PHL incubator industry sees startup momentum picking up

THE PHILIPPINES could bill itself as one of the faster-growing startup hubs in the world if recent momentum continues, incubator executives said.

Brainsparks Co-Founder Artie DC. Lopez said that the growth in the Philippine startup ecosystem is encouraging to startups and venture capitalists.

“There are immense opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship here. Our startups are becoming more competitive in the region,” Mr. Lopez said.

e27 Co-Founder Thaddeus Koh said that the Philippines is becoming a prime market for startups due to its location and workforce.

“Its strategic location in Southeast Asia, coupled with a highly skilled and affordable workforce, grants access to a massive regional market and acts as a gateway to neighboring economies,” Mr. Koh said.

He added that the country’s “sound policies” are attractive to foreign investment, while its growing population creates a “vast potential consumer base.”

“The Philippine startup ecosystem is now the fastest-emerging startup hub in the world … We need to showcase the Philippines in the region,” he said.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that this growth is reflected in the recent valuation of the Manila startup ecosystem in the 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

The report found that the value of Manila’s startup ecosystem almost doubled to $6.4 billion.

“With the recent growth that we’ve seen in the startup scene in Manila, the government is cognizant of the importance of its role in sustaining this growth,” DTI Division Chief of Innovation and Collaboration Division Karl Lyndon B. Pacolor said.

“Part of that goal is to ensure that the momentum of the Philippine startup ecosystem is not just sustained but also expanded to other parts of the country,” he added.

Mr. Koh said that e27 has partnered with Brainsparks to launch a tech and startup business conference, Echelon, in the Philippines.

The conference will conduct business matchings and facilitate funding and investment, Mr. Koh said. 

“The Philippines is an ideal location for the tech community to flourish. We want to put a spotlight on the Philippines and create opportunities for everyone,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile