In line with its advocacy to bring small businesses in the front and center of global and regional trade, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership with the Philippine startup community have organized SlingshotMNL, a conference featuring top international figures in the field of startups.
“Equitable and inclusive growth can only be attained when an enabling environment promotes the full participation of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in global trade,” DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said.
Domingo, as chairperson of the recent APEC 2015 Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT), is a steadfast advocate of MSEs as an integral part of the country’s pursuit towards regional economic integration and the attainment of equitable and inclusive growth.
He noted that when MSEs, which comprise the bulk of manufacturing and commercial establishments, are effectively sidelined, equitable and inclusive growth becomes a myth.
“In organizing SlingshotMNL, we aim to gather promising startups in the region and present them potential mentors, investors, and business partners,” DTI Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo, Jr. said.
Manalo added that the DTI is confident in establishing and developing the next generation of world-changing companies in the Pacific Rim through this event and continuing efforts to back micro and small enterprises.
SlingshotMNL will take place on from July 6 to 7, 2015 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila. The two-day conference will feature discussions with leading figures in the international startup community like Startup Chile founder Nicolas Shea, Hugh Mason from leading Asian accelerator JFDI Asia, and Professor Richard Dasher from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
The conference will also display the products and services of local startups. Apart from plenary sessions, workshops, and fireside chats, it will also feature a pitching competition and a lineup of local startup exhibitors.
Heads of industry are also stated to attend, alongside startup incubators, business accelerators, and investment and venture capital firms from the United States, Latin America, and Asia, as well as successful startup businesses such as UBER, GrabTaxi, Rags2Riches, AirBnb, and mClinica, along with global entrepreneur support networks Endeavor and Ashoka.
The startup label is currently used to describe young companies with cultures centered on growth, dynamism, and innovation, and business models designed to quickly expand their market. Despite the sheen of technology and innovation, startups are still small businesses faced by the challenges of other micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMES).
SlingshotMNL is set to cover a variety of topics to help startups engage meaningfully in international trade. These topics include understanding hubs of innovation, opportunities in tech startup investing, redefining scale in the global market place, impact entrepreneurship; startup ecosystem support, and the role of universities in the startup community.
“Kickstart is always looking for those companies that want to really push the envelope, challenge the norm, and invent the future,” adds Minette Navarrete, Co-founder and President of Kickstart Ventures, a corporate venture capital firm owned by Globe Telecom. “To have the best, most forward-thinking entrepreneurs come together with investors, corporates and public sector policy-makers from around the region will be nothing short of amazing.”
“At the heart of every successful startup is a great idea. Slingshot MNL will be a showcase of the greatest of those ideas –a showcase of the incredible things that have already been achieved by startups, and of all that we can still achieve together,” notes Earl Martin Valencia, co-founder and President of IdeaSpace Foundation, an accelerator for Philippine tech startups.
Registration for SlingshotMNL is free. Slots are limited and priority is given to startups and relevant stakeholders in the startup ecosystem. Interested parties may register at http://www.slingshotmnl.org/. Updates will be posted on https://twitter.com/slingshotmnl.