Davao bizmen urged to support startups

Subscribe Now August 29, 2013 at 08:32am

THE startup community in Davao City called on businessmen to support the financial needs of young Information Technology (IT) talents.

John Naranjo, one of the organizers of Startup Weekend Davao and chief-executive-officer (CEO) of Ingenuity, said the city has a burgeoning number of IT talents who are hoping to get their ideas to the open someday, only that they lack monetary support to transform these into actual projects.

This being the problem, he aspires to emulate the same "business-and-tech people" ecosystem of Silicon Valley, Northern California, a home to the world's largest technology firms, here in Davao.

Businessmen supporting the young IT talents can come in two types -- venture capitalists and angel investors. The former capitalize on startups' ideas, but they, in turn, get a stake of the company while the latter lend out investment to them to jumpstart a project development.

"The venture capitalists and angel investors (in Silicon Valley) always find startups whom they can back financially," he said.

He added that less businessmen are seem interested in helping them out.

"Sa atoa diri, we have the tech people, kulang lang sa atoa diri kay business people (Here, we have the tech people, only thing that's lacking are the business people)," he said.

The executive said that it could be the businessmen's little understanding of the opportunities in technology which could have prompted them not to invest on these startups.

"They don't really trust. (Maybe) they cannot just understand," he said.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-Davao executive vice president Bert Barriga echoed the same while appealing to the business community to take a look at the ideas of Dabawenyo developers.

"We need to encourage the businessmen to appreciate what they are seeing," he said, adding that there's also a dire need for logistics among the IT talents aside from financial support.

He added that it's high time that local developers, too, make their own business flourish in the city. In that way, the city, much more its workforce, won't be relying much on foreign investors.

"We have here so many businessmen," he said.

Tina Amper, founder of TechTalks.ph and co-organizer of Startup Weekend Davao, said events like Startup Weekend attract prospect investors to help local IT talents create, for instance, the next big social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, if not, usable software applications.

"It helps us enhance our skills and expose our young ones to the opportunity to start a business using technology tools like websites and smartphone application. What we're doing in startup weekend is ensure weekend workshop that exposes people and teaches them how to start a business using technology tools," she said.

Creating more local IT products help boost the growing community of IT developers, Barriga said.

"At some point, we need to create our own products for bigger gains," Barriga added.

Amper added that Startup Weekend is more like a playground where developers can always go if they want to get support in terms of making their mere ideas to actual products.

"We are creating awareness for people to know that there's an option for you to make a living other than being an employee. If you so desire, you can start your own business," she added.

Source: sunstar.com.ph

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