Philippines: The Next Startup Hub in Asia

Categories: Advice for Doing Business in the Philippines, Advice for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs

Establishing a startup business in the Philippines is a great idea for any corporation, as the country is rich in resources and rife in local and international trades. The country’s economy is ever-growing, and the trade industry is booming—now with the ASEAN integration.

If you are considering to do team search and expert search to establish a startup in an Asian country, you should know why the Philippines is your best option.

The Philippines as a Startup Hub

According to local and foreign entrepreneurs and investors, the Philippines has the potential to become the next startup hub in Asia. Most business experts are also predicting that the Philippines will be the next investment hub especially now that some investors have left China.

Although there have been some concerns about the country’s political stability, infrastructure, and telecommunications, foreign investors still see the Philippines as the greener pasture. Costs are minimal compared to those in China, and there has been no increase in regulation of products and services.

In fact, more and more Venture Capitalists (VCs) who support local entrepreneurs are entering the Philippine market. These venture capitalists come from Singapore, Japan, and the US in search of tech-savvy, active, and innovative startup entrepreneurs, so they could easily market to other Southeast Asian countries.

State of Startups in the Philippines

Every year, more and more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are aggressively taking advantage of the growing economic status of the country.

Filipino startups have been expanding regionally, with some even participating in startup events like the Ricebowl Awards, the World Summit Awards, Mediation for Dummies, The Strategy and Balance Scorecard Conference, and the Ascendas-Singbridge Her Startup 2016.

Some of the big startup groups in the Philippines include Awesome Lab/ Retailstork, Kalibrr, Lenddo, mClinica, and SALt Corp.

Earl Martin Valencia, founder of incubator IdeaSpace Foundation, pointed that this startup revolution was ignited by the Filipinos’ desire to escape poverty. The power of startups gives Filipinos and foreign entrepreneurs the motivation to branch out and seek more opportunities for growth.

However, aside from the internal motivation coming from entrepreneurs themselves, startup companies get a lot of support from VCs, who take the risk and decide to establish a presence in the country through the startups they back.

Filipino startups make it a point to appeal to VCs by creating more businesses in the IT, process management, and technology industries. There is currently a large demand for these sectors, and foreign investors see that as a strong sign of better revenues for 2016.

Further, startup companies in the country also get support from business incubators like IdeaSpace, Kickstart, and A Space. An incubator is a unique combination of infrastructure, business programs, and management designed to help SMEs survive the early stages of business development. Business incubators sponsor, support, and promote startup launches.

International accrelator programs like Impact Hub are deciding to set up their flagship offices in the Philippines to help startups in establishing and succeeding in their businesses. Impact Hub has organized a workshop called Mentor Mondays, where local entrepreneurs learn a lot from business experts.

Like Kickstart and IdeaSpace, Impact Hub has embraced the notion of forming wider business networks in the Philippines for better opportunities.

Due to the growing number of startups in the country, its ecosystem widens as well—allowing both formal and informal meetups that make a diverse startup generation in the country possible. It also keeps the startup culture alive and thriving despite being a young venture in the Philippines.

The Filipino Manpower

Another significant factor in the growing economy of Philippines and its rise in the startup revolution is local talent. The country has a lot of young and talented entrepreneurs who are willing to take the risk in investing in small businesses. These young talents have no qualms over using technology and innovating to create a change amidst growing market problems.

If you plan to establish a startup in the Philippines, look out for local talents who can be your partner in growing your company. Filipinos are knowledgeable about Western culture—having been exposed to a variety of foreign traders and clients in other companies they have worked for.

They speak English fluently and have the technical know-how. Thus, local talents are easy to train, which is partly why venture capitalists put the Philippines on top of their list.

Technology-wise, the Philippines is home to IT geniuses. Even HR practitioners find the Filipino talent industrious and committed to success. Filipino talents are not new to the tech industry. In fact, a lot of companies from Australia, US, and Hong Kong outsource Filipino developers to build their core technology. Years and years of exposure and experience working with and supporting foreign startup companies, make Filipinos ideal startup employees.

The appeal of the Filipino manpower is also rooted in the country’s culture of integrity, honesty, and commitment. Foreign investors prefer building startups in the Philippines because they know they would be able to recruit people who are fast learners.

These make the Philippines the perfect startup location. You have young talent, technology, and diverse regions to keep SMEs alive and thriving.

Future for Philippine Startups

According to Adrian Cristobal, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary, the Philippine government is currently building startup programs for local and foreign entrepreneurs.

Although much has to be addressed about the logistics, educational institutions, and research arms of the government, Cristobal has faith in Filipino technopreneurs who are committed to creating services to address the people’s daily concerns.

To date, there are over 150 startups in the country, and more investors are getting interested in establishing and backing them. Although it is still a long way for the Philippines to be the best startup hub in Southeast Asia—besting Singapore and Indonesia, you can count on the raw talents of Filipinos in creating their products and services.

The cultural shift has marked the new era in technopreneurship, and these budding talents would rather innovate than work ceaselessly, answering phone calls, and typing on the keyboard. These talents want to be in the front line, and you can harness their skills to help you establish your startup.
Competing with established companies in terms of resources for high salaries, alluring benefits, and prestige for the best talents can be challenging. Thus, it is important to have a partner recruitment agency who not only understands the startup ecosystem but also has a network of professionals who have experience in startup companies that can give guidance in establishing your company culture.




Manila Recruitment is recognized as the leading recruitment firm in the Philippines for headhunting, executive search, expert, technical and IT recruitment. We share an unrivalled passion to help your business succeed by understanding your goals, then sourcing and providing you with your number one asset – driven, dedicated and exceptional people!

Experience the Manila Recruitment difference, and give your business in the Philippines a competitive advantage by contacting us today. Whether you are exploring an offshore solution, or are an established entrepreneur, SME or Multinational in the Philippines, our team has the experience and a tailored recruitment solution to introduce you to the top talent in the Philippines.

Contact our Manila Recruitment team at