudos to all!  This was indeed a one great rise to Pinoy entrepreneurs!

More photos at Pinoy Vision Facebook page.
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