GOAB 2023: Fueling Innovation and Collaboration in the Philippine Startup Ecosystem

Geeks On A Beach (GOAB) is gearing up to present an enriching program packed with knowledge, networking opportunities, and investment possibilities, making a splash from November 22-24, 2023, in Panglao, Bohol.

As a premier conference fostering partnerships, growth, and innovation in startups, tech, and design, GOAB is dedicated to catalyzing collaboration not only in the Philippines but also beyond. This initiative, led by GeeksPH and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), exemplifies a commitment to nurturing a thriving startup ecosystem, emphasizing this year’s theme: “Igniting Innovation and Collaboration.”

Kicking off on November 23, the main conference features a keynote address by DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy on the Philippine Startup Development Program and a deep-dive panel titled “From Seeds to Stars: Unveiling the 10-Year Evolution of the Philippine Startup Ecosystem.”

Highlighted sessions include the Founders’ Panel discussing “Navigating the Challenges of Startup Life” with industry luminaries like Roland Ros of Kumu, ER Rollan of GrowSari, Angeline Tham of Angkas, and Steve Sy of Great Deals E-Commerce. Franco Varona of Foxmont Capital will present the Philippine Venture Capital Report 2023, providing insights into the burgeoning startup activities and the role of new investors.

Varona is also part of an Investors Panel alongside Paulo Campos of Kaya Founders, Mark Sng of Gentree Fund, Martin Cu of 500 Global, Patricia Sosrodjojo of Seedstars, Ziheng Li of Saison Capital, and Jason Ramirez of Kickstart Ventures. A Fireside Chat on the Impact of the Innovative Startup Act (ISA) follows, featuring Emmanuel Isaiah Zuñiga Detera of Andale Technology and Diane Eustaquio.

Jack Madrid, President and CEO of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (ITBAP), will discuss “The Power of the 1.3M BPO Workforce in Driving Startup Success” and contribute to the panel on the “Impact of AI on Tech Startups & Industry” alongside Albert Padin of Symph.io and Colin Christie of Analytics and AI Association.

The morning session concludes with a panel on “Horizon Philippines: Charting the Course to an IP-Based Economy” led by Secretary Uy, Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Tech Center, and Ricky Banaag of DFNN Group of Companies.

The second day of the conference continues with impactful sessions, including a keynote on the Digital Startup Development and Acceleration Program (DSDAP) by Atty Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, DICT Undersecretary for ICT Industry Development.

This is followed by the launch of the Philippine Startup Ecosystem Report: Founder’s Edition by Jason Gaisano of Gobi-Core Philippines and a talk on “Startups and the Capital Market – Going Public?” by Butch Meily of QBO Innovation Hub and IdeaSpace Foundation, Inc.

Founder Focus sessions highlight the innovative minds behind Peddlr and Edukasyon.ph, Nel Laygo and Deirdre Conde, respectively. Other sessions cover strategies for thriving in challenging conditions, featuring Jessica de Mesa of Kindred Health Inc. and Victor Lim of Kraver’s Canteen, along with the role and impact of Kickstart as a venture capital firm led by Bit Santos.

Jeremy Au of Monk’s Hill Ventures will present the “$10M Fundraising Playbook,” detailing strategies for securing venture capital. Au will also participate in a panel discussion on “Southeast Asian Startups,” comparing global startup ecosystem practices and strategies, joined by Pun Jaruthassanakul of Seedstars Thailand, Sohun Bae of AVV (Ascend Vietnam Ventures), and Dylan Keota of A2D Ventures.

Chris McCann of Race Capital and Solana will engage in a Fireside Chat about “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Large Language Models (LLM),” alongside Dave Overton and Padin, providing a Silicon Valley perspective on these cutting-edge technologies.

The talks will conclude with a “Founder-to-Founder Chat” on “Mental Health in Startups,” featuring Ros and Ron Baetiong of Hustleshare & Podcast Network Asia.

The day also includes a “Lightning Pitch” session for startups under DICT’s Startup Program, offering a platform for emerging startups to showcase their ideas.

Beyond keynotes and panels, GOAB 6 features breakout sessions across various tracks, including regional startup ecosystems, tech for global challenges, and government initiatives. Networking opportunities abound with coffee breaks and lunches with speakers.

This iteration of GOAB marks the 10th anniversary of the conference, highlighting the sustained growth and dynamism of the Philippine startup scene. From its humble beginnings in Boracay, GOAB has evolved into a champion of the local startup community, celebrating the Philippines’ growth and potential.

On its 6th year, GOAB invites startups, visionary investors, innovative business owners, and tech aficionados to be a part of this movement.

GOAB is organized by GeeksPH and co-organized by the Department of Information and Communication (DICT) with the local government units of the Province of Bohol, Tagbilaran City, and Panglao Municipality as LGU partners; Plug and Play Tech Center as a Strategic Partner; Eastern Communications, GCash, and Kickstart Ventures as Key Partners; Globe, Lalamove, Grab PH, Cleaningly.AI, DOHE Global, A2D Ventures, Converge ICT, and Ideaspace&QBO as Supporting Partners. Contributing Partners are CoDev, AHG Lab, and Alibaba Cloud; Unisol Uniform Solutions as Innovator Apparel Partner; HelixPay, SnackPH, and Purple Cow as Registration Partners; From Here Co-Working and The Company as GOAB Community Partners; PLDT and Dito as Connectivity Partners; and The Bellevue Resort as a Hospitality Partner. Media Partners include Philstar Global, NewsbytesPH, Dealstreet Asia, SunStar, The Business Manual, and Sugbo.ph.

For more information, visit https://www.geeksonabeach.com/ and follow @GeeksOnABeach on social media.

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