Philippines, APEC form new startup conference ‘SlingshotMNL’

(From left) Executive director Raymond Batac of DTI’s Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC), Earl Valencia of Ideaspace Foundation, trade service officer Michael Ignacio of DTI FTSC, Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Tech Center, Jay Fajardo of Launchgarage, and Minette Navarrete of Kickstart Ventures.

The Philippine government, local startup community, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have partnered to create SlingshotMNL — a new startup conference that will be held annually in the country as well as overseas.

Organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), SlingshotMNL is in line with with the Government’s plans to get the small businesses in the front and center of global and regional trade.

SlingshotMNL is set to debut on July 6 to 7, 2015 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City and will feature top international figures in the field of startups.

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Earl Martin Valencia, president of tech startup accelerator IdeaSpace Foundation, told DEALSTREETASIA in an interview that SlingshotMNL “could be the first of many Slingshots.”

“There are two possibilities, one is we’ll do it always in the Philippines every year. And the other possibility is APEC  and we can take it and have SlingshotMNL at Peru next year,” Valencia said.

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According to DTI secretary Gregory Domingo and undersecretary Ponciano Manalo Jr, SlingshotMNL is meant to support micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and establish and develop next generation of world-changing companies in the Pacific Rim.

“Equitable and inclusive growth can only be attained when an enabling environment promotes the full participation of micro and small enterprises in global trade,” Domingo said.

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Some of the leading figures in the international startup community who are scheduled to lead discussions in the conference are Startup Chile founder Nicolas Shea, Hugh Mason from leading Asian investment firm JFDI Asia, Jeffrey Chi of the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA), and Professor Richard Dasher from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, among others.