The Philippines’ Tech Startup Community Is Growing

The Philippines’ Tech Startup Community Is Growing

The Philippines seems to be following the footsteps of its much-advanced cousin, Singapore, in terms of tech startup ecosystem. Its tech startup community is fast-growing, and investors looking for the next booming arena in Asia or the best talents in their team search are at the right place.

In fact, Forbes Philippines’ May 2016 issue ranked the country’s top internet businesses by gross revenue in 2014 with Lazada E-Service Philippines, Incorporated, Yondu, Incorporated (Entertainment Gateway Group), and BF Jade E-Services Philippines, Incorporated (Zalora) in the top 3. Programs like Spring.PH, under the Philippine Software Industry Association, also help local tech ventures become valuable startups. The Spring.PH program currently has 25 startups under its belt.

To further prove that the country is the ideal location for budding tech startups, here are other factors:

Rise of Business Hubs

Outside Metro Manila, there are approximately 53 business districts and information technology (IT) parks currently in development. Not only are these new business hubs valuable for investors and multinational companies who wish to set up local headquarters in the Philippines, but these hubs are good for the tech startup communities too.

The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is hoping to turn Makati’s Gil Puyat Avenue into the country’s startup hubs. In June, the Philippines’ first “innovation hub” was launched located at the DTI International Building. Its goal is to become a co-working space for startup enterprises developing tech products and services that are ready for an international market. The hub provides a place for tech innovators to exchange ideas, receive mentoring, collaborate, and learn how to pitch their products to foreign investors.

“We’re the gateway of the US going to the Pacific…In terms of time element also, we’re roughly 12 hours from New York, seven hours from London and an hour from Tokyo. If you’re trying to keep your transaction flow the whole day, then we’re a good alternate to other financial centers,” said chartered financial analyst, Dr. Felixberto Bustos Jr., on ANC’s “On The Money.”

Digital-Savvy Nation

Studies show that 34% of online Filipino users visit the internet daily while 45% go online for at least once a week. In fact, an average Filipino spends up to 21.5 hours on the internet every week. On the other hand, a global study found that Filipinos primarily use social media to connect with their families abroad.

These solidify the fact that the Philippines is a Digital Savvy Nation ideal for tech and digital startups.

Young, Educated Workforce

As a digital savvy nation, the Philippines is a melting pot of educated, tech-savvy talents. This is perhaps one of the country’s strongest weapon.

Higher education is widely available in the country. Its high literacy rate of 95.9% make its workforce one of the most competitive in the Asian market. Moreover, reputable universities provide the market with new, competitive graduates entering the workplace every year.

Strong Government Support

More than the tech savvy workforce, the confidence of tech startup investors is further boosted by government-backed support. This is evident in the establishment of IT parks, economic zones, and outsourcing hubs all over the country.

Various competitive economic incentives are also provided to local and foreign investors through the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

All these factors add up in making the Philippines an ideal tech startup hub in Asia. If you are starting your own tech company or conducting a team search in the country, then the Philippines is the best location to choose.


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Ron Cullimore