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Another year has begun. Everyone is anticipating that 2013 will be a super year for the Philippines in terms of economic growth. For Go Negosyo, this means another year for us to continue expanding the advocacy of entrepreneurship as a way out of misery and poverty. And to start the year, we are mounting the second Filipino Technopreneurship Summit on Jan. 21. Due to the overwhelming number of participants who would like to take part, we will now be doing it at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
We have invited 40 of the industryâ€™s biggest names to inspire people that â€œtechnopreneurshipâ€ is actually a good avenue for starting a business. As big and as popular their names may be in the technology sector, all of them started from scratch, and they were able to make a name for themselves by working hard, being passionate about what they do, and staying positive despite the adversities that came their way. Let me share the stories of some of these remarkable people.
From rice fields to Silicon valley
Engineer Diosdado Banatao may be one of the veteran names in Silicon Valley, whose accelerator chip invention fetched millions of dollars in the early â€™90s, but no one could have imagined that this genius was born in a barrio in Cagayan. Son of a rice farmer and a housekeeper, Dado was a simple boy who showed a particular interest in math and sciences. His high grades were able to keep him in school until he finished cum laude with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After working as a pilot trainee, a company offered to send him to the US to be a design engineer. Dado took this opportunity not only to work but also to expand his knowledge. He soon finished a masterâ€™s degree at Stanford University.
Dado started his journey as an entrepreneur by developing chip sets under his own company, Mostron. The stakes were high but the challenges did not hinder him from pursuing his dreams. Because of his hard work, Dado was able to successfully come up with the first system logic chip, as well as the local BUS concept for computers. Simply put, Dadoâ€™s invention can be found in every single PC that exists today. At present, aside from being the founder of Tallwood Venture Capital, he has also organized a group called PhilDev that aims to help talented Filipinos in the field of technology.
Morphing passion and success
Another notable person in the field of technology is Winston Damarillo of Morphlabs, one of the recognized cloud solutions providers in the industry today. He finished his industrial and mechanical engineering degree at De La Salle University, and gained experience as an engineer before trying his luck in Silicon Valley. After a lot of attempts, he was able to make it as an employee in one of the top IT companies in the world. Winston used this opportunity to learn more. What helped him along the way is his natural interest in technology and its wonders in simplifying processes.
At 30 years old he was able to establish his own company, which he sold to IBM for around $100 million. Today, he is an active member of PhilDev as its trustee and mentor. Winston believes that what young Filipinos need are good mentors who will guide them as they find their place in the field of technology, just as he was mentored by his former colleagues when he was still starting out. More importantly, he shares that success can be achieved if one is pursuing something he is truly passionate about.
Making a smart move
As a kid, science and technology were the two things that caught the interest of Orlando Vea, co-founder of Smart Communications. At one point in his life, he even got a scholarship in physics to be a scientist. But then he changed his mind and took up economics instead, from which he graduated cum laude. Whatâ€™s interesting is that he was almost convinced to join the leftist movement in college, but did not continue as he did not have the physical courage that many of his peers had.
Doy went on to become a banker after graduation, but soon enough went back to the telecoms industry. Together with the late Dave Fernando, he founded Smart Communications, a company that simplified communication between Filipinos through the handheld phone. At that time, cellular phones were way too expensive, and this was an opportunity for Smart to transform it into a simple and affordable consumer item. The venture became a success, and soon they sold the company to PLDT. Doy then involved himself in a number of companies that invested in IT start-ups, but went back to Smart as its chief wireless advisor. From being an economics graduate, Doy did make a smart move by using his passion as his gate to success.
Other notable technopreneurs
The summit will feature other notable technopreneurs as speakers, such as MDI Groupâ€™s founder and Go Negosyo trustee Myla Villanueva. Her natural curiosity, backed by an enterprising mindset, allowed her to rise as one of the leading innovators in Silicon Valley. Aside from MDI, she is also behind Novare Technologies, a strategic consultancy and IT solutions provider.
Jack Madrid, Multiply Philippinesâ€™ country manager, is also a featured speaker. It was under him that Multiply transformed from being a social networking site into one of Southeast Asiaâ€™s premier online marketplaces. The initial reaction towards this change was somewhat negative, but today the site is the go-to website of practical, aspiring businessmen who are starting their entrepreneurial journey but are wary of paying high rent costs.
We have also invited top bloggers in the country to encourage participants in taking the technopreneurship route. We have Anton Diaz of OurAwesomePlanet.com, a site that transformed from being an online record of his childrenâ€™s experiences to a lifestyle blog followed by hundreds of netizens. RJ David of Sulit.com will also be there to share his story of how he grew from putting up a small online venture with his wife to launching an online classified ads site. By highlighting their successes, we are building confidence in the fact that technopreneurship can indeed help Filipinos move up in life.
Go Negosyo is still entertaining participants for the Technopreneurship summit. Call 637-9229 or visit gonegosyo.net/ftsii for more details. See you there!