A day in the life of a geek: Mon Ibrahim

Mon Ibrahim’s contribution to GOAB and the Startup Ecosystem.

Let’s take a look at how Geeks on a Beach championed the Filipino startups. As our alumni share their inspiring stories. “Once upon a Beach” is our video series aimed at highlighting the impact of GOAB. Especially on the startup community. Whether you are a founder, innovator or a proponent of the startup agenda. These chronicles will move you to visit the next GOAB in August.

Continue reading A day in the life of a geek: Mon Ibrahim

#GOAB Share Your Story Contest

#GOAB Share Your Story Contest

May you be a startup founder, an investor, business partner,  or a real-life partner. Everyone has a story to tell. If you can share that awesome story to the world, why keep it to yourself?

Make us laugh or cry by sharing your #GOAB story.

How to join

  1. Share your #GOAB Story to us in any of the following ways:
    • A 2-minute video
    • A photo slideshow with a voice-over audio
    • A 500-word blog post
  2. Fill in the registration form here and content release form here.
  3. Send your entry to hello@geeksonabeach.com with the an email subject: “#GOAB Share Your Story” Entry by [Your full name].
  4. Wait for the confirmation email from TechTalks.ph


  1. “#GOAB Share Your Story” contest is organized by Geeks on a Beach through TechTalks.ph.
  2. Contest period is from April 1 to  April 31, 2016.
  3. Deadline of submission of entries is on April 31, 2016.
  4. Announcement of winners is on May 2016.
  5. Contest is open to all Geeks on a Beach participants from 2013 – 2015.
  6. Participants can join by team or as an individual.
  7. Entries will be screened by a panel of judges.
  8. Only qualified entries will be uploaded and shared to Geeks on a Beach Youtube Channel.
  9. Once your content is posted on our Youtube channel, you may now start promoting it or ask your friends to like your entry using Youtube’s “like” button.

Content Requirements

  1. Participants must share their story about how Geeks on a Beach impacted their lives – whether in a personal setting or professional aspect. The story may explore the following ideas but not limited to: how #GOAB helped them find find their inner geek, meet a business partner, mentor,  investor, developer for their company, or a marketing team.
  2. The story must creatively show/demonstrate the impact of Geeks on a Beach.
  3. If you are submitting a video file, it should not exceed 100MB. Entries with file size larger than 100MB will be disqualified.
  4. Video file format can be in .mp4, avi, or .mov. Videos received in other formats will not be accepted as an entry.
  5. Any music or media used must have the permission of the artist, purchased as a royalty free music or licensed via Creative Common License. (See https://creativecommons.org/legalmusicforvideos)
  6. Your story must be an original work and must not contain  obscene, defamatory, discriminatory, offensive, triggering, provocative, misleading or illegal themes or materials. It must not display nudity, violence, animal cruelty and other conducts or materials that promote racism, discrimination, physical harm, illegal activities and harassment, constitute information that is false or misleading, or violate privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademark rights and any other rights of any person or entity.


50% Social Media Impact (likes thru Youtube’s “like” button)
50% From the Panel of Judges 


A total of three winners. Each winner will receive two (2) Geeks on a Beach tickets + cool prizes.

For more information about Geeks on a Beach, visit www.geeksonabeach.com.

An Update on the Philippine Startup Landscape


March 4, The Hub Singapore. It was the perfect venue to put the spotlight to the “geeks”. As part of our ongoing effort to build the community of entrepreneurs globally, we brought in three influential figures in the startup landscape in the Philippines. The goal is plain and simple; educate and inform not only the Filipino community but also expats who have their tech firms here. Our event partner, The Hub Singapore is a co-working space where business people with a great synergy of creativity, innovation and technology reside. It was the second event we held there, and we are pleased to witness how we are making traction within the expat community here in Singapore.

Our panel of speakers provided deeper insights and greater value out of our event theme; “What makes the Philippines and exciting hub of creative potential for startup communities, investors and incubators.”

Mr. Joey Gurango provided a well-balanced and realistic point of view of doing business in the Philippines, having worked for Steve Jobs (Apple) and Bill Gates (Microsoft), he brought his rich experience to the Philippines when he set up his own company.

Mr. Wilson Chua shared us his journey in building his business through bootstrapped strategies and data-driven techniques. His passion to build something big from small beginnings was enough to inspire everyone in the room.

Ms. Tina Amper gave us an overview of how her TechTalk community has evolved into a global gathering that is Geeks on a Beach. It is a workable model of leveraging from existing community expertise and tech events to give you that edge of doing business.

The credibility of the panel is enough for the audience to get “hooked” about doing business in the Philippines. It’s a matter of finding the right partners to work with to increase your chances of success.

An Update on the Philippine Startup Landscape

Here is what our speakers have to say:

“It was nice to see the spirit of Filipino entrepreneurship alive and well among the PH expat community in SG. The interest was genuine, and the motivation to do good for their country was heartfelt. I enjoyed sharing my experiences and learnings with this group, and I would be very happy to contribute some more in the future. “

Joey Gurango
CEO, Gurango Software

“Great networking event among like-minded people.”

Wilson Chua
Founder, FutureGen

“Fantastic event.  Very Inspiring.  Interesting to see fellow Pinoys in Singapore have the same aspirations as those in the Philippines (guess around the world..) 

Some who have established careers have side projects and startups in the works.  In this case, a local peer group such as Filtreps is critical to providing support in the early stages of establishing the business.

Mentors like Wilson Chua and Joey Gurango, who have “been there, done that” are great to have.  

Filtreps – may your tribe become bigger and stronger.  Can’t wait to see your case studies at GOAB.”

Tina Amper
Founder, Geeks on a Beach, Techtalks.ph

If you want to do business in the Philippines or want to connect with the tech/startup community there, one way is to attend TechTalks.ph or similar meetups as a way to meet people.  From there, you will meet experts and enthusiasts who can then help you get educated on what’s going on on the ground.  Alternatively, engaging with TechTalks.ph, Wilson or Joey, as your partner in doing business in the Philippines, would also work as we have “been there, done that”.

If you are from overseas or have little time; Geeks on a Beach (GOAB )is a great way to meet industry leaders and influencers in one venue.  Being an archipelago, you may have to visit 2-3 other cities to get a feel for the native ecosystem.   GOAB also attracts SEA investors, founders and startup community leaders — adding more value to your attendance at GOAB.  Have one trip to an international conference to a beach resort may save you multiple trips to the region.



Photos: Flordeliza Juera
Article: Robert Cristobal (Frame 316), Tina Amper (Geeks on a Beach)

This article was originally posted in Filtreps.com

GOAB 2015 Day 1: 5 Signs of Golden Times of PH Startup

Following is a quick random updates of what happen of the first day of Geeks on a Beach, tech | design | startup conference, in Boracay. And, they’re all pointing that it’s Golden Times for startups in the Philippines. 

boracay sunset station 1 
Following are some of the reasons why:

1. It’s the 3rd edition of Geeks on a Beach by TechTalks.ph, headed by the founder Tina Amper. But most of all, it’s very well supported from the government to private businesses and individuals. It shows that A lot of individuals are working to have a healthy startup ecosystem. geeks on a beach organizers / tina amper 

2. The “Philippine Startup Roadmap” report that is created with the collaboration of the godfathers from government, headed by Mon Ibrahim of DOST-ICTO together with the key players from different private businesses and fund management organizations. (You can find the report here http://tinyurl.com/philstartuproadmap.)creators of Philippine. startup roadmap 

You can watch the short video of Jojo Flores of Plug & Playtech Center, which gave an overview of what the Philippine Startup Roadmap is about. Video here http://youtu.be/iSbPd0bE1Rw.

3. The pioneering accelerators are getting stronger, and so are the upcoming new accelerators.

Earl Valencia, founder of IdeaSpace, shared startup success stories incubated by their accelerator program. 

Atty. Joy Caneba, CEO of AirAsia, shared how they use technology in their business, and how they are actively seeking new technology they can use in their operation. 
Best of all, Atty. Joy Caneba shared that AirAsia created a new incubator program, Tune Labs.   

4. Sharing of startup success stories, and of upcoming success stories.

In the Peak to Peak session moderated by Jay Fajardo, startup entrepreneurs shared their journey and their wins. Here are some thoughts from the entrepreneurs:

Carlo Calimon of MobKard: Find a mentor that you can look up to for guidance.

Ibba Bernardo of Sari.ph: His mission is to bring technology to those who have no access.

Arup Maity of Blast Asia (Launchpad): From being burn-out of finding funds, they decided not get money anymore. Instead, they decided to fund it from their other cash-flow services.  

Wesley Chiongbian of mynimo.com also shared his journey as a web entrepreneur in one of the breakout sessions.

While in the GOAB International Pitching Competition showed the upcoming success stories. They were the 5 startups, picked out of 80 applications, who presented during the end of GOAB 2015 Day 1. They are Iskwelahan.com, Karpintero.ph, and the winners:

1st – Nearcircles.com

2nd – MobKard.com

3rd – ProTees Project

5. The government guy now turning into the startup fashion – Mon Ibrahim.  

 Kidding aside, the Philippine government is slowly warming up to the technology entrepreneurship. Aside from the support they will provide to the community, can you imagine the technology our government needs to be upgraded which can be provided by tech entrepreneurs?  

Definitely, tech entrepreneurship / startup scene in Philippines is on a fly.

And, literally we’re flying at Geeks on a Beach with drone demo by Teejay Teodoro of UAVPhilippines.com.

To that, thank you to all sponsors and participants of GOAB 2015!   

More GOAB 2015 updates coming! And, See you on the 4th edition of GOAB!

GOAB 2015 Speaker Q&A: Tonyo Cruz

Event: Geeks on a Beach (GOAB), Aug. 20-21, 2015, Boracay
Be part of this biggest tech conference. Register at geeksonabeach.com.

One of the favorite geeks at Geeks on a Beach is Tonyo Cruz (tonyocruz.com). Last year, he was our speaker for “Rise Up From Disasters: Tech to the Rescue.” He’s a social & political geek that got hold of technology, and the results are what we call the “modern uprising” causing positive mass movements.


Let’s get to know more about him and learn from this trendsetter geek in the following Q&A:

How did you get into digital publishing?

I started blogging as soon as my my friend Ederic Eder introduced me to it in the early 2000s, switching platforms until I made it to Blogspot. I wrote mostly about politics and technology, an odd mashup that reflected my twin passions — activism in both political and technology consumer fronts.

Thanks to blogging and social media, I’ve been to places and helped open the doors for me and my causes locally and internationally. Whether working in a creative or digital marketing agency, or helping non-profit or causes, or spearheading social media events, or being asked to write for a national newspaper — both my blogging and social media background have been a big help.

Can you share tips on how you carry a “trend” from online to offline?

#RescuePH and #ReliefPH have been described as outstanding expressions of Filipino social media and tech savvy — and rightly so. They were started by people like you and me, who just wanted to make sure everything is done to save and help people during disasters and calamities.

They have become unified hashtags used by real people, real agencies and real organizations during real events to solve real problems. Behind these hashtags are teams of social media experts and tech geeks who marshal tech know-how to make things happen quickly — whether helping automate crowd-sourced reports so agencies and organizations could respond quickly or promoting their proper use every time there is a need.

In August 2010, just after the Luneta hostage incident, my friends and I started tweeting memories of our 80s childhood using the hashtag #sentisabado. It spread like crazy and became a welcome respite to the bad news that happened that week. It was arguably the first organic Filipino trend on Twitter.

For startups or businesses, can you share tips on how to use digital media as a way to promote their service or product?

Social media provides Philippine startups and business many opportunities: seeking crowdfunding, seeking out ideas for a new business, fulfilling a need, testing ideas and checking feedback, and finally promoting their ideas.

Bloggers and social media users are fans of innovation and entrepreneurship. We all have a soft spot for Filipino startups who dare to make a difference. There will always be willing evangelists of the things startups want to do and achieve.

Like blogs and social networks, our startups and businesses don’t exist and function in a vacuum. We have to know what’s happening, whether about current events or about areas with good (or bad) internet connection and infrastructure, technology education, venture capital and angel investors, business registration processes, taxation and regulations. We have to know these, and help change them for the better.

For those wanting to make a name in digital publishing, what insights you can share on how to get the Filipinos’ attention / sentiment?

GOAB 2015 happens practically on the eve of what we hope is big and positive change for the Philippines – the national elections.

Social media and the digital space is at the same time simmering with ideas, innovation and trends that – perhaps with a nudge here and a push there – could help bring about change-making new startups or old startups venturing into new changemaking ideas.

More than a “wait and see” attitude, maybe Philippine startups could take a page from what Silicon Valley counterparts do: Promote their interests, seek out the candidates, and help make the process more inclusive, more participatory, more exciting, more tech-savvy. What can be more compelling?

For if Filipinos are world leaders in social media and a rising star in startups and tech entrepreneurship, it is about time we have Digital Leader or a Tech President. That won’t happen if we don’t dare to listen, speak, get involved, and make our communities relevant in this big exercise which we all hope would be changemaking and history-making too.

Join us this Geeks on a Beach this Aug. 20-21, 2015 at Boracay, and have a stimulating discussion again with Tonyo Cruz. REGISTER now at GeeksOnABeach.com.


Geek of the Week: The Nanay’s Champ – Ibrahim ‘Ibba’ Bernardo

Event: Geeks on a Beach (GOAB), August 20-21, 2015, Boracay
Be part of this exciting tech conference. Register at geeksonabeach.com.

Geeks on a Beach would like to congratulate one of our speakers, Ibrahim ‘Ibba’ Bernardo of Sari.ph for winning the BEST IN ICT award at the sixth annual GIST (Global Innovation through Science & Technology) Tech-I competition held in Nairobi, Kenya last July 25-26.

Out of 792 applications from 74 countries, Ibba and his team at Sari Software Solutions emerged as one of the top entrepreneurs who developed solutions to solve local and global problems.

In a gist, Sari Software Solutions is a smartphone technology platform that empowers entrepreneurial nanays (mothers) with sari-sari (neighborhood) stores through greater financial knowledge. It’s about empowering small businesses and micro entrepreneurs. See the video below for more information about this innovative application.

Let’s get to know more the man behind the award-winning Sari Software Solutions in the following short Q&A:

How do you feel about winning the 2015 GIST Tech-I Competition?

This may sound really rude, but I wasn’t even listening when they announced the winners.

Sari was one of thirty finalists out of 794 submissions from 74 countries. I was just happy to be there. I wasn’t expecting it. All the finalists were ridiculously awesome.

Being there and learning from our mentors, VC’s, Scientists, Tech Stars; interacting with the speakers – co-founder of Airbnb, Kiva, and Akon, who is a kick-ass entrepreneur and impact investor – was more than I could have hoped for. Having them give guidance and refining our model and strategy was already a win.

So I didn’t expect to be recognized for anything, and I was overwhelmed. I was a bit of a zombie when my seatmate nudged me and said to go on stage. I just stared at him blankly then I bounced up like a big Pilates ball. I think I kind of skipped up to the stage. I was the only one who held up the award like I was Arthur and it was Excalibur.

Photo by Ibba Bernardo

Call me cheesy, but I felt, and still feel, deeply thankful: to the Sari team who worked with me via Viber, regardless of the time difference, to make my pitch perfect; and to the organizers: the GIST (Global Innovation through Science and Technology), the US State Department, and the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), who put so much time and effort into creating real value for the finalists. I also felt confident, confident that the Sari Mission could make a dent in this world and help micro entrepreneurs. And now, I guess I feel validated, that my confidence wasn’t misplaced or misinformed.

Why do you think you won?

The Tech-I competition wasn’t your standard startup pitch competition. This competition had heart. It was about impact. I don’t think a first world startup solving first world problems would have won in Kenya.

I’ve always believed that Sari has the potential to impact communities globally, and now I know that others share this belief as well. The phenomenon of simple people – women, nanays, moms – supporting the community as micro entrepreneurs , is ubiquitous in the developing world. My team and I were able to connect that fact with a solid business model that jumpstarts a virtuous cycle of value. I think that resonated with the judges.

We still have many challenges ahead, and as with all big projects, implementation has hit its own share of roadblocks. We’ll just continue to push forward, using what we’ve gained from our time spent in Kenya, to refine our processes and further drive the expansion Sari’s inclusive technology platform.

Any advise for others who want to start a business or enter a competition?

You have to be confident, but not unreasonably so. In tagalog “Dapat mayabang na may K (karapatan).” You have to believe in your idea and arm it with hard work and knowledge but also be open to other input to refine and hone it.

You also have to be courageous. Courageous enough to stand on a stage and let people either smarter and or more experienced than you literally judge you.

You have to be ready to fail and pick yourself up and do it all over again. This was our first competition so ahem well.

We didn’t even really know what we were getting into; we didn’t know what GIST or GES were. We just thought, “Why not?”, and this whole experience has shown us that there is much that can be accomplished when people say “Why not?”

Learn more from the nanay’s champ Ibrahim ‘Ibba’ Bernardo and other geeks at GOAB on Aug. 20-21, 2015 in Boracay. REGISTER now at GeeksOnABeach.com.


The Geeks of Asia’s Digital Media Publications

Event: Geeks on a Beach (GOAB), Aug. 20-21, 2015, Boracay
Be part of the Philippines’ biggest tech conference. Register at GeeksOnABeach.com.

It’s NOT an overstatement when we say that the WHO’s WHO of digital media publication are also attending the Geeks on a Beach: from #sentisabado to Mashable. These geeks not only created digital contents, but also created socially-relevant trends and movements that benefit us, the real world.

So join us this Aug. 20-21, 2015 and meet Asia’s media industry game-changers:


Gwendolyn Regina Tan. Director of Strategy and Business Development, Asia Pacific Mashable

SGEntrepreneurs, Tech in Asia, Mashable — the digital media companies this woman is a fairy to. She co-founded an online tech blog / publication in 2005, SGEntrepeneurs. It was then acquired by a Y combinator, Facebook co-founder backed tech website, Tech in Asia, in 2013.

Now, she will be making the digital tech news media more exciting in Asia by heading the expansion of Mashable, a leading global media company. The world can’t definitely get enough of Asia.

Maria Ressa. CEO, Rappler

If there’s one Philippine tech startup brand easily recognized nationwide and abroad, it’s Rappler. With her background in the traditional media, she is understandably great at publishing but having also cracked the technology side that makes Maria Ressa an extra interesting kind of geek.

Janette Toral. Owner, DigitalFilipino

When internet came to Philippines, Janette Toral became one of the first digital media publishers, albeit unconsciously. But being so passionate about, consciously, she is one of the biggest pusher of moving Filipinos into becoming digital media publisher (not friendster).

More than digital media publication, she is also the best source in documenting the internet history and movement of the Philippines which you can check on DigitalFilipino.com.


Mohan Belani. Co-founder and CEO, e27

The e27 is one of the popular brands when it comes to Asia’s tech startup / entrepreneurship scene. It’s because not only do they push breaking news, but also organize meaningful entrepreneurship events which the world looks forward to: Echelon, Venturecon, Founders Drinks, and Community Events. These certainly add to the vibrant Asia’s tech scene. And, we have to thank the “engineer” behind it, Mohan Belani.


Tonyo Cruz. Blogger

Before #throwbackthursday, there was #sentisabado. It was started by Tonyo Cruz. He is one of those social media influencers who can start a trend without having to resort to a Bieber or K-pop hashtags. From then on, he has created countless social-relevant media trends, such as #RescuePH, #ReliefPH, #tweetupmnl, #changePH. Definitely, he is also one of the few who can savvily mixed together digital, traditional, social, and politics. So it’s no wonder he is crowned the Digital Hero by The New Media.

For Filipinos, think of it, we are one of the biggest digital media consumers. Now how about becoming the biggest digital media creators?

Be part of the conversation this Aug. 20-21, 2015 at Boracay, register at GeeksOnABeach.com.

Asia’s Accelerators & VC: Meet the Who’s Who at Geeks On A Beach (GOAB)

Event: Geeks on a Beach (GOAB), Aug. 20-21, 2015, Boracay
Be part of the Philippines’ biggest tech conference. Register at geeksonabeach.com.

So what are accelerators & VCs (venture capitalists)? What’s their significance in starting a business? How does one get their attention? As an entrepreneur, do you really need them? Or maybe you are interested to invest as an accelerator or a VC? Is the Philippines or Asia a great place to start or expand a business? What is the startup ecosystem of the Philippines? Is it the best place to make an entry to the Asian market?

These are just a few of the questions that will be answered this upcoming Geeks on a Beach (GOAB), the Philippines’ biggest tech startup conference, this Aug. 20-21, 2015 in Boracay. And, you’re going to get them straight from people with legit experience as accelerators and VCs in Asia who will be in GOAB.


Here are some of the Accelerators who will be speaking at GOAB. The event is lucky to have accelerators with varied focus as speakers: from hardware, social services, web technology, and more.

Benjamin Joffe is Managing Partner of Hax Accelerator, with investments focused on hardware.

Benjamin is a Digital Naturalist (12 years of life and research across multiple startup ecosystems), Pro Speaker (over 150 talks across 21 countries), Startup Therapist (mentor to 6 accelerators), and Angel Investor (10 investments, half in Asia). Benjamin is a leading expert on digital innovation in Asia with 12 years experience across China, Japan, South Korea and SE Asia. He is also the founder of the Asia-focused digital research consultancy +8* (www.plus8star.com). He is also frequently quoted in media (Forbes, The Economist, CNN, AdAge, VentureBeat, TechCrunch…)
Benjamin is a Startup Mentor at 500 Startups (US), YetiZen (US), Founder Institute (Global), JFDI (Singapore), Gamma Rebels (Poland), and of course the one and only Chinaccelerator (China).

Benjamin is an active Angel investor with an Asia twist, investing in companies such as Cmune, MyGengo, TokyoOtakuMode, TwitMusic, TenderTree, YoGoMe, StoryPanda, and PayrollHero.

He was also selected among “China’s TOP 100 Mobile Industry Influencers” in 2007 & 2008.

Specialties: Asian Innovation and Cultures, Trust Networks, Virtual Economies, Online Social Dynamics, Artificial Artificial Intelligence, Digital Third Places, Japan, Korea, China.

Based in China. via HAX | Benjamin Joffe.

Earl Valencia, President & Co-Founder of IdeaSpace Foundation

Earl is the President and co-founder of IdeaSpace Foundation and is concurrently the Head of Corporate Development at Smart Communications, the country’s largest telecom network provider.Prior to his move to Asia, he was a Business Incubation Manager at Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group in Silicon Valley. He also was also a Senior Systems Engineer at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems where he worked in classified RD Projects for the US Defense Department. In addition to his corporate roles, he had worked at billion dollar VC firms, Investor Growth Captial Menlo Park and H7Q Asia Pacific Manila.Earl obtained a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from Boston University, a Masters in Systems Engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 2012, he was named one of the Manila 40 under 40 by DevEx and Chevron, highlighting the top 40 leaders focused on economic development across the Philippines. via Ideaspace.


Minette Navarrete is President of KickStart Ventures, an early-stage digital investor and incubator and a 100-percent subsidiary of telecom firm Globe Telecom.

Minette led her team to found Kickstart Ventures, Inc. and spin it out as a wholly-owned Globe subsidiary. Kickstart is an investment firm that funds early-stage digital startups, providing capital, incubation and mentoring, and market access. Kickstart is the Philippines’ most active early-stage investor; its portfolio has some of the country’s best-performing startups; its mentorship program is highly coveted. Kickstart portfolio companies have attracted funding from some of the world’s most respected tech investors: YCombinator and 500 Startups from Silicon Valley; Omidyar from New York; IMJ Investment Partners from Japan; and Wavemaker Labs from Singapore.

Minette is concurrently Vice-Chairman of the Entertainment Gateway Group (EGG), Globe’s wholly-owned content provider, which they acquired in 2008. She is also a member of Ayala Corporation’s Innovation Advisory Council.

Minette has held CEO/COO positions in various industries, ranging from Philippine start-ups to iconic multinationals. Before joining Globe, she was Managing Director of online game publishing startup, Level Up! She previously served as Levi Strauss & Company’s Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam; and President & CEO of Shangri-La Plaza Corporation. She cut her teeth in global giants, Unilever and L’Oréal.” via Minette B. Navarrete – Kickstart Ventures.


Jojo Flores, Co-Founder & VP of Plug & Play Tech Center, headquartered in Sunnyvale California.

“Jojo is currently involved in the overall strategic planning and prioritizing of Plug and Play. Jojo’s immediate focus is on building strategic alliances in the Philippines and other reigns of South East Asia.” via Jojo Flores | Plug and Play Tech Center.

Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups, which is based in Silicon Valley with presence all over the world.

“Khailee co-founded GroupsMore (acquired by Groupon) and SAYS.com (acquired by Catcha Group). He takes care of 500’s Southeast Asia fund and focuses on expanding 500’s global presence, and does all of it in costume.” via Khailee Ng | 500 Startups.


Kuo-Yi Lim, Managing Director of Monk’s Hill Ventures

“Kuo-Yi is a Managing Director at Monk’s Hill Ventures. He was the CEO of Infocomm Investments, a $200M venture fund based in Singapore investing in technology startups globally. Prior to Infocomm, Kuo-Yi was a senior sales executive at Encentuate (acq. by IBM) and Reputation Technologies (acq. by Security Sources), and co-founder of SportsHook, a sports-focused SaaS platform. Kuo-Yi graduated from MIT with B.S., M.S., and PhD degrees in electrical engineering.
Current investments: NinjaVan and Zipmatch.” via Monk’s Hill Ventures.

Bikesh Lakhmichand, CEO & Founder of 1337 Ventures Malaysia

“Bikesh is the co-founder of iTrain, South East Asia’s No 1 tech training centre. He pioneered mobile development trainings in the region and has major universities licensing their development programmes in Malaysia and throughout SEA. iTrain is one of the first Google Web Academy’s in the world and actively conducts iOS education outreach programmes for Apple.

Bikesh has also recently founded 1337 Ventures which runs the 1337 Hub, a co-working space for app developers and 1337 Accelerator, Malaysia’s first accelerator for App Development with an initial RM5 Million seed fund. He actively travels SEA speaking about opportunities in the mobile app market in a regional event called Mobile Developer Day.” via Linkedin

Tim Chae, Venture Partner of 500 Startups USA

“He is currently a Venture Partner at 500 Startups, heading up its side micro-VC fund, 500Kimchi, focused on Korean startups. He spends about half of his time traveling mainly to Seoul, but is based in SF.” via LinkedIn

Justin Hall, Principal of Golden Gate Ventures USA/Singapore

“Justin Hall is Principal at Golden Gate Ventures. He is a scholar from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, having specialised in entrepreneurship policy, and graduated with Honours at Trinity College Dublin in History and Political Science. In addition to his responsibilities at Golden Gate Ventures, Justin has organized a number of community building events, including SuperHappyDevHouse.sg, WalkAbout.sg, and FailCon.sg. Before Golden Gate Ventures, Justin was previously an Account Manager for Rakuten LinkShare Corporation, based in New York, and managed online e-commerce sales for prominent web-based retailers and service providers. Justin is a New York transplant and fitness fanatic, as well as a huge fan of Chicken Rice and kopi gau.” via Social Venture Challenge Asia

Takeshi Ebihara, Founding General Partner of Rebright Partners Japan

Ebihara has been a VC and an serial tech entrepreneur for more than 20 years. Rebright Partners is a venture capital firm established in Tokyo, Japan, investing in internet and mobile startups in Southeast Asia.

All of these wonderful minds to pick in one event at the best beach Boracay. You have no reason to miss Geeks on a Beach this Aug. 20-21, 2015. REGISTER now at GeeksOnABeach.com.

A Geek for Geeks on a Beach: Albert Padin

Event: Geeks on a Beach (GOAB), Aug. 20-21, 2015, Boracay
Be part of this biggest tech conference. Register at geeksonabeach.com.

Following article is part of Meet the GEEKS series featuring the different personalities of GOAB (For updates, join our mailing list here >>.).

What makes Geeks on a Beach the best tech conference that you should be part of?

It has the:

  • best beach,
  • the hardknocks of the technology industry as speakers,
  • of course, YOU,
  • and who cannot forget the witty tech entrepreneurs hosts duo Dave Overton and Albert Padin (because geek speakers and audience deserve geek hosts)

Related story: “Top 9 Reasons Why You Gotta Be at GOAB.”

L-R: Dave Overton, Albert Padin
L-R: Dave Overton, Albert Padin (Want to wear this cool shirt? Email us at info@techtalks.ph.)

Let’s get to know one of the duo: Albert Padin.

Albert Padin has been involved with tech entrepreneurship long before startup became a buzz word in the local scene. Fresh out of college, Albert together with his girlfriend, now wife, Nicole Padin, ambitiously launched a mobile application, SpellDial.

For a more proper introduction, here’s Padin’s recent TED talk video “Learning and Unlearning in Tech Entrepreneurship”:

In the following Q&A, Padin shares what he’s currently up to, some lessons, and tips on how to best unwind.

What is a tech startup or entrepreneurship in general?

It’s doing an unusual business that uses technology to deliver and/or scale its products and/or services.

Looking back when you got started, what were your ideas of the tech startup culture that proved to be not the case when you got actually involved in the community?

When I started together with wife (my girlfriend back then) Nicole, we just wanted to build an app which we thought was pretty useful, SpellDial.

We thought we had an idea of what we were getting into – we didn’t. Well… We thought it was easy to get a million dollars in funding. We also thought that we would “launch” our website, and immediately, we would easily get to 1 million+ likes on Facebook simply because our idea was “game-changing.”

Man… Those were totally not the case. Hehehe!

What is your current main focus?

I’m busy running both the operations and spearheading Technology at Symph.

Any struggles you want to share on this which others can learn from?

When nothing else works, fines usually do. It’s like the Singaporean way! We had struggles before of team members not arriving on time for meetings. When we introduced fines, incidents of tardiness dropped!

What unique factors contributed to your team’s success?

I wouldn’t say we’re exactly successful right now. We’re working on getting there though. I think 3 things contributed – work hard, work hard, and work hard.

In your years of experience in a tech startup, kindly share tips on how to get started and survive?

It’s going to take longer than you think, and then a lot more. Be prepared for that mentally.

Also, startups are experiments. Take them seriously, but not too seriously. Don’t ruin your relationships because of a startup.

And to the most important question, how do you unwind?

Play DOTA. Watch a movie. Hang out with friends.

L-R: Nicole Padin, Albert Padin
L-R: Nicole Padin, Albert Padin

Learn more from Albert Padin and other Geeks at the “Geeks on a Beach” event this Aug. 20-21, 2015 at Boracay. REGISTER now at GeeksOnABeach.com.

SpellDial Wants to Make Phone Numbers History

The Whiz of MyLegalWhiz.com: Dexter Feliciano

Event: Geeks on a Beach (GOAB), Aug. 20-21, 2015, Boracay
Be part of this biggest tech conference. Register at geeksonabeach.com.

We will have a series featuring the different Geeks of the Geeks on a Beach (Don’t miss any update. Join our mailing list here >>.).

Let’s start off with a Philosophy-to-Tech Geek, Dexter Feliciano, founder of MyLegalWhiz.com.

Dexter Feliciano is a graduate of UP Diliman Major in Philosophy. He also earned a degree in Law and MBA in DLSU-FEU dual degree program. He’s an advocate of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education for the masses and believes that science should become a way of thinking of people and not just a body of knowledge taught in schools for a country, like the Philippines, to prosper.

He admires ambitious and daring entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Larry Page.

MyLegalWhiz.com is considered to be one of the tech startups to watch out for in Asia since it launched in 2012. It started as an idea back when its founder, Dexter Feliciano, was still having his DLSU-FEU dual degree program.

MyLegalWhiz then became one of the pioneering recipient of seed funding from Launchgarage, and also part of the first batch incubated by Kickstart (Racoma, 2013).

Together with him in MyLegalWhiz is Katrina Chua as head of legal research, and Grey Esteban for software development.

My Legal Whiz founders Dexter Feliciano and Katrina Chua pitching for business and commercial deals with Globe and Ayala executives in Kickstart’s Deal Day with corporations. Photo credit: Stephen Militante via The Philippine economy's secret weapon: Area 55.
“My Legal Whiz founders Dexter Feliciano and Katrina Chua pitching for business and commercial deals with Globe and Ayala executives in Kickstart’s Deal Day with corporations. Photo credit: Stephen Militante”
via The Philippine economy’s secret weapon: Area 55.

On the following Q&A, we’ll get to know more about their product / service, MyLegalWhiz.com:

What is MyLegalWhiz?

MyLegalWhiz is the first subscription-based, cloud-enabled legal knowledge and research assistance platform in Asia. Our mission is to make quality and relevant legal content and research assistance accessible on any mobile device or computer.

It focuses on context, structure, and relevance of legal content to meet the needs of students, researchers and professionals. It is currently the fastest growing legal research technology in the country and has pioneered an on-demand concierge legal research assistance service known as LEA (Legal Engineer Assistant) that also helps non-lawyers get valuable research before seeking formal legal advice.

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Why did you start the company?

The company was founded to solve the problem of inefficient and expensive legal research and advice. Now, MyLegalWhiz is a compelling alternative to traditional (hard copy) legal references and expensive legal retainers.

You were established in 2012, how has it been so far?

We are currently growing beyond our core market of law schools and firms. We’re expanding MyLegalWhiz now to government agencies, LGUs and private corporations. Notable Clients: BSP, SEC, UP Law, San Sebastian Law, DLSU, UST.

What is your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge is in hiring. We are looking not only for the best people for the company; but more importantly, people who can commit to the company’s vision and are willing to sacrifice.

How can events like GOAB (Geeks on a Beach) help you?

GOAB can help by facilitating discussions with a network of investors and entrepreneurs.

Any advise for other startups or those who want to start their own business?

a) Don’t start a business just to get into the funding game. Start a business founded on a need/demand.

b) Get a mentor. Don’t hire friends. If you do, don’t be afraid to fire them (it’s not easy) even if you think they have potential but do not directly contribute to the best interest of your company.

c) Stay lean while you’re still validating your product/service. Don’t be afraid to fail and learn fast.

Learn more from Dexter Feliciano and other Geeks in the Geeks on a Beach this Aug. 20-21, 2015 at Boracay. REGISTER now at GeeksOnABeach.com.