Philippines struggles in start-up innovation race

Philippines Struggles In Start-Up Innovation Race

Philippine start-ups only attracted USD31.3m worth of start-up investment deals last year, which was just a fraction of the amount for Indonesian start-ups which received USD2.93bn, a third of Thailand’s figure of USD114.6m and lower than Vietnam’s USD39.9m, according to data analysis firm CB Insights. Analysts said the country’s inexperience in the sector and its aversion to entrepreneurship may be partly to blame for its poor performance. Minette Navarrete, president of Kickstart Ventures, the country’s biggest venture capital company, said most of the funding pitches were clones of successful start-ups in Silicon Valley and many less experienced founders gave up too soon.

Start-up founders also do not want to take risks, said Natasha Bautista, head of operations at public-private incubator QBO Philippines, adding that following through is always a challenge. Bautista said most Filipinos are not so interested in entrepreneurship and are not trained to own a company. However, the government’s Innovative Start-up Act may help assist tech start-ups in terms of funding hurdles and regulatory constraints. While it may take a while for the new law to be implemented, support and mentorship by institutional investors and angels would be more helpful than any government intervention, said Justin Hall, partner at Singapore-based venture capitalist firm Golden Gate Ventures.

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