Brain Gain Network Launch

From the Brain Gain Network site, Paco Sandejas writes:

On December 1, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. participants in the high-tech industry of the Philippines will gather at the site of the Advanced Research and Competency Development Institute (ARCDI) in Alabang to launch two very interesting projects (disclaimer: my firm, Narra Venture Capital, is one of the co-sponsors of these efforts). Being launched are the NEW IMPROVED Brain Gain Network web tool and the ARCDI Alpha Ventures Lab.

“Techiepalooza” launch event and signup is here.

What is the Brain Gain Network?

BGN is an online networking and productivity tool that connects talented professionals and students interested in helping to increase the global competitiveness of the Philippine high-technology economy. It is not another association. It is simply a tool.

While always promoting entrepreneurial initiative and a can-do-attitude, BGN seeks to convert the “brain drain” into a “œBrain Gain” through the following activities: building an extensive membership database of highly-skilled, experienced and motivated individuals; facilitating communication and cooperation among them; and providing the necessary online (and occasionally off-line) productivity tools in order for them to make projects become a reality. For example, the projects might be NGO consultancies for tech transfer to Philippine companies, consultations between government and private sector leaders, university consortia for the advancement of engineering education, or the actual formation of start-up ventures in need of venture capital funding.

This is related to Where is the Philippines’ Silicon Valley. Another blog entry about Silicon Valley asks if the original Silicon Valley will retain the factors it has in growing tech industry, or is it moving outside. Some key points:

the Valley had lost its technology focus to get into marketing or retail opportunities, and lost its focus on creating great technology and rewarding the engineers responsible for these innovations.

Where are the engineers going?

the major differentiator of the Valley was the culture of risk: this tendency of people to quit their job and start new companies. However the Valley is so expensive that it has priced itself out as many people can no longer afford living here. … companies will only afford to have their headquarters here and will have engineering and operations in other parts of the country/world.

Can this environment eventually move to the Philippines?

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  • Will it affect pays?

  • riche

    India and South Korea also experienced brain drain. And look where they are now. According to an article in Time magazine, to some extent, brain drain is good because those inolved in the diaspora acquire technology and expertise which could be used to develop their home countries…brain drain is not that bad after all, depending on how you look at it.

  • Great comments and blog, Migz.
    I commend your effort here. May we link to it?
    As for Silicon Valley and how it works, Dennis Posadas hits that point correctly when he says that it really helps that you find all all within 1 hour’s drive: the talented people, the lab infrastructure (wafer processiing – you can do different steps in different companies, rapid prototyping, failure analysis – SEMs, AFM’s, TEM’s, etc, for biotech the same), tons of technical consultants with more than 20 years of experience, VC’s, tech lawyers, IP Lawyers, angels, investment bankers, profesors who preach entrepreneurship, professional training… and the one not to be discounted at all… QUALITY of LIFE that kind of makes it really hard to leave. Wine, culture, sports, outdoor activities, intelligent people, beautiful people, everything… maybe except household help and a larger family support mechanism.

    Finally on your first point about Brain Drain not being bad as long as the people who get training come home, even if just a small percentage of them. I SAY EXACTLY. That is why we called it Brain Gain because it is like an electronic circuit with a feedback loop and a small percentage of the current is used as feedback and with Gain makes the whole amplifier circuit work. Baduy and corny but Marc Loinaz thought it cool enough to coin the phrase in 1992-93. Now if we can find a way to lure back even a small percentage of the techie pinoys abroad. This is the reason I am excited about my role in Narra Venture Capital and now investor in Stratpoint (.com) Technologies. We can work with Pinoys in the US and for some even bring people home to work with our local team to service the Software development needs of our US partners. It seems to be working. Wish us luck and all those doing exactly the same thing in PSIA and other places.


  • riche

    good day mr. sandejas! long since i first knew you in dumaguete. i heard you are doing fine with your venture capital business. it’s good that there are risk-takers like you who provide an avenue to turn ideas into concrete things….and profitable at that.

  • The link of Migz might have expired on Philstar and got sent to another page of their new archive. IF you still are interested you can learn more about from the site itself. From a third party you can click below:

    Thanks Niche. Dumaguete was nice. Wish we could practise Venture Capital there one day when critical mass is hit.