More than 30 geeks part of the invite-only group tour known as “œGeeks on a Plane” has arrived in the Philippines to survey the country’s startup ecosystem and look for investment opportunities in one of the emerging technology hubs in the region.
Led by 500 Startups which was recently cited as the most active venture capital fund in Silicon Valley by the Wall Street Journal, “œGeeks in a Plane” is currently raising $100 million (P4.3 billion) for its third flagship fund to possibly invest in startups around the world including the Philippines. 500 Startups has already invested in technology startups in the region including the Philippines’ own ZipMatch, an online real-estate platform that is aiming to revolutionize the home-buying experience in the country.
Hosted by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) alongside technology incubator and accelerator IdeaSpace Foundation, Inc., Voyager Innovations, Inc. (Voyager), the Smart Developer Network and Smart Bro, Geeks on a Plane Tour will be in Manila from July 23 to 26 to gain and share insights about the local market via a Tech Summit being organized by the Asian Institute of Management. Topics to be discussed also include observations about Southeast Asia and emerging trends in the Philippines, as well as the best practices on innovation ecosystems in Silicon Valley.
The GOAP participants will also visit selected companies which will give homegrown startups a chance to network and gain valuable insights from investors and founders in Silicon Valley.
Some of the GOAP participants will also be present during the Startup Grind event on July 25 and the second Manila staging of AngelHack, the world’s largest hackathon event slated for July 26.
IdeaSpace’s Valencia, along with Smart subsidiary Voyager Innovations’ Stephen Misa and Dindo Marzan are among the Filipino participants in the regional tour with stopovers including neighboring cities Singapore, Bangkok, Thailand and Jakarta.
“œWe’re very proud to host the very first “˜Geeks on a Plane’ contingent to land in Philippine soil,” said Earl Martin Valencia, President and Co-Founder at IdeaSpace Foundation, Inc. “œThat the Philippines became one of the stops for this year’s GOAP trip to Southeast Asia is a testament to the vast potential of local startups and the remarkable growth of the Philippine startup ecosystem.”
“œThe Philippines is a country full of smart and creative people””it’s a perfect place for entrepreneurship to flourish and grow. 500 Startups is psyched to be here in Manila and we aim to be a frequent visitor to the Philippines,” added Dave McClure, Founding Partner at 500 Startups.
Some of the participants of Geeks on a Plane (GOAP). The group is led by Dave McClure of 500 Startups (seated at the center in white 500 Startups shirt) and includes IdeaSpace Founder and President Earl Martin Valencia (standing, center) and Voyager Innovations FVP and Group Head Stephen Misa (standing, gray jacket).
Geeks on a Plane was conceptualized by Mountain View, California-based seed fund and incubator 500 Startups that has funded hundreds of technology startups the world over. This includes the likes of Makerbot, currently the world’s most popular 3D printing platform; and Viki, an online TV site later acquired by Japanese e-Commerce giant Rakuten. Check out www.geeksonaplane.com for more on GOAP in Manila.